Our hearts and thoughts go out to the families and to their community this solemn morning as the first of Sandy Hook’s precious ones are buried in the peace that eluded them last Friday morning. In the shocking, soul-searching, dread-laden days that have ensued, our country struggles to make sense, once again, of senselessness.
What are my hopes and prayers, my thoughts and warnings, this morning?
In our rush to do something when there is nothing that can be done to alleviate the pain we must stand in after this most recent and tragic pubic shooting, let us not forget to go deeply into causes when we finally try to work some prevention as a cure. Let us not say peace, peace, when there is no peace.
Gun legislation is always under scrutiny after such vicious, violent attacks and is the obvious starting place for making people feel safe and for trying to make a difference going forward. The equally obvious and much harder to tackle issue is the factors that cause a person with no previous touch points on the public health radar to take up a weapon of mass destruction and bring their own personal suffering to the point of exterminating others with it.
Not only do we need to look at the role of gun legislation in our society, we need to look at the elements that come together to provide the perfect storm setting for such explosions of violence. These intangibles are harder to decipher and will involve public and personal response on a broad scale to effect. They could include societal changes that will need to be encouraged over long periods of time; ones that reduce stress and pressure, accept more fully those who are struggling and offer more healing and hope. Families and people are in crisis and distress.
While we are busy locking our doors and hiring more security, we must ask; have there been coordinated efforts on the part of those who have the credentials to study the lives, families and relationships, circumstances and events surrounding each of our recent mass killers? What are their findings? Why do we have no societal guidance, feedback, or follow up to these incidents? What do these incidents mean in our societal lives and what must we learn from them and do to help heal and prevent them?
Guns are only one piece of this puzzle. We must do the work of determining the shapes and colors of the others, so that we can all, as is well said by friend of mine, be the change we wish to see, and leave a healthier legacy for our children.
If there is one horrifying and brought close to home lesson in all these sad and terrible events it is that we cannot bury ourselves under the covers in bedroom communities, we cannot buy our way into safe places to raise our families. We must reach out. We must, all together, tackle the issues and needs of families and individuals. God help us to find healing solutions, and use them.
Writer and Poet, Business Manager for Paul Flaherty Plumbing & Heating Co., Inc.