Newtown, Sandy Hook – when will the nightmare end?

shooting

 

This is the face that is making me cry.

This little boy survived… but how will he live after what he has seen?

Any society that condones the murder of its own children is a society that is not worth living in.

TAKE THE GUNS OFF THE STREETS AND OUT OF YOUR HOMES!

Please, America. No more.

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

56 responses to “Newtown, Sandy Hook – when will the nightmare end?

  • Colin

    There are different kinds of guns. I think even in my countries, the UK and Sweden, there are many many thousands of guns. Hunting are big sports in both countries. There’s a difference between banning guns, and controlling guns.

    I’m all for people having shotguns and hunting rifles. But these guns weren’t for sports. They were military grade weapons. I can very well understand why people want to have rifles and shotguns. I can not conceive of any reason to have one of those assault rifles whose singular purpose is to kill people.

    Again, there’s a difference between banning guns, and controlling guns. I’m not for banning guns, but I am very much for keeping military assault rifles out of the hands of civilians.

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    • acflory

      I’ll be honest and say I hate guns of any description. BUT. I’m pragmatic enough to know getting rid of all guns is next to impossible. If the world-wide outcry achieves anything, I hope it gets rid of anything that acts like a small, portable machine gun.:(

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  • geooorge

    It really is a tragedy and no words can describe it.
    But i’m not all gang ho on banning guns. Before i’m put on the fire pit let me clarify. I don’t want guns on the street, i don’t want to be afraid of walking down the street.
    However that is just the symptom. If pistols and rifles are banned, then something else can be used, and the one that brakes the law isn’t afraid to get a gun illegally. Its really easy to make a homemade weapon.
    The real issue is respect to life. Guns are illegal where i live, yet at least half the houses legally have assault rifles with 100 rounds and the other half have hunting gun licenses.

    But the first thing we are taught when given the gun is not to point the gun even if it is empty, not even as a joke.
    Now to the one that said “why others should suffer”… well i think not having a gun is less of a “suffer” than getting shot and loosing someone. I’m just saying cure the illness, not the symptom.

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    • acflory

      I know the situation is different in Cyprus George. But if I remember correctly, in Cyprus every young man has to undergo two? years of military training because of the ongoing situation with Turkey?

      As you say you are taught how to handle weapons, and how to respect them. That is rather different to a situation where pretty much anyone can buy a gun as easily as buying a litre of milk and where young people can gain access to those guns just at the time in their lives when they are most vulnerable to depression and thoughts of suicide. What better way to go out than in a ‘blaze of glory’?

      Yes, anything can be turned into a weapon, but only a gun makes it so easy to shoot lots of people without any fear of failure. That is why it is the weapon of choice in these murder-suicides.

      The day a gun has some other function besides killing things is the day I may change my mind about them.

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      • Ilil Arbel

        People who keep guns at home have only one use for them — killing someone or something. Anyone who feels the need to kill is a disturbed, sick person to begin with. Period, end of argument. Go get therapy so you can get over the joy of watching the pain of someone or something die a horrible death.

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        • acflory

          Sadly in Cyprus there is a real need to have the populous trained and armed because Cyprus is a contested area politically and militarily. Where there is no such need I agree with you 100% – guns have only one purpose and the more of them there are, the greater the likelihood of such horrors being repeated, again and again and again. 😦

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  • metan

    Well, I read this post before I saw any news today and had to do a quick search before I could comment.

    What a horrifying event. I totally agree with your “that’s complete and utter bullshit” comment above. A gun is designed for only one thing, anything can kill when directed to that purpose but what else can a gun be used for?

    I always think that people who feel the need to be armed at all times must feel weak and fearful, why else would they need them?

    Those poor families, those poor children.

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    • acflory

      -nods- This truly was the Massacre of the Innocents.

      Reading about what happened in Sandy Hook takes me back to the aftermath of Port Arthur and the depiction of how that angelic looking madman stalked those two little girls…

      Surely in a civilized country the protection of our children is the top priority? What parent wouldn’t sacrifice their own life to protect their child? The sacrifice of giving up guns in nothing in comparison.

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      • metan

        Not even the protection of children, as children are not usually the targets of gun violence, just the protection of the innocent bystander.
        When there are guns everywhere anyone can be a victim. Children are the most precious thing to people who have them, but a parent who might become a victim is just as important to their child. Everyone is important to someone.

        A person who is going about their normal day should never have the fear of this kind of dreadful thing happening.
        Having a gun to defend yourself against this kind of attack is a self-defeating argument. A bit like having the biggest nuclear weapon will stop anyone else from starting something against your country. If nobody had them nobody would have to be afraid of them.

        Giving up guns shouldn’t be considered a sacrifice, but I doubt a society that feels having them is a right will ever give them up willingly. I REALLY doubt their politicians have the courage to stand with those who believe in a better life without them.

        You have to admire John Howard for the way he took the Port Arthur massacre and used it to change public attitudes for the better. It would have been a big political risk but he did it anyway.

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        • acflory

          You’re right Metan. I guess kids and animals just get me in a special place because both are so helpless and vulnerable. 😦

          And yes, much as I hated John Howard, what he did after Port Arthur earned my respect ten times over. I’m truly grateful that he took a stand and carried the whole bloody country with him.

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  • lorddavidprosser

    If the people of the US, who were granted the right to bear arms in the Constitution at a time when they felt they needed protection from the American Indian, feel they still need guns now, then why not limit the amount they have. Surely no-one can argue that they need FOUR? And a great number of people have automatic weapons, why? You surely don’t hunt with those.
    If guns must be kept then the owners must be licensed and the facilities for keeping the gun safe at home must be checked by the police before the gun is issued.
    We have had our own problems with guns including a massacre in a school at Dunblane in Scotland, random killings in the streets of Hungerford and one in Yorkshire. These were by adults who had access to guns and not young adults as seems to be the case a lot in the US. We have had a massive tightening up of our gun control again since then leaving the only licensed handguns as those in gun clubs and only shotguns in the homes of hunters and farmers upon whom rigorous checks are carried out first. There are no guns carried legally on the streets. The US needs much more gun control despite what the NRA say and pay for legislation to enact.

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    • acflory

      I agree completely David. We have much the same gun control laws here in Australia and the incidence of large scale, indiscriminate murder has been zero since the Port Arthur massacre.

      One of the other commenters upholds the rights of responsible people to own guns, yet time and time again, it’s the young, troubled ones who gain access to guns and use them to enact suicides that take so many others with them.

      Clearly these troubled young people can’t all be locked away for life ‘in case they go on a killing spree’, so to me the only logical solution is to take away the easy access to MASS murder.

      As adults we give up some of our ‘rights’ all the time. That’s the price we pay for living in a society with others. I really don’t see giving up guns as being such a huge sacrifice. Then again, Australians have already done it. -shrug-

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  • djmatticus

    I’m going to start with this: today was a trajedy. I can’t fathom the amount of loss and pain, and horror… I don’t have the words. It’s shocking, it’s disgusting, and I ache for all the families that were effected.
    And now I’m going to say things that everyone is going to hate me for: should we take away all our cars because some people may decide to do some drinking and then do some driving? should we take away the common ingrediants found in almost any kitchen because someone might decide to mix them into an explosive? We can’t protect ourselves from ourselves. One of my biggest pet peeves is when the actions of a few ruin something for everyone else. Why should responsible people be punished because of the actions of others?

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    • acflory

      Forgive me but that’s complete and utter bullshit.

      Why do ‘responsible’ people even need guns? Do you drive a gun to work? Do you use the barrel of a shotgun to mix a cake?

      Guns in the US are an indulgence that most normal people don’t want or need.

      I don’t know why the perpetrator’s mother had handguns. I don’t know why they weren’t locked up as they should have been. And I don’t know why ‘he’ went on a killing spree. However I do know that having easy access to firearms provides both opportunity and means to act out any crazy fantasy that hits.

      20 children between 5 and 10 died. I wonder how many would have died if he had gone in there with an axe or a knife instead of a gun?

      There are not too many first world countries I know of where citizens have the right to ‘protect’ themselves with a gun. Most people, in most first world countries have strict gun control laws and guess what? We have far fewer homicides of any sort than in the US.

      The simple truth is that guns are good for only one thing – killing lots of people in an indiscriminate, ugly, cowardly way.

      If most of the rest of the world can survive without personal guns then I really can’t see why the people of the US cannot.

      Killing children is the greatest evil there is in my book. No amount of wobbly rationalizations will change that. I wonder if you would still be a gun apologist if one of those children had been your own? Or perhaps you don’t have children.

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      • djmatticus

        child number 1 on the way. and they will learn to respect guns as I did from a young age. not to fear them. not to abuse them.
        great thing about this country is they still trust us to be adults and responsible for ourselves (for the most part). and, occasionally, we fail.

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        • acflory

          When you child is born you will know the most exquisite joy. If you’re like the rest of us, you will also learn a kind of fear you’ve never known before, not just for that tiny mite in your arms, but for the world he or she will grow up into.

          Every child who is hurt will feel like your child. Every grieving parent will feel like you.

          It’s a glorious, terrible empathy that is the true definition of what it means to be human.

          I wish your little one long life, health and happiness.

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          • Ilil Arbel

            djmatticus — I don’t know where you live and what you do, or what reason you have to keep guns in your house, but your level of ignorance of what is going on in the U.S. is disturbing. The shooter was mentally ill. He had access to his stupid mother’s guns. He decided to shoot and it was easy and he shot. If he had to plot the massacre, he was too feeble minded to do so, and there would have been no massacre. We had all these children and their teachers die because people like you put the principle of “free access to guns” before the innocent lives of children. I hope you won’t live to regret your lack of concern.

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          • djmatticus

            Thank you. Yes, I’m sure I can’t fathom the joys and terrors ahead of me yet. I keep coming back around to the fact that people keep having children – so the joy of it all must out wegh the terror, right? I know it probably doesn’t seem like it from my above comments, but I already am very empathic… and the events from yesterday crushed me.

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          • acflory

            I know we’re approaching this issue from very different mindsets but I’d just like to make the point that 23 people, 22 of them young children, were stabbed in China, by a nutter. Not one of them died.

            I’m not saying that those children won’t be traumatized, but they will live to overcome their fears and to live full, and hopefully happy lives.

            By contrast, the hospital at Sandy Hook was geared for receiving survivors who would have to be treated. They had next to no-one to treat. That is so final. No second chances. Just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet if those kids were in the wrong place then where on earth is the /right/ place?

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          • djmatticus

            At the moment? There really isn’t one, unfortunately. I’m taking a very pessimistic view of things this morning. I think the real problem is our propensity for violence, and yes, some tools make it easier to acheive than others, but treating a symptom doesn’t cure the problem… I don’t know what the answer is. (I was very afraid that I was going to get all kinds of hate when I posted my first comment – and I’ve been pleasnatly surprised at the actual discourse we’ve started here, so thank you for that.)

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          • Ilil Arbel

            The answer could be to stop encouraging violence in the movies, books, TV, etc. We have desensitized entire generations to pain and suffering, and therefore, they are unable to really differentiate between right and wrong.

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          • djmatticus

            You are probably correct that we have glorified violence through media and that has desensitized us to it. But, it is so prevalent now, how can we possibly go about changing our culture? It has to start at home. We have to stop demanding that content and stop allowing oursleves to consume it. As our demands change so does the supply.

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          • Ilil Arbel

            I totally agree with that. I have been saying it for many years — if there is no demand, there is no supply. Even the cartoons our children watch from a very early age are full of detestable violence. We glorify football players — even when they are wife beaters and dog torturers. If that stops, if we regain our sanity, we can change.

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          • djmatticus

            It’s a tall order, especially since it’s going to have to start in our homes, we have to be the change we want to see. But, it’s needed, and I hope we can turn things around and regain our sanity. I hope…

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          • acflory

            I know I’m not entitled to speak as I’m not American but it seems to me that the honourable next step should come from the gun lobby itself. If they believe they are truly responsible individuals [and a responsible organization] then they should offer up the first sacrifice, whatever it may be. Instead they stay silent.

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          • djmatticus

            They might argue that they have already offered up sacrifices in years past. I’m not speaking for them of course. And I’m not sure why they have stayed silent so far… it’s definitely a very tightly wound issue and perhaps they are deciding how best to proceed so no one makes of fool of themself – we’ve had too much of that over here recently.

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          • acflory

            I guess I can hope that the departure of Charlton Heston may allow less… pugnacious people to prevail.

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          • acflory

            lol… ‘said the blindman?’

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          • acflory

            I agree Ilil. When the Daughter was very little I used to let her watch the normal kinds of cartoons we all take for granted. Then I realised she had no conception of the permanence of death/harm/accident. How could she? She was only 3!

            That was when she stopped watching TV and started watching only videos that I vetted before she watched them. But you see I had the time to do all that because I was at home and raising her was my ‘job’.

            I know I’m going to get howled down here but I would really like to see mothers paid a living wage to raise their children, at least until the age of 5. Those early years are so incredibly important because those are the years in which fundamental attitudes are laid down.

            Sadly I can’t see it happening. Our society has changed too much to go back.

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          • acflory

            I agree in principle but changing the behaviour of a whole society is even more impossible than buying back 20 million guns. 😦

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          • djmatticus

            And once the guns are gone, but the behavior hasn’t changed… then the people set on doing harm just choose a different tool, and nothing really hasn’t changed.

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          • acflory

            I know, those demons are inside all of us to some extent but, just as a carpenter needs good tools, so a killer needs good ‘weapons’ to achieve his or her aims. A gun is such a good weapon with which to kill. Everything else takes some skill, or at least effort and is still not as effective. Seriously, how many people do you think you could actually /kill/ with just a knife?

            I play mmo’s and the first thing you learn is that there is melee range and then there is ‘ranged’ range. You can’t compare the two in terms of effectiveness.

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          • djmatticus

            not arguing that guns make it easier… just saying that people intent on doing harm will find a way. look what box cutters accomplished on 9/11.

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          • acflory

            -shudder- I remember. And yet, after 9/11 came Homeland Security, which everyone accepted. 😦

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          • djmatticus

            Yeah, HS was definitely a huge mistake… still is

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          • acflory

            I think this particular pendulum is really overdue for a swing in the other direction. And while it’s at it I wonder if it could erase some of the bull-… I mean spin that’s floating around everywhere.

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          • djmatticus

            Remove all “spin” and start over…. Yeah, I could support that.

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          • acflory

            Have you noticed that the spin is now a ‘mandatory’ part of Politics 101?

            I keep having to fight the urge to throw something heavy at the TV. Do they really think we’re that stupid? Don’t answer that!

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          • djmatticus

            I’ve given up on getting any sort of real content out of the TV “sources.” When I want to edumacate myself, especially when dealing with politics, I reach out to the interwebs and see what multiple sites have to say on the matter. Otherwise, it’s spin, spin, spin, and you get so dizzy, “we all fall down.”

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          • acflory

            Same. I stopped watching commercial TV/news years ago. Our ABC has some pretty hard hitting, mostly unbiased reporting, but checking multiple, reliable sources online does seem to be the best option.

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          • djmatticus

            ABC is one of the online sources I do check, when their website isn’t driving me nuts with how slow everything loads.

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          • acflory

            lol – wait until we get our new, fibre to the node NBN [National Broadband Network]! Until then we have some of the slowest internet in the world.

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          • acflory

            I think T.M.Mulligan may have put his finger on things when he talked about the me-me-ism that is rampant through social media and elsewhere in the real world. But how do we change things? I don’t know. 😦

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          • acflory

            DJ we’re not into hate here. These are all my friends and they are good people, as are you. I hope you feel welcome here any time. -hugs-

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          • djmatticus

            Thank you. Like I said… happy to be having some actual conversations rather than just slinging mud back and forth.

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          • acflory

            I’ve been reading some blogs recently about the problems of mental health. I know it’s a major issue here as well. -sigh-

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          • djmatticus

            We overdiagnose some and completely ignore the others, while still barely understanding the subject matter at all… I second the -sigh-

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          • acflory

            Things are really skewed out of shape aren’t they? I mean I accept that some kids may have quite severe attention and learning deficits, but… ritalin? Maybe for one or two but not as the treatment of choice. 😦

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  • Candy Korman

    I didn’t start to cry until I watched Obama wiping away his tears. The notion that requiring safe and sane restrictions on gun ownership is a onerous infringement on personal liberties is CRAZY and yet it persists. It’s time for things to finally change!

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    • acflory

      We had our own massacre about 15? years ago and the nutter literally hunted down two tiny little girls and shot them, as well as their mother and about 30 other strangers.

      After that our government announced an amnesty so people could hand in their guns and have them destroyed. We still get the very odd gun related homicide but it’s usually between underworld types or bikie gangs. I don’t know where or how they get guns but frankly, if they kill each other once a decade I really don’t care. But kids? The death of kids twists me up inside. 😦

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  • Carrie Rubin

    This shooting is so hard to fathom. My heart absolutely aches for those families. It’s time to get serious about gun control.

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  • Ilil Arbel

    Andrea, the horror is so immense that it is hard to even comprehend, and would you believe it, there are still people on Facebook who are still against gun control… the level of violence that is allowed, or even encouraged here is surreal.

    Like

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