Lives in the balance

DSCN4736  Reflection, CROPPED to 4x6 and resized for web

My heart is heavy with sorrow.

Gunshots can’t be heard from 300 miles away, but the reverberations of the shootings of 6 young people at a high school not far from my hometown are felt in my heart.

The shooter was not bullied and he was close friends with his victims.

One of those victims is the daughter/niece/cousin of 3 of my former classmates.

Yes, it hit close to home. This could have been my own son’s high school. It could have been any school. It could have been your own kids or grandkids, nieces or nephews.  And things like this keep happening all over the country.

What has happened to us as a society, that such tragedies are almost commonplace in recent years?

I think it boils down to two things:

1) When we were kids, cartoon violence was obviously not real (think Road Runner, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry). Now, kids are growing up playing video games that MAKE violence occur — from obvious cartoon violence like Mario’s SuperSmashBros. to computer generated, quasi-realistic situations where gamers play at war. Instead of watching things occur and laughing at them, computer games INVOLVE the player and make them PART of the violence… with no consequences.
I’m not saying that people can’t tell the difference between reality and the game; I’m pointing out that we “play” at violence as a society, as well as watch it in movies and on television. It becomes something we DO on a regular basis.

2) This was so well-written that I’m quoting it directly from an unknown source (a commenter on an article):

Welcome to the United States the NRA hath wrought. Put a gun in EVERY hand, and everyone will be safer. Well, do YOU feel safe? These are NOT criminals or gang bangers. They’re your neighbors and classmates. The equation “anger + gun” NEVER works out to our benefit.

My libertarian friends believe that everyone would be safer with a gun to protect themselves and their families against “the bad guys.” What they don’t seem to understand is that it doesn’t have to be a “bad guy” — anyone can become a killer in an angry moment if there is a gun available.

The same commenter quoted above also said this:

You never know what button, pushed, will send ANYONE postal. The important thing is that there not be a deadly weapon right there at hand when he goes off. ESPECIALLY not one that would allow him to kill multiple people in a short period of time – even at a considerable distance. There’s no way an innocent victim can defend him or herself from a bullet, no matter what silliness you see in the movies.

And I, for one, am tired of crying over senseless deaths of young people.


11 thoughts on “Lives in the balance

  1. I’m so sorry for this heartbreaking loss. It just never seems to end.

    I believe that #2 is a far more likely reason than #1. Other countries had/have violent shows and computer games. Other countries do not have the frequency of killings that the United States does. This seems to be clear to so many.. but never to gun-toting, NRA-supporting Americans.

    And another child dies.

  2. I like you find this too close to home even though I am roughly the same distance. I am happy that neither my niece or nephew were part of this but oh my heart aches for those left behind and for the young ones that won’t be able to live their lives to a ripe old age. I was commenting to my sister about the guns. My father was a hunter. We never touched the guns … EVER … we also watched the cartoons. I don’t think that the games cause the guns to be used by those that play the games but they do desensitize them. Hugs dear friend. Praying for the grieving families. I am not sure what to say to God or request but he knows my heart and that I feel a small amount the pain they are experiencing at this time.

    • My brother is a hunter. I have no problem with hunting or shooting targets. I believe that if you own a gun you should know how to handle it properly — and that includes locking it up away from others when not in use by the owner. The amount of gun violence where children are involved is rising quickly in the USA. I wish I knew the answers. Even more so, I wish we could stop it.

  3. I come from a family of hunters and have the greatest respect for weapons of any kind. I can’t even fathom why someone would leave a weapon – ANY kind of weapon – in such a place that a child could access it.
    I’m not sure video-violence or violent games are to blame – like the smittenimage I believe your #2 is closer to the truth than anything else.

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