Family in shock after Connecticut Shooting – 14 December 2012
I had already drafted my article for this week’s blog about Doomsday 12.21.12 when gun violence reached a new high on Friday, December 14, here in the United States. I am still in shock at the senseless massacre of 20 first-grade children and 6 adults at an elementary school located in a quiet, upscale, suburban neighborhood in Connecticut. Regardless of where we live, our children are not safe.
Something is definitely not right with our world when a “brilliant and remote” 20-year-old Adam Lanza kills his mother and then goes after defenseless children.
The word “remote” used by someone who knew Adam Lanza is telling. In spite of our advances in communication technology and online social networks that connect us 24/7, we are more disconnected than ever before. Even his older brother, by four years, has not had contact with him since 2010. Disconnectedness between brothers. He turned against his mother, a divorcee, the person who was there for him each day of his struggle. Disconnectedness between parents and their children.
When our family unit collapses, we are left to make it on our own the best we can. Some of us – especially those already struggling with emotional and social disabilities – may fall apart.
The tragedy at the elementary school in Connecticut is a visceral manifestation of the way our destructive behavior shatters the lives of others in our path. In an instant, a gun armed with bullets can take the life of another, while a tongue armed with hate speech destroys lives a day at a time.
On Friday, 21 December 2012, when winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere and our planet once again aligns with the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, we will not face annihilation. At least, so NASA assures us. But Doomsday has arrived for the families touched by Adam Lanza’s killing rampage. Doomsday has arrived for every family controlled by fear and violence. Doomsday has arrived for every family that faces homelessness, hunger, and despair.
In a wealthy nation such as ours, it is shameful that millions of families – the roots that hold our society together – are suffering needlessly. There is an urgent need for more jobs: jobs that pay a living wage. Americans need to get back to work. More and more of our men, of all ages, will resort to violence under the strain of joblessness, loss of self-esteem, and loss of purpose in their lives. More families will be ripped apart.
In his poem, “Let There Be Light,” Rex Sexton, an American Surrealist painter and poet laments (excerpt):
Everything is gone. There is no reason
to go on. For too many of us, faith, hope,
charity, compassion, liberty, equality,
fraternity, have all died in a country
that lost its dream of decency.
On Friday, 21 December 2012, let us begin a new life of awareness, connectedness, and decency towards others. Let us work to restore decency in our nation, in our communities, in our work places, in our schools, in our homes. Let decency begin with me.