Is this the world we want to live in?

I was horrified and sickened today to learn of the shooting in Connecticut where it is reported 27 people have been confirmed dead – 18 of which are reported to be children.  My God, is this the world we want to live in?  What must we do to curb this type of violence?  What do we need to do as a society to change this alarming trend of targeting innocent unknowns just for the sake of creating a body count?  What has brought us to this point?

I cannot imagine the depravity necssary to strip away life like this.  I cannot imagine the level of disconnect with humanity that must occur to be able to go into an elementary school and kill children.  Alas, I also cannot imagine who would do this in a mall or a movie theater or at a political meet-and-greet.  I cannot imagine where the shooter’s  soul goes in these moments when a complete disregard for life is evidenced.

I can only imagine the horror of those who have children or other family members at that facility.  I can only imagine the vastness of the loss those who have lost loved ones in this tragic event will endure.  I can only imagine what the first responders at the scene had to witness and how difficult it will be for them to move on from.

I can only pray for some peace for those who will carry the impact of this event with them forever.  I can only hope that in the analysis of this event there will be answers on how to prevent another such event.  I can only hope that those who have died are at peace amongst the angels.

What I can do is raise my voice to ask the question that must be asked: Is this the world we want to live in?  I can ask every person within my reach to consider what they think needs to be done.  I can demand action from my government that invests time in thinking about solutions that are more holistically productive than just greater protective measures. I can say to every citizen that the answer to changing this trend lies with individuals singularly and collectively.

These people who are murdering and creating mayhem were once innocent babies with perfect souls.  Something happened along the way to these people and whatever that was needed to be addressed (or at the least reported) by folks around them.  We all have a responsibility beyond our own individual interests to a peaceful society. We all have a responsibility to say something when we see things that could result in harm to an individual or others. this is the compact of humanity – we foster and protect life.

We also have a responsibility to look at systems that directly or indirectly facilitate this type of behavior…systems that allow people to fall through the cracks or that assume that most folks are whole and undamaged.  We cannot afford to just continue to write the folks who visit these heinous acts upon others off as anomalies.  If we – society as a whole – don’t start actively engaging with addressing this situation more aggressively we can only expect more of the same.

So I ask again – is this the world we want to live in?  If not, then we need to do something about it.  We are the ones that create and maintain our society.  We are the ones who must live with our action or inaction.  And we are the ones who will grieve when more are senselessly taken.

Day one thousand two hundred and fifty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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4 Responses to Is this the world we want to live in?

  1. Becky Rider says:

    We have problems here in the US, without a doubt.

    I believe the problems stem from the degeneration of family strength and togetherness, combined with the burgeoning and implacable bureaucracy in the institutions people must work with, such as schools and government.

    To change these things would require such massive social change that I hold little hope it will happen voluntarily.

    Additionally, I believe we are seeing more sociopathic individuals at large in society, with fewer social safeguards in place to prevent them from perpetrating these kinds of horrific incidents.

    Although guns allow these monsters to kill people at a greater distance, bombs, knives and other weapons would replace them if guns were unavailable. I can’t say whether illegalizing guns would reduce the number of these crimes, but I believe that guns are not the focal point of the problem.

    Until we understand – as a global society – how someone becomes a mass murderer of children, whether it’s with a gun in Connecticut or with a knife in China (Fujian Province, 2010), these kinds of crimes will continue to occur.

    I don’t have any answers, only more questions.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the students, staff and faculty of Sandy Hook Elementary, and the entire community of Newtown.

  2. Pat Melland says:

    We are in a society where parents stick there heads in the sand and dear God they hope everything goes alright without them having to upset their kids or they will pay the PRICE dearly!! We have kids of our own that are bullies. Where are we going from here? Is there a way out? yes, lots of questions.

  3. PrairieWoman says:

    I won’t gain any popularity points with what I am about to say, but sometimes things just need to be said.

    The United States must address the lacking in the mental health system. I understand that 30 years ago the institutions were plagued with inhumanities beyond comprehension. However, how is it more humane to allow the mentally ill, including veterans, to live as homeless people, untreated? How is it more humane to allow the criminally insane to stalk our streets preying on children, due to urges they themselves claim they can’t control? How is it more humane to allow mentally ill people who have proven track records of being unable to care for themselves, to live on their own without proper supervision?

    As to the young man who did this heinous act? We may never know the true reasons why or how. But, there must have been warning signs. There must have been some indications that the young man was out of control. We have to act on these warning signs and address them before tragedy strikes.

    No, we don’t want to live in the kind of world we have today, but until we can all be honest about what needs to be done, the world will not change.

  4. katherine says:

    Carol — you and the three who commented shared valuable thoughts. There are already articles about the national mental health of this country. A new one just came out. My sociology background says we need to listen better and simplify services. I wish I knew how to do it or who to entrust with the task. We must find ways to convince people there is hope and they can find balance to the dark days.

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