I have hesitated to comment about the events that took place last Friday in Newtown, CT a scant hundred miles away. This blog is supposed to be a fun and sometimes even uplifting place – a place to escape the unspeakable horrors that sometimes invade our world. But some things need to be said; for we live in this world and cannot evade the realities.
Like many others, I was filled with shock, horror and grief.
As a parent, I was horrified. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and emptiness pervading the souls of those parents and grandparents who have lost a child – the girls and boys who have lost a sibling – the husbands who lost their wives, the one young man who lost his intended fiancé. If I was in any one of their places, I would want to die. I cannot imagine my life without my wife, or my son or my daughter. My prayers go out to them, that in this time of intense grief, that God will be with them for support and comfort.
As a second tier responder, my heart goes out to the police and EMS personnel who were on scene. What they witnessed will never go away. They will forevermore, have indelibly imprinted in their memories the scene of carnage and pure evil that happened there. In addition to the pain of others that they had to deal with, there will always be personal questions – “Could I have done more?” “Could I have done something different?” Even though these brave men and women did an absolute heroic and “textbook” job by preventing more killing than actually took place, they are human, too. Their desire, their instinct, their reason for being is to defend, protect, help and heal. Their utter inability to do more than the monumental job they did will weigh heavily on some of them. In their minds, their job is do more, they always think they can do more – it’s a hard reality to learn that sometimes, you can’t.
The debates will go on about gun control and should we allow this and should we allow that. For the record, I do not own a gun and I have no desire to own one. That being said, I do not have a problem with law abiding citizens who do. Gun control laws are necessary, to be sure. But thinking that you can legislate this problem away by banning guns altogether is an answer that is cheap, and is the easy way out. What created the incident at Sandy Hook, and incidents like these run way deeper than just people getting their hands on guns.
I am now going to state a couple of personal beliefs that will be very unpopular, and even considered “Right Wing Whacko” by some.
As a society, we have abandoned certain values that have served us so well in past generations.
In many cases, the reverence for life, from beginning to end, has completely disappeared. Life is no longer held sacred, no longer believed to be a gift from God. It is a thing to be used, bought and sold, initiated or terminated as we see fit. The dignity of personhood is gone. It is becoming more and more commonplace to see others as “things” and “commodities” to be used for the purposes of gaining wealth, sexual pleasure, or whatever else is desired. Or even worse, people are considered “obstacles” to be gotten rid of, or to be ignored. Life has become cheap; and unfortunately, some people have no problem whatsoever, taking lives that are not theirs , or even their own.
The importance of the family, as the building block of civilization has been disappearing with lightspeed. For thousands of years, a mother and a father raised a family and taught their children the necessary values required to maintain a civil society. Today, in many instances, we see “kids having kids”. We need to have adult men and women forming deep and lifetime commitments, who will be faithful and true to each other and to their children. Our disposable society has come to the point where the family has become disposable, also. Anything goes – today, people get married (or not), have kids and then walk away when “My wife doesn’t understand me” or “My husband doesn’t love me anymore”. That has to stop. We need adults to be adults and kids to be kids. A good and stable family life is the key to a successful and thriving society.
Secondly, we have to be proponents of true love. Love is not bounding from bed to bed, from relationship to relationship, seeing how many times you can “score”. Men have to suck it up, and “be men” – good husbands and faithful fathers. Same thing goes for women, you have to decide to be good wives and faithful mothers. When you take that step and decide to get married, you are in essence subjugating your own desires and wants and putting ahead of yourself the lives of your spouse and children. This is not an easy task; as by human nature we are all selfish and tend to think of ourselves first. But when you are willing to put another person or persons before yourself – that is true love. Love is an ongoing, conscious decision, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, it’s not just a feeling that comes and goes.
Thirdly, education has to begin at home. When it comes down to it, it is the school’s responsibility to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, etc – subjects of knowledge. Teachers are not parents – parents are supposed to be parents. It is the parent’s job to teach honesty, integrity, reliability, accountability and all the other virtues and moral values which form a well rounded human being, and in turn a civil society. This is a daunting task – ask any new parent. Children do not come with an owner’s manual. But thank God, up until now we seem to have been given the ability to figure it out for thousands of years. It takes time, a lot of love and a lot of patience, a lot of self denial – sometimes more than you think you have in you. But if can lose your pride and get down on your knees and ask God for the help you need, He will grant it.
When the foundations of society falls apart, it is no surprise that ensuing chaos occurs. Unless we reverse the path we seem to be on, things will only get worse – not better. But, if we were to revert to the values and morals that were held so dear and sacred for so long, I truly believe our society will heal and improve. Evil will always be with us – but with God’s help we can fight back, if we choose to.
Sorry for the rant – next post will be radio related (I promise!)
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!
Couldn’t agree more, Larry. The culture of violence and of “me first” is largely to blame as well. Very sad.
You chose the right words, Larry, well said!
For the record, in this part of the world we have tough gun control laws and a very extensive and well run public school system but still, things like that happen here too.
What is to blame is truly more complex. A total lack of a system of reference at kids homes, the wrong message that you can just do anything if you want to and an abundance of effortless wealth.
Our hearts go out to the families affected.
Big dittos Larry, well said.
I have felt for a long time that we need to focus on the disease versus the symptoms. You simply cannot have a strong society without strong families and some form of moral fabric binding things together. No need to point fingers, but both have been seriously weakened in the last decade or two. Materialism, lack of respect for life, winning at any cost, lack of any shame for abhorrent behavior, dependency vs rugged individualism, and on and on have spread too far. Hope I’m wrong, but I suspect we are just starting to see the consequences of it coming home to roost.
“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.” Ayn Rand
I agree with the comments. The problems we face today lie in the heart of men. The fabric of our society depends on how we all live our lives everyday. It is amazing to me how quick it has changed in the last 30 years. You see it in business, home life, religion and government. Personally, I hope it improves very quickly.. for all our childrens future..
I was going to point out how the “good old days” are always viewed through rose coloured glasses, but instead I will recommend that everyone pick up a copy of this book.The title says it all.
Things appear worse today because we hear about all the bad things all day, every day. Not saying things could not be better but we are actually the most privileged, richest and safest generation that has ever lived on the planet.
The shootings at the school are a terrible thing, but it has been happening for a long time, even back in the “decent gawd feerin’ good old days”:
“The earliest and worst school attack occurred on May 18, 1927, when Andrew Kehoe, upset over his farm foreclosing and blaming it on a property tax for a new school building, rigged explosives in the basement of the Bath Consolidated School. Kehoe had killed his wife and destroyed his farm beforehand. He later committed suicide by exploding his shrapnel-filled car outside the school after the basement explosion, killing and injuring more people.
In total 58 were injured and 45 were killed, but it could have been worse as the explosives under the south wing did not detonate.”