I am heartbroken. I am sad. I write this in haste and with the intention of understanding my own feelings. My apologies if this seems chaotic. The news of the school shooting in Connecticut warps my brain and stomach into a melancholic frenzy.
I feel for the parents of the children. I feel for the community. I want to wrap my arms around all those who have been devastated by this madness. They were most likely looking forward to the upcoming Holiday season. What a senseless tragedy!
I don’t want to hear that “people kill, not guns.” Please suspend this useless rhetoric. It is disingenuous to say the least. Just as if a driver killed a passer-by I wouldn’t want to hear praise on the make of the vehicle. But that analogy doesn’t work, does it? Why not? Because the function of a car is for transportation. In contrast, the very particular function of a gun is destruction. Indeed, a “bad” gun would be deemed as such if it didn’t fire correctly or failed to hit a target. An “effective” or “good” gun fulfills its function. It is the concrete manifestation of violence. So, please, do not spout tales on the glories of guns to me. They are not works of art. They are not mere inanimate objects. They are created with the intention of piercing a target effectively.
I am sickened by the string of violence in the news: Gabby Giffords, Virginia Tech, Colorado movie theatre, just to name a few. The nature of violence is embedded in American culture and it must be addressed. It is in our television shows and video games. It reared its ugly head after Obama was elected and the “n-word” trended on Twitter. It is in the misogynistic tone when criticizing women in power or insisting they surrender to their “nature.” It is in the absurd offense to wishing a “Happy Holiday” rather than “Merry Christmas” and labeling this as a “War on Christmas.”
Freedom does not mean being able to carry a weapon around. Finding the need for a gun actually points to an absence of power (read Hannah Arendt On Violence). Freedom is being able to visit a congresswoman’s dialogue with her constituents, going to a movie, and attending school without the possibility of being shot.
Yes, I’m deeply saddened.