I was stunned when my sister texted me last night that a shooting occurred in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. One of my sisters lives very close to Newtown and I’ve passed through the area a number of times. It’s one of those small, quiet small American towns, and you really wouldn’t imagine anything like yesterday’s massacre happening there. But it did, and now issues like gun control and violence are hot topics yet again.
I don’t know very much about gun control and its related issues in the US. I do think guns are heinous, but I also think that guns or no guns, people who are crazed with rage will find some way to unleash all that rage. And yet making guns inaccessible might make it harder for such people to commit murder. I really can’t say for sure. What I can say for sure is that the incident is devastating, and made all the more tragic by the fact that most of the victims were little children.
I’m particularly annoyed by how some people are turning this into an opportunity to bemoan the fact that God is missing from US classrooms, hence causing incidents like this. Speaking for myself here, I don’t believe in the Christian God myself, but I’ve never been visited by the urge to cause death and mayhem. And then we also have people who blame the gunman’s actions on mental illness, as if that explains absolutely everything. Mentally ill people may have their problems, but not all of them are violent to the point of homicidal. People don’t need to have a mental illness to make the wrong decisions or act in destructive ways.
And it really gets to me that gunmen in such incidents simply die their way out of the situation, never needing to answer for what they’ve done.
This is definitely not something that Newtown will be able to recover from easily, and it should weigh just as heavily on the US so they can figure out why this keeps happening and what they can do to effectively put a stop to such incidents. I can’t say anything more other than I wish for the town to stay strong and united, and for comfort to the families whose loved ones were killed.