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Monthly Archives: December 2012

About the tragedy in Connecticut…

 

Maybe it’s being a parent, maybe it’s because this happened a couple towns over from where I grew up, but this one is really making my stomach turn.

Part of this reaction is grief and shock. Part of it, I think, is the hopelessness of it all, the idea that no matter what we do, tragedies like this can always happen. There will always be crazy people who want to kill innocents; sometimes these people will lead nations, sometimes they will attack schools, and sometimes, despite our best efforts, they will succeed in committing evil.

But there is also anger. Anger at what we CAN control but don’t. Anger because, while we are helpless to stop all evil, we are at least capable of shaping our country so that it does not feed the darker forces within it. We can’t eradicate all crazy people, but we can make it easier and cheaper for them to get help. We can’t eliminate all potential weapons, but we can pass gun laws that are tighter and smarter. We can redefine our notion of what is obscene. Why are we more squeamish about seeing naked bodies than casual gun violence? We can think twice about what we glamorize and glorify. We can think twice about our priorities. We can spend more time demonizing hate and less time demonizing those types of love that don’t meet with our approval.

I know you can say this is politicizing a tragedy, but politics is the best mechanism through which we can actually make change. And in our helpless sorrow, it is all we can do to try and make changes, even small incremental ones, that will make similar tragedies less common.