To the mom I used to be.
December 14, 2014 6:24 AM   Subscribe

"What They Left Behind" is a 35 minute documentary produced by Sandy Hook Promise. Today, the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut honor the lives of the twenty first graders and six adult helpers who lost their lives in that school shooting. No public events will take place today in Newtown. posted by roomthreeseventeen (54 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
We betrayed them, basically. Not only did they endure this great tragedy but it got swept under the rug and fuck all will happen to prevent the next one.
posted by Artw at 7:06 AM on December 14, 2014 [35 favorites]


.
posted by briank at 7:08 AM on December 14, 2014


I have not had the 35 minutes to watch the documentary yet, but I clicked on the list of the 20 1st graders and 6 teachers/administrators. I am not sure I can read any more. Clicking on one FaceBook memorial page was too much. I was a voyeur in a family's pain, grief and anguish.
posted by 724A at 7:20 AM on December 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


I keep seeing headlines stating that support for gun controls has actually dropped since this happened. And I don't see any evidence that our mental health care system has improved, either. Yet when (not if) the next school shooting happens there will be collective head shaking and wondering
"how could this happen?" despite us knowing subconsciously that it would and precisely because we've done nothing to change any of the contributing factors.
posted by tommasz at 7:53 AM on December 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


Every time a school shooting happens the NRA people appear on EVERY message board typing "it's too soon to have this discussion". Well, it's been 2 years, let's talk about it. This thread is proof that people only want to talk about it right after a school shooting, as the NRA and their team of pr agents and psychologists are very well aware.
posted by any major dude at 8:26 AM on December 14, 2014 [30 favorites]


The worst to me is that all the discussion of this on social media immediately seems to pick up a significant number of people who believe it never happened.

It astonishes me how many otherwise rational people in my extended circles are perfectly willing to believe that (what would have to be) tens of thousands of people conspired to fake Sandy Hook from start to finish - the reason being to promote gun control (if you mention, "But we didn't actually get any gun control", then you get blank stares).

It's easy to wonder sometimes whether it's a deliberate attempt to divert the conversation to madness to prevent any rational discussion from occurring - to go right from "it's too soon" to "it never happened".
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:06 AM on December 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


At least the NRA accept that it happened, unlike the rat turds that think the government staged it.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 9:14 AM on December 14, 2014


I am not sure I can read any more.

I can't bear to watch this.

There are times when I can barely tolerate bringing up two small kids in a country that has effectively become a death cult, and self-imposed ignorance / delusion is really the only thing stopping that from being insanity-inducing at this point.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:20 AM on December 14, 2014


lupus, there's a term for it called Poisoning the Well. There is a multilayer benefit to using this strategy, if you take the bait you are a conspiracy loon and if you allude to the fact that it might be a deliberate attempt by those responsible to distract the public, you open up yet another can of conspiracy which is also easy to marginalize; so those that want to muddy the water win no matter how you interpret it.

The real solution to this issue is to levy a tax on all bullets and take that money and put it directly into subsidizing mental health in this country, this way you are not touching guns and you are addressing the true problem.
posted by any major dude at 9:22 AM on December 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


Comments are disabled for this video.

Thank God. How unfortunate that they have to be.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:28 AM on December 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


I've stopped being a hypocrite about it, and have accepted the fact that I live in a society that has decided the occasional (weekly) mass shooting is the price we are willing to pay for access to guns. It's a more honest way of living.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:29 AM on December 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


Last week, I pointed out my old elementary school, which is next to the police station, to my 12 year old. She said, "Well, that would be really helpful if there's a school shooting." The casual way she said it, the fact she said it at all... I'd never felt so hopeless and helpless as a parent before.
posted by Ruki at 9:49 AM on December 14, 2014 [18 favorites]


Two Years After Newtown, A Shift in Favor of Gun Rights

this makes me ill
posted by CarolynG at 9:51 AM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jazz musician James Greene has released a tribute album in honor of his daughter, Ana, who was one of the victims of the shooting.
posted by Renoroc at 10:24 AM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


In NY we got the NY SAFE Act, with a mental health reporting/confiscation provision to discourage gun owners from seeking mental health treatment.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:29 AM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yet when (not if) the next school shooting happens...

Well, according to this count, there's been 94. Almost 100 school shootings in the United States since Sandy Hook, about one every week. In 23 of those, there were fatalities. So you don't have to wait for the next one, just the next one to top Sandy Hook. Maybe it'll be a teacher who brings in a couple automatics and just kills an entire class. That's about what it will take to make headlines again. And nothing will change.

I no longer believe this is something Americans have grown to accept, because that makes no sense anymore. Americans haven't reluctantly accepted this. They have weighed the pros and cons, and have firmly decided in favour of guns. The ownership of weapons is simply the most important and desirable concept in American culture.

Yes, the lives of your children are important. You're willing to implement laws and regulations to ensure cribs are safe, toys aren't harmful, that children can be taken from abusive households. But guns are more important to you. Americans are not willing to accept any limitation on weapons, period. And don't suggest that it's the NRA or special interest groups or anything else. If this truly were important to you, things would change. People would stand up en masse to demand change. How many gun control protests have attracted half the number that have taken to the streets after Ferguson?

There's a lot of things America gets right. This is one you get wrong. Hopefully the good outweighs the bad, but I'm pretty happy to not live in the United States.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:03 AM on December 14, 2014 [29 favorites]


How many gun control protests have attracted half the number that have taken to the streets after Ferguson?

Just a thought, if it was a lot less likely that someone was armed, the police might not be as wired up, and maybe less incidences of excessive force would happen. Maybe.
posted by jonmc at 11:27 AM on December 14, 2014


And you know what happened yesterday?
In Washington state, which DID pass a very mild pre-sale backround check by popular iniative? A firearm open-carry/illegal sales rally on the Capitol Steps. That the State police assured ahead of time would not be subject to arrest.
posted by Dreidl at 11:43 AM on December 14, 2014


The real solution to this issue is to levy a tax on all bullets and take that money and put it directly into subsidizing mental health in this country, this way you are not touching guns and you are addressing the true problem.

Bullets are easy to make. This won't work. I wish it would, but no.

I've come around to the belief, similar to GhostInTheMachine, that nothing can or will be done about guns in the USA. If innocent children being slaughtered isn't enough to make the gun nuts engage in even the tiniest bit of self-reflection, nothing is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:00 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just a thought, if it was a lot less likely that someone was armed, the police might not be as wired up, and maybe less incidences of excessive force would happen.

"Freedom isn't free, and a somewhat higher rate of police-involved killings could simply be the price we pay for strong gun rights. It's the interaction with race, however, that makes this so problematic."
posted by anifinder at 12:42 PM on December 14, 2014


But guns are more important to you.

This is hysteria. The odds of my kid being killed with a gun are vanishingly small. Comments like that sound like FoxNews on terrorism circa 2002, demanding that everyone be scared of statiscally nonexistent things.
posted by jpe at 12:43 PM on December 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


I see gun violence as the symptom of a greater "American Disease" of poverty, lack of access of mental health resources and a culture of violence.


There's no simple answer or solution, but increasing our safety net at all levels (health care, poverty, mental health resources and research, backing out of the war of drugs, etc...) will almost certainly reduce this violence esp. around schools.


There will always be lone nuts, it's the casual violence that occurs every day that I worry about for my school kids (who go to an inner city public school and even in kindergarden have had to do "lockdown" training and practice to be quiet hiding under desks)
posted by bottlebrushtree at 12:48 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


But guns are more important to you.

This is hysteria.


No, it's not. It is the plain and obvious truth to everyone looking at this from the outside: as a nation, you have collectively decided that guns are more important than innocent people--children!--dying.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:57 PM on December 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


This is one of those things that we can't even see clearly. Only history -- a good ways off at that -- will provide a moral accounting for the children of Sandy Hook and this society's complicity in their murder.

For that reason, however, we must bear witness and remember, against the wave of forgetting, disinformation, and new atrocities to come.

Fucking bullshit, this country.
posted by spitbull at 2:29 PM on December 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


As a child, it never occurred to me to drink bleach, but it occurred to enough kids that poisoning warnings and hotlines and education were implemented. Statistically speaking, lots of risks to children that we legislate are quite small, but we think it's worth it.

So if gun regulation is hysteria even with the number of shootings that we've had, how many kids have to die before it's not hysteria? Because we know that regulation would mean fewer guns and fewer deaths. I mean, the stats from other countires are there. The NRA certainly believes it.

What's the number? Are we there yet? Who will tell us when there has finally been enough kindergartners mowed down in their classrooms?

I've been thinking about why hardcore right-to-carry types don't care about child deaths, and I have one theory; they're mostly men who have traditional views on gender roles. Caring for children is just not something they regard as their role. That's what women do. So an appeal to them based on the vulnerability of children doesn't work. Also, caring and compassion have been more and more assigned as "liberal" values, and thus suspect. In the far-right conservative fever to maintain a strict male/female division of the world, anything women advocate for, or might advocate for, is tainted and by definition, not fit for men to support.

"Death cult" is not a bad descriptor of the state of conservatism in this country, and not just in relation to guns.
posted by emjaybee at 2:34 PM on December 14, 2014 [25 favorites]


This is hysteria. The odds of my kid being killed with a gun are vanishingly small. Comments like that sound like FoxNews on terrorism circa 2002, demanding that everyone be scared of statiscally nonexistent things.

Maybe not YOUR kid, but someone's kid. Many of the statistics here point out that it's far more statistically likely for a child to die from gun-related incidents - accidental or not - than anywhere else in the developed world.

So yes, your kid may have a pretty small chance. But looking at a thousand, or a million, kids in America, some of them ARE dying from a gun, and more of them than anywhere else in the developed world. Is the number still fairly small? Sure. Would we like that number to be as close to zero as possible? Hell yes. Have other nations figured out ways to make that number significantly closer to zero? YES.
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:46 PM on December 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


This is hysteria.

Actually, I'd like to echo emjaybee's question: what is the number of children dead per year that would not be hysteria?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:02 PM on December 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


School shooters are also motivated to out do previous shooters, so there will be more, and the numbers will get higher.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:26 PM on December 14, 2014


The odds of my kid being killed with a gun are vanishingly small.

I'd be willing to bet that if something did kill your kid, though, you'd become at least somewhat interested in policy that might have mitigated the risk of whatever caused the death.

Comments like that sound like FoxNews on terrorism circa 2002, demanding that everyone be scared of statiscally nonexistent things.

Personally, I have zero problem with discussion about how to avert the risks of terrorist attacks even though I'm much more likely to die of heart disease or cancer. As long as the measures under review are effective, aren't too costly, and don't overcompromise other important things, considering infrequent but mitigable risks seems fine to me.

So, lockable solid doors on airplane cockpits. Hysteria because terrorist attacks are rare? No, it's common sense and inexpensive policy that doesn't compromise anything important but adds a layer of security to a problem that was part of a tragically successful attack. And hey, maybe we could review our foreign policy and see how we might contribute to any relevant dynamics, too.

The problem a lot of people have with Sandy Hook and other mass shootings and the public conversation that's followed isn't that we want everyone to be deeply afraid, it's that we can't seem to approach anything like the better-bulkhead level of discussion. We're in a place where suggesting even the equivalent is met with aggressive resistance, a raft of deflections, and even charges of tyranny -- or, in your case, hysteria. We can't seem to do policy at all about this anymore.

You're right about one thing, there is some strong emotion here. But I think you've named it incorrectly. It's not hysteria, it's frustration.
posted by weston at 3:45 PM on December 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


emjaybee: I've been thinking about why hardcore right-to-carry types don't care about child deaths, and I have one theory; they're mostly men who have traditional views on gender roles. Caring for children is just not something they regard as their role. That's what women do. So an appeal to them based on the vulnerability of children doesn't work. Also, caring and compassion have been more and more assigned as "liberal" values, and thus suspect. In the far-right conservative fever to maintain a strict male/female division of the world, anything women advocate for, or might advocate for, is tainted and by definition, not fit for men to support.

Emjaybee, I think you have hit upon the centre of this problem. The victims of gun violence include both men and women, but the vast majority of shooters are men, and I think you are right as to why.

More and more, I subscribe to Jackson Katz' theory about violence: that it is gendered, whether we want to admit it or not, and that the reason it is gendered has nothing to do with biology. Societies structured to maintain kyriarchy push adherence to strict gender norms (boys/men must act "masculine" or be subject to negative consequences). To be masculine in a kyriarchal society is to maintain "power over" those you consider beneath you, and gun-rights discourse is a manifestation of these attitudes.

This is an excerpt from an interview Katz did with Michael Messner, a University of Southern California professor of sociology:
We talk about "gun violence" and "kids' violence" as though the issue is gender-neutral. But it should be obvious that with the vast majority of "gun violence" -- by kids or adults -- the trigger-puller is a boy or a man. And this is due in part to the cultural celebration of masculinity and violence. We live in a society where boys still learn, in myriad ways, that the guy who successfully deploys violence will be celebrated, will get the goodies. But on a deeper level, lots of boys like me were connected to guns (and thus still "cling to our guns," as then-candidate Obama famously claimed) not merely because we celebrate violence, but because guns are the symbolic glue that connects us, at a deeply emotional level, with other men, including especially fathers. If we want to sever the deep and deadly emotional link between men and our guns, we need go beyond gun laws, and consider broader, deeper, and life-affirming ways for boys to learn to connect with adult men, and with other boys in their lives.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:53 PM on December 14, 2014 [14 favorites]




Well, according to this count, there's been 94.

An investigation into that figure, from when that site read "74".

A graph of "school-associated violent deaths" including staff and non-students.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:55 PM on December 14, 2014


School shooters are also motivated to out do previous shooters, so there will be more, and the numbers will get higher.

The list of school shootings in the United States seems to refute your statement about the motivations of the killers. The majority of them seem to show the shooters are very limited and specific in who they are targeting, and often appear to be vengeance-oriented, and a surprising amount of them are targeted not at other students, but teachers and administrators.
posted by chambers at 4:56 PM on December 14, 2014


Guns will never be banned for the reason that tobacco is still a legal, buyable product. $$$$$$$$$$$$$.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:59 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Guns will never be banned for the reason that tobacco is still a legal, buyable product. $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

There's also that small sticking point of the 2nd amendment.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:14 PM on December 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


You know, I could try to provide further evidence of my position, but the comments of a select few here does more to validate my point than any chart or article ever could.

Oh, so there have only been ten instances in two years where a shooter intended to commit mass murder at a school? Well, if it's only ten instances of attempted mass murder at schools, that's perfectly acceptable.

Firearm homicide rates have dropped from a historic high of 7 per 100,000 to a practically nonexistent 3.6 per 100,000? You're right, that's so much better than Canada's .51 firearm homicides per 100,000.

Your acceptance of the American rate of gun deaths as "vanishingly small" is laughable when you compare US rates to that of any other high-income nation. The water around you is boiling, but you've convinced yourself it's just a nice warm bath.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:20 PM on December 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


GhostintheMachine, it would be helpful if you would not create strawmen. I don't believe anyone here thinks that the deaths of children are acceptable, whatever the number.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:32 PM on December 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


I was at a remembrance service/rally outside NRA Headquarters this afternoon. There were over 200 people there, including Pat Maisch (the woman who helped disarm Jared Loughner in the Tucson shooting). Several people driving by flipped us off, and one car's occupants made shooting-gun gestures at us. Tomorrow, our governor is unveiling some new gun control measures, so we'll see what happens next here in Virginia, home of the NRA, open carry, the Virginia Tech shooting, and our own Sandy Hook truthers. All I know is that when my sound-sensitive six-year-old daughter tells me that she likes the lockdown drill better than the fire drill because there's no loud alarm, it breaks my heart that this is even part of her world.
posted by candyland at 8:25 PM on December 14, 2014


Where, where, where to go with this? I probably should just be quiet and go along with the crowd's call for the end of the right to own a gun, but I keep getting the image of a police officer pointing a gun directly at a photographer in front of my eyes. It would be so nice if I could believe that if all Americans turned in their guns and only the police had guns, everything would calm down and there would be no more massacres of our children by lunatics or racially-motivated shootiings by police, but honestly I don't believe that pretty vision for a minute. If our police were the only ones with guns, if they didn't have to fear getting shot themselves, there would be nothing to hold them back; it hurts so much to say that, but it's the truth as I see it.

My own feeling is that automatic weapons should be completely banned, period - no exceptions. There is absolutely no use for an AK47 or similar weapon except in war, and even that's controversial. They're not used for hunting or for personal protection - they're used for killing a whole bunch of people at one time, and that's all they're good for.

But I also think that the type of person who would go into a school and kill children and teachers would use a homemade bomb if he didn't have access to a gun - and the slaughter would be the same. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols used a bomb in Oklahoma City and killed 20 children and more - and they were right-wing militia types who were fed up with the government. That was in 1995, so long ago, but we said we'd never forget. Does anyone seriously think that the right-wing militia gun nuts in this country would cease hating if they lost their guns?

There are 98,000+ public schools in the US, each full of kids, teachers and staff. Is there any way we could prevent this from ever happening again? I don't think so. Like everyone else, my heart just rips apart when I read about those kids - it hasn't been long since my granddaughter was in public school and I knew all her friends and volunteered there myself sometimes - it's just too raw to deal with when it's kids. But I will say one more thing: For those in other countries to take another opportunity to take potshots at this one I'd advise you to take a long look at your own history and make sure it's crystal clear before you beat up on those of us who are bleeding already. Could your country protect 98,000 schools spread out over a land mass like this one? I do wish all people would quit expecting more of others than they do of themselves, but that's a derail, so I'm sorry. My eyes and heart hurt - did you see that little red-headed girl? These kids would be teenagers now, getting ready for Homecoming.
posted by aryma at 10:45 PM on December 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


The video is very moving. It's taken me all day to watch it because I have to stop every few minutes. All my friends and classmates from Newtown on facebook have changed their profile pictures again today. I used to think the phrase "we'll never forget" was about honoring the people who were killed in events like this, and that's is true too, but the truth is also that we can't forget even if we wanted too. Some things are just too awful to forget.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:47 PM on December 14, 2014


I mean, I think about Sandy Hook every single day.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:49 PM on December 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just want to point out that fire safety is taken real seriously, and yet fires claim around 3000 lives per annum in the US, while the firearms-related death rate is nearly four times as high as that.

That being said, fires occupy a totally different mental space than guns, and few will identify themselves as "fire enthusiasts"...
posted by Harald74 at 1:23 AM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't believe anyone here thinks that the deaths of children are acceptable, whatever the number.

Oh, I never said that. I very clearly indicated my firm belief that Americans treasure their children, and go to great lengths to protect them. But the simple fact that you go to greater lengths to protect your ability to own and use guns shows you treasure guns more.

That you think you need guns to protect yourselves from police just furthers my point. You're so caught up in the love of guns that you don't realize the problem. Look at the other western-style capitalist democracies - none of us have a police force that so wantonly kills its own people, and none of us have a population that kills each other with such abandon.

Yes, America is big. But it's not bigger than the rest of the peaceful world, which is perfectly capable of providing security for its citizens without ridiculously over-militarized police. You think you're exceptional, and the problems you face are unlike those of any other nation. I'm sorry, but that's just your rationalization of your problem.

There is no 2nd Amendment in Canada, where I live. But I know I could, if I wanted to, go and buy a gun. My father was a police officer, and we've had guns in the house. I've held and fired rifles. My brother-in-law, father-in-law, and family friends have regularly gone hunting. There's a rifle range literally within sight of my chair right now. This isn't some absolute anti-gun position I'm staking out here. It is possible to live in a peaceful society that includes guns. But for whatever reason, Americans have loudly and consistently demanded something far worse. You've prioritized guns above people, and that's exactly what you have.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:35 AM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Texans apparently think that there are not enough guns being carried around in public: Gun-friendly Texas prepares to roll back ban on open carry of firearms.
posted by Harald74 at 3:35 AM on December 15, 2014


In case my comments have sounded unusually harsh, please understand this isn't an attack on America, or outsiders thinking they're better than you. We're your sisters and brothers. Canadians especially really do think of Americans as family. And we're very tired of watching a dear family member go down a very dark path.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:03 AM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


But I also think that the type of person who would go into a school and kill children and teachers would use a homemade bomb if he didn't have access to a gun - and the slaughter would be the same. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols used a bomb in Oklahoma City and killed 20 children and more - and they were right-wing militia types who were fed up with the government. That was in 1995, so long ago, but we said we'd never forget. Does anyone seriously think that the right-wing militia gun nuts in this country would cease hating if they lost their guns?

Absolutely, crime and mass murders would still happen if we put more restrictions on firearms. The idea is not to prevent all possible crimes, but to put grit in the gears of a person who might tend that way. Maybe slow them down enough that they get caught, or reconsider. I think of it like putting up jumping barriers on bridges; sometimes all you have to do is stop the person that one time, and then they don't try again. (after all, many of these killers are also suicidal).

What we're doing now instead is like forbidding the use of guard rails on the bridges and publishing guides to more effective jumping.
posted by emjaybee at 7:36 AM on December 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


But I also think that the type of person who would go into a school and kill children and teachers would use a homemade bomb if he didn't have access to a gun - and the slaughter would be the same.

Yeah I used to be a stridently vocal anti-gun advocate, and technically I suppose I remain one. But honestly, the more I look around the United States the more I think we just...really, really want to kill each other. We really want to maim and harm and slaughter and bring other human beings to their knees in pain and grief. We are awful. We are like enraged children, but we were allowed to grow up that way and now we can do as we please. And no reduction in guns is going to cure the pit of just pure seething awfulness at our nation's core.

There aren't enough periods to signify for all of the things I've been mourning lately.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:52 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's also that small sticking point of the 2nd amendment.

The second amendment means what we take it to mean, and it's not a completely settled conclusion that it prevents severe restrictions and bans on civilian use of firearms. Here's part of the dissenting opinion from 2010 supreme court case McDonald v. Chicago:
In sum, the Framers did not write the Second Amendment in order to protect a private right of armed self defense. There has been, and is, no consensus that the right is, or was, 'fundamental.'"
That was a 5-4 decision, 4 years ago. It'll be a generation before that can be challenged again with any hope of a different outcome, but 5-4 supreme court decisions have been reversed before, and they're be reversed again in the future. Whether this one will be, I don't know, but I'm not willing to accede to the right's interpretation of what the 2nd amendment requires of us.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:46 AM on December 15, 2014


armya: I probably should just be quiet and go along with the crowd's call for the end of the right to own a gun, but I keep getting the image of a police officer pointing a gun directly at a photographer in front of my eyes. It would be so nice if I could believe that if all Americans turned in their guns and only the police had guns, everything would calm down and there would be no more massacres of our children by lunatics or racially-motivated shootiings by police, but honestly I don't believe that pretty vision for a minute.

Policing is deeply broken in this country, in exactly the way you identify, which is why I believe the goal should be to end police carrying of firearms. There's no reason police need to carry guns in most situations, and in many countries they don't. The models for this exist elsewhere, and we would do well to study them. That won't solve the problem with our police, which is racism and power without accountability, but it will help with the symptoms.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:57 AM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, I never said that.

Well, it didn't come off that way from my reading when you said:

Oh, so there have only been ten instances in two years where a shooter intended to commit mass murder at a school? Well, if it's only ten instances of attempted mass murder at schools, that's perfectly acceptable.

or

Your acceptance of the American rate of gun deaths as "vanishingly small" is laughable when you compare US rates to that of any other high-income nation.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:12 PM on December 15, 2014


Two of my nephews were in elementary school in neighboring towns. My niece was in preschool. All three were in lock down.

One of my nephews played soccer regular against a Newtown team. That team lost at least one of its players, a kid they all knew.

My niece's pre-school teacher lost her daughter.

My parents' good friends lost their grandson.

Several of my high school friends lost nieces and nephews.

Presents bought and wrapped and left under trees, never to be opened by the intended recipient.

The town more or less shut down yesterday. It probably will on every December 14 for the foreseeable future.

The kids do lockdown drills like the kids in the 50's used to duck and cover.

---

If we can't do anything about restricting guns or restricting access of mentally ill people to guns, what are the solutions?

I don't think any percentage of mass shootings > 0 is an acceptable number. "We, as a country, are killing fewer children than ever before" still means we're killing children or allowing them to be killed. Or killing people in general.

Here's an ongoing mass shooting right now. Here's a recent responsible gun owner advocate who murdered some humans.

Responsible gun owners both. Until they decided to stop being responsible gun owners. How do we stop that sort of thing from happening? Wear bulletproof vests and helmets at all times? Give all students bulletproof blankets and hope that gunmen don't figure out how to lift the blankets or shoot under them? Never let any human into our homes or workplaces ever, especially people we know?

Or do we just say "well, its too bad all these people have to die, but gun rights are worth the deaths. They're so vital that deaths of innocent people are a small price to pay."

So what do we do?

Unopened presents.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:17 PM on December 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


I recently had business in Southbury, CT and flew up to White Plains and drove a rental car the rest of the way with a coworker, a disabled Marine just back from a couple of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. When our work wrapped up after a couple of days in Southbury I allowed morbid curiosity to lead me to punch "Sandy Hook Elelmentary" into the GPS. It told us that the school was only 1.5 miles from our position, so I looked at him and he looked at me and we said, "let's go see". We drove through the beautiful fall colors along the river to the area between Southbury and Newtown called Sandy Hook and wound through the neighborhood until we reached the location on the GPS, a big, muddy hole in the ground with a number of bulldozers pushing dirt around. I said, "I guess that was it" and started to turn the car around and realized we were turning around in front of the fire house. The fire house where anguished parents waited for word about their kids.

We froze and stared for about 15 minutes and me and the crusty Marine had a good cry. Then we brushed ourselves off and got back on the road without so much as a word. He was the one that broke the silence after a while saying, "we've just GOT to do a better job dealing with mental illness in this country."
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:27 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


I should add that I nearly squeezed my kindergartener's little head off when I got home that evening.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:28 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


AElfwine Evenstar, congratulations on missing the forest for the trees.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 3:04 PM on December 15, 2014


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