I just can’t turn away from the recent events in Newtown and go back to my ordinary life. I can’t do it. I am stuck in the cycle of aftermath.
I don’t know what to do. Armed with little to no resources, almost zero social influence outside my own home, it is easy to feel completely powerless in the face of such an unfathomable cycle of violence. So I read, I write and I process and I share information in an attempt to keep the conversation alive. Like all writers and artists, this is all we can ever hope for. This is all I know how to do.
But, I can’t shake the sinking feeling that we are having the wrong conversations. The responses to Newtown and solutions proposed have been deeply emotional and wide-ranging, but they suffer from something that I believe will ultimately kill any action that might result from the discourse.
The conversations are too familiar. We’ve hear it all before. Deja-vu — the sense of having heard it all before — is what could turn this crucible into a lost cause. We have proven time and time again that even a sensible conversation about sensible gun laws is sadly impossible in this country. So we blame mental illness, or video games. Or television, or movies, or music, or any other external influence that we might be able to throw at the ashes of another terrible loss of American life.
To my grave, I will argue that the man who broke into Sandy Hook Elementary school and killed 20 people, mostly children, would not have been able to do so if he was not armed with an assault weapon that was meant to kill many many many human beings in rapid succession. With a lessor handcannon, he might have killed a few, but it didn’t have to be 20. But even so … that argument is about reducing the damage that a troubled person might inflict upon his intended victims, and that is not the right conversation.
The right conversation looks something like this. And it is a conversation we don’t like to have in this country.
I urge you to read the article in the link above. Read about the troubled hearts of our real American men and boys, and instead of wringing hands and blaming things that are simply recurring symptoms of a deeper unrest, go make a real difference in the life of someone who needs it. The soul of our country depends on it.