Another day when our world stood still

Opinion: Columns

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By Deb Quantock McCarey

Contributing reporter/Nature blogger

Courage + hope x community action = change & transformation. This is my mantra, my blog. But today, it doesn't make sense to me. Nothing does.

The shootings in a small, historic town in Connecticut has frozen my internal frame. The news is devastating and getting worse. In a school and a private home, a son and local community member did this:

  • 20 children dead
  • 6 adults slain
  • in his home, killed his mother, a kindergarten teacher at the school

And caused scores of parents and family members to grieve their great loss while "we," voyeuristic and incredulous, were instructed to start praying for the gun violence victims and their families, instinctively hugging our own kids longer and more.

On FB, a friend's profile picture went from joyous to a frame of solid black. It seemed strange to "Like" it, but I did and, virtually, so did so many others.

It is small solace for me, now one day after yesterday and 10 days before Christmas. I'm very sad, numb really, and uneasy about digesting more details, and especially seeing more grieving families being "exploited" via a seemingly insatiable corps of news reporters and anchors who are determined to tell all.

But I will.

I imagine we all will. It helps us cope with a universal tragedy such as this and behaviors beyond our comprehension or control.

Like so many others, I need to know how this 20-year-old "nerdy" nutbag easily acquired the small arsenal of high-powered guns and ammo to plot and pull off the killing of his mother, her students and colleagues and then, predictably, himself.

So early on, I did listen to NPR, which refused to report the number of fatalities until everything was corroborated, which in a way was a comfort to me.

But then as the details of the story unfurled, the horrific in-moment imagery, I conjured in my mind similar memories of the shootings in Aurora or the shootings at the Empire State Building or the shootings at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, not to mention the random gun violence in Oregon, at Virginia Tech, and, of course, Tucson.

Who could forget any of these, and other gun violence moments that go further back.

So for a while I have been angry and so sad. But this time there's a shift in my world view. I don't plan to recover, or move on, from this one.

I want the feelings to linger and grow into my posit to you: courage hope x community action = positive change & transformation

Gun control. How many more innocents must die before we stand up to the NRA and do it?

Yesterday about 2:15 p.m. Central Time, President Obama said this: "As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

Yes, Mr. President, it is time to put politics aside. Take on the NRA, and its undying supporters. Cut the rhetoric. Just do it ... for them, the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, and everyone who yesterday was reminded again that there is no safe place for our children — or us.

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Reader Comments

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Posted: December 20th, 2012 10:23 AM

So, #545, Roe v Wade is responsible for the Sandy Hook massacre? And this is because "libs" won't admit our own culpability? To use Real Story's word...Idiot.

OP Resident # 545 from Oak Park  

Posted: December 20th, 2012 9:03 AM

I concur w/the 1st 1 comments. The writer has chosen the easy path & blame the NRA. If she & other liberals can actually think, rather than emote, they will get to the real truths; that events like this are the result of the growing culture of death that began w/Roe v Wade, is reinforced by violence in all media, & codified by the destruction of mental healthcare in the US. The writer & others correctly lament the 26 murders, but won't admit their own culpabiltity in creating the culture.

Ned Ryerson from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 8:58 PM

Kudos to 'Tell the Real Story'. This writer, of which this is her second column, has predictable opinions. She will not acknowledge the relevant points you raise. I do not like guns, but I'd rather the WJ publish and article with factual relevance than some left wing NPR style talking points. What a wasted opportunity. This event is heartbreaking; but to think that public policy by the Current Occupant can stop those bent on destruction is stupid. You know better.

Tell the Real Story  

Posted: December 19th, 2012 6:06 PM

Sadly, you fail to take to task the other real issues here. Mental illness, violent video games, and a parent who fails to lock up their firearms. The laws on the books there worked, as the killer in question was DENIED access to a firearm just days before the shooting occurred. You libs though, its the bad guns, but the first amendment protects the rights to be crazy and not reported, or to violently shoot hundreds of people on the screen senselessly. Idiot.

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