Monday, December 17, 2012

Keep your guns, and enjoy the funerals: on the shootings in Newton Connecticut

            Just once, I’d like to talk about something nice on this bleedin’ blog. . .

            How many?  Twenty? Twenty six? According to this morning’s Toronto Star, it was twenty seven. Most of them six years old.

            Twenty seven. Six year olds. Twenty seven little lights snuffed out. Twenty seven smiles, twenty seven laughs, twenty seven little voices. Twenty seven little bodies torn to shreds by bits of pointy lead, which are perfectly legal to own.

Victoria Soho
            Not all the twenty seven were quite so little; one of them was twenty seven years old. Victoria Soto her name was. She must have been new. She was the grade 1 teacher. Apparently she hid her kids in the closet and told the killer they were in the gym(1). Did she know it would be the last thing she would ever say? I’ll wager she did. She had thirty seconds to live, and chose to think of her students.  

            And someone out there is still probably bitching about how long teacher vacations are.

            The principal of the school, Dawn Hochsprung, and a school psychologist, Mary Sherlach, were shot down while trying to charge the gunman(1). They could have hid, but they chose to lunge at him, thinking maybe just maybe they could have stopped him, probably knowing they probably couldn’t.

            Teachers don’t live in the real world you see.

Dawn Hochsprung- principal

            So some of the victims were adults, but most were kids, not one more than seven years old. Eight boys, and twelve little girls with flowers in their hair.

            I taught Kindergartenders (called “Reception” in England) in the past. I taught munchkins like Emillie Parker, and Noah Pozner, and Ana Marquez-Greene, and Olivia Engel, and Caroline Previdi. I can picture them now: they’d come only up to your waist, and cling to your leg as you walked by. They’d call your name in high pitched squeals and laugh at everything you said. They’d sit nicely on the floor with their hands folded in their lap, and liked to sing songs about zoo animals or Santa Clause. They'd crowd around to show off their lunchboxes or new shoes. They loved you unconditionally just for showing up. They were so alive.

            Twenty little ones. Twenty mini-people. Shot at close range, up to eleven times each. Twenty little bodies, chewed up by legally purchased bullets.

Top row: (L-R) Ana Marquez-Greene, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Emilie Parker, Noah Pozner. Second row: (L-R) Jesse Lewis, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Charlotte Bacon, Chase Kowalski. Third row: (L-R) Daniel Barden, Jack Pinto, Catherine Hubbard, Dylan Hockley, Benjamin Wheeler. Fourth row: (L-R) Grace McDonnell, James Mattioli, Avielle Richman, Rachel Davino, Anne Marie Murphy. Fifth row: (L-R) Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Dawn Hochsprung, Nancy Lanza.

            Oh yes, they were legal. You see, the killer’s mother, Nancy Lanza, was a gun enthusiast. She apparently owned seven of them. She liked to take her kids to shooting ranges(2). Doubtless it was here that her son, Adam, learned the skills he would later put to good use at Sandy Hook Elementary school. It was from this collection that Adam drew his weapons of choice: a Glock pistol, a Sig Sauer pistol, and a .223 Bushmaster, all legally bought and legally owned (4). Presumably, they were his favourite.

The Adam Lanza special: own yours today!

            I wonder if Ms. Lanza was one of those types who balked at the notion that her collection, legally bought and legally owned, could be a danger to anyone. I wonder if she ever argued how laws to restrict her collection would have been an infringement of her second amendment rights. I wonder if she ever said “You’ll take my gun from my cold dead hands”. If she was the sort who’d rather die than give up her firearms.

            If so, she got her wish: Adam shot her first. (2)

            Americans cling to their guns like pacifiers, and would rather see schools shot up than limit their availability.  Even now, many will claim that “guns don’t kill people”, as if Adam could have killed just as many people with a ball-point pen.  They believe the ability to dispense instant death is the only thing safeguarding their democracy, (presumably from tyrannous school children), and see the blood of six year olds as the price of freedom. Just watch: the first response of many will be concern for the legal status of their weapons.

            Many will say the solution is to arm teachers. If Victoria Soto or Dawn Hochsprung were given pistols they could have prevented this. Every school an OK coral. As we speak, Michigan’s Senate Bill 59 is proposing to end gun free zones, allow concealed hand guns into schools and hospitals, and make it easier to own such weapons(5).
            More guns. More bullets. More blood. Fewer school children. The people have spoken. They must  understand that with rights come responsibilities, and with gun-rights come the responsibility to bury twenty- seven bullet ridden people.

            Seven big ones, and twenty little ones. 

1).Quinn Jennifer, "The Victims", Toronto Star p. A1, A8. Sunday, December 16, 2013
2).Flegenhemer, Matt and Ravi Somaiya. " A'High Strung', gun-loving mother. A shy and nervous boy"Toronto Star, p. A9. Sunday December 16, 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment