Newtown Tragedy…How Do We Move Forward?

http://www.viviankirkfield.wordpress.com,newtown ctFor twenty-five years, we lived in Watertown, a small Connecticut town just down the road from Newtown.

One doesn’t have to be a parent to weep for those young lives lost.  One doesn’t have to be a family member or friend to mourn the adults who were killed.

There have been many tributes to the lives so tragically lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Here’s one video that conveys its Norman Rockwell-like atmosphere…which only makes it more difficult to accept the reality of what happened.

Perhaps this is the ‘straw’ that breaks the camel’s back…perhaps this tragic event will spur much-needed legislation in various areas..

What can be done to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future?

  • Begin a dialogue concerning mental illness and how it is treated/viewed.
  • Legislate to ban automatic weapons except for law enforcement and the military.
  • Ensure that home weapons are securely locked and not accessible to anyone except the registered owner.
  • Reduce violence in the movies, TV shows, video games.
  • Increase one-on-one interpersonal connections…we are living in a society where people are disconnecting from each other.

What do you think? Do you agree? What would you add to the list?

 

17 thoughts on “Newtown Tragedy…How Do We Move Forward?

  1. Having been raised in France where owning guns is not a right but a privilege of the few and where gun violence is sparse, America’s obsession with guns is still a puzzle to me. It’s as if we were still living in the Wild Wild West. My friend who is a sheriff told me today law enforcement officers are changing the way they react to increasing mass shootings. They used to secure the location and wait for the SWAT team. Now they train to take down the assailant as fast as possible, dead or alive.

    As for mental health, it shouldn’t be pointed at for every one of these mass shootings. This most recent killer appeared to have planned his actions very carefully, disclaiming any signs of a mental breakdown. Call me crazy but I do believe that some people fall to the “dark side” for some reason or another and we should all be trained to recognize those signs so these people can be watched carefully. I have no idea how this would be done without turning into Big Brother, but if the mass shootings continue, we’ll all have Big Brother watching us.

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    • What insightful comments, Milka! Yes, it seems that some individuals have a ‘dark’ side…and this often has nothing to do with past trauma (at least in this life). Several children may be raised in the same family…all but one become positive constructive citizens…and one goes on to do something horrific. Of course we are asking questions and looking for ‘simple’ answers (i.e. the shooter was beaten as a child or he grew up in a war-ravaged country or she had parents who were drug addicts) that will relieve our concerns so that we don’t look with fear at everyone we pass on the street. But even these ‘simple’ answers beg the next question: how come only one in the family becomes the serial killer or shooter or arsonist? The ‘dark’ side makes a lot of sense. 🙂

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  2. As always, a thoughtful piece Vivian. There are many of us writing about this, as we process our grief and shock. I agree with perfecting motherhood on all counts. Too many guns, and too much focus on mental health. Not all persons with emotional issues are violent and in many of these cases, that has not been the issue. We are simply looking for answers, and hope to not find anything that puts us in harm’s way. It’s impossible to predict. I do believe as I wrote in my post last friday, above all else, that if the killer had been wielding a knife (as in the case, that very same day in China), those children and educators would be alive now. Thanks for your post and for all you do to help children—all year long.

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    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Dawn! Of course you are right…we are all looking for answers…and there is no single answer, but many levels of concern at issue here. I appreciate your kind words…even if all my posts do is get people thinking and considering options, that will be a good thing.:)

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  3. I agree with your points. I do not believe in banning all guns from citizens. Then the gang members and criminals will take over – since our country does not protect its borders very well. I live in the country and we have needed guns for protection against coyotes and snakes hurting the chickens. My husband travels some and I want protection if I need it. I think we should respect those who died fighting for our constitution – including the right to bear arms. Live in another country if you don’t want to own a gun. I do. Very good points Vivian. – especially the one on unplugging from the violent games and tv.

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    • And you make some very good points as well, Susan.:) Most children who are brought up in homes with guns that are securely locked away and that are used for hunting have much more respect for guns and the damage they can do than kids who know nothing about guns except what they see in the movies and on TV. But the average homeowner has no need for an arsenal of weapons.

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    • Oh yes, Pat…I 100% support this!  Honest reporting of important events is crucial…but the media give us TOO much and TOO often…and sometimes, in their race to be the ‘first’…they give us incorrect information. And parents need to protect their children from this overactive media also!

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  4. Upsetting. That’s all I can say. Simple, but sadly true. 😦 In Karate class, we were talking about how we can stay safe and what to do in an emergency. I think that preparing kids in school for other types of emergencies, not just fires, is a good idea.

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  5. Vivain, Thank you for this educational and thought-provoking post, I am in complete agreement with you. Amen!!!! to all you ideas!!! I would like to add.. that we need to implement tools that will help and teach our children how to express their feelings appropriately and create trustworthy envirnonments at home, school and in our communities where our children will thrive and feel love, safe, encouraged and confident!

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    •  Thanks for stopping by, Sheila! I love your insightful comments. Of course you are so right…empowering kids to express their feelings is one of the most important tasks of parents and teachers. So often, adults encourage kids to ‘bottle up’ their feelings or suppress them. How many times have you heard a parent say, “Don’t say you hate your sister…you have to love her!”  

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  6. Incredibly sad and haunting… Your ideas ring true with me too… Especially in the are of mental heath issues… There is greater need for it of late and it must include family counseling too.

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