Sandy Hook Shooting Stirs Debates: Who’s to Blame?

Newtown shootingsAny parent knows the pain they would feel getting that call.

You’ve  noticed that we have not posted any new content since last week’s senseless shooting that took the lives of so many innocent lives in Newtown, Connecticut. It felt callous to post about boobs and sarcastic humor while so many people are suffering.  I feel terrible for the families, students, and the country. The horror that they have gone through  is unthinkable, and to compound the hopelessness of the situation, Christmas is right around the corner. Our society has become unraveled. It’s pure chaos and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

Let’s  make this clear, there is nothing that can fix what has happened, but there has to be a solution, an end game to prevent or deter events like this from happening again and again.

To date, 31 school shootings have rocked our nation since  columbine. It’s a frightening cycle of fear and pure evil that needs to come to an end for the sake of our sanity and the safety of our people.

When tragedies like this happen, especially to children, it sparks heated debates.

The one on the table for most people, including the president, is gun control. Should we regulate it, or is this an isolated incident from an extremely unstable person? There are a lot of factors into why these crimes happens, and sorry to say guns aren’t responsible for people acting crazy.

1. Gun Control: It’s a head that can’t be cut off any time soon, trying to regulate guns would be like trying to regulate people from eating fast food. It has the potential to be detrimental to your well-being, but at the end of the day we’re all adults that need to be able to make our own decisions.

In the case of the Newtown Shooter, he took his mother’s guns. My answer  to that would be better storage and safe keeping of guns in residential homes. A Combination gun safe could have saved a lot of lives.

You cannot take away the rights of people to own guns because of isolated acts of very mentally ill people who somehow found a way to get guns and use them as a tool to cause widespread destruction. Do we have a gun problem in America? I would say no, it’s more of a mental stability problem.

2. Mental Wellness: Anyone who walks into any  mass amount of people and starts shooting them is obviously not well. They all suffer from personality disorders that were either ignored or brushed under the rug. Mental illness is a pervasive issue in our culture. So many people need help from trauma in their past.

Abuse, genetic predispositions, neglect, bad influences, bullying, death, divorce, they all play a factor into our psyche, and it comes out in different ways: anti-social, bi-polar, borderline, depression, mania, etc.

There’s a litany of sick people who need help, and in order to stop crazy acts, we have to help those who need it the most. More readily available counselors and therapists should be a mainstay. Healing those who are hurt so they do not hurt themselves or others.

3. The Media: I’ve been in publishing for most of my adult life, having fun with magazines, and entertaining readers. As someone with an intimate knowledge of the media, they’re perhaps some of the worst purveyors of terror in the world. They praise violence and highlight killers, talk to their parents, and ask them “why do you think your son  did this?”

They feed the monster of human fear and worry. Next thing you’ll start to see on the news are experts and theories of why people do crazy things. I was watching one reporter at Sandy Hook, and you could see that she was excited to be there in all of the “action”. This is the media’s Superbowl. The TV is plastered with everything from what kind of dog the killer had. It’s sickening, but that’s the business of news…If it bleeds, it leads.

Ashleigh Banfield made her career off of 9/11. How many other news personalities/networks are hoping to get a great story out of this? How many mentally disturbed people are sitting at home watching all the coverage this gets thinking “I wanna create the #1 worst shooting in US History so I can be infamous”?

There’s nothing we can do to stop the media whores, but you can be aware of what their agenda is, to get views and make money off of unthinkable tragedies and chaos.

4. Entertainment: Movies, Music and Video games obviously aren’t responsible for people getting killed, but the culture of entertainment has become increasingly more violent as the years have gone on.

Frank Sinatra never sang about putting someone in a body bag and “An American in Paris” was not about leaving a trail of bodies in their wake. Nowadays, there are  movies like “Rampage” and “God Bless America” that praise killing sprees. It’s not the reason, but it does have an effect on American culture and our propensity for violence.

When you can kill an old woman walking down the street in GTA, how are young minds supposed to process real violence and separate truth from fiction? We’ve introduced much more violence into our youth in a more palatable form. My son asked to play MW3 with me. He calls it a gun game.

Am I grooming the next Dexter? Not really, but I am desensitizing him to violence and making it easier for him to look at scenes like Sandy Hook? Possibly. It’s something I should reflect on and change within my household.

The Machine

It’s a sad cycle that we must all gain perspective on life only when something tragic happens. Why is that? Because we’re selfish. We want to forget, we want to post about what we had for lunch and pictures of our cat on Facebook. Nothing touches us anymore.

We’re disconnected and cold. We’re  phones, apps and LOL. People don’t call me, they text or email. We’ve lost the human element. I hope for all of our sake we can get back to being empathetic human beings and learn to balance our digital world with the real one that we live in.

I implore everyone who reads this article to Remember the victims and not the story, because it’s not about hits or views, it’s about us realizing that lives have been changed forever. These victims will never see another Christmas or Birthday. They will never hug their mom or dad, and more sadly, their parents will never hug them. Realize that tragedy affects us all. And while I get to go back and write about fun stuff, and you get to go back to doing whatever you do, there’s a whole town of people that will never be the same.

Remember and Respect.

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Daniel Barden, 7

Rachel Davino, 29

Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

Dylan Hockley, 6

Dawn Hochsprung, 47

Madeline Hsu, 6

Catherine Hubbard, 6

Chase Kowalski, 7

Jesse Lewis, 6

James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6

Noah Pozner, 6

Caroline Previdi, 6

Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6

Lauren Rousseau, 30

Mary Sherlach, 56

Victoria Soto, 27

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Allison Wyatt, 6

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  1. John McIntyre says:

    Sorry, Rodney, but America does have a gun problem.

    In 2007, 68% of all homicides were committed with firearms. In 2008 and 2009 alone, 5,740 kids were killed by guns. If you break it down, that’s 8 kids every day. Likewise, 34,387 kids were injured by firearms within those 2 years. It is both inappropriate and shortsighted to suggest that every one of those occurrences were caused by a “mental stability problem.” Although America does need to rethink the ways in which we perceive and handle mental health, that does not mean the gun issue is moot.

  2. Really well written, man. Couldn’t have said it better.

  3. “With images of mentally deranged killers so prominent in the media, it is frequently assumed that gun violence is a product of mental illness or drug abuse. But we found no association between mental illness, stress, or illegal drug use and gun deaths at the state level. While one would think gun violence would be higher in states with higher levels of economic anxiety related to unemployment or inequality, we found no association to either at the state level. My colleagues and I did, however, find gun deaths to be higher in states with higher levels of poverty and lower incomes, as well as in red states and those with more blue-collar working class economies. Conversely, we found gun deaths to be less likely in states with more college graduates and stronger knowledge-based economies. … We found substantial negative correlations between the rate of gun deaths and states that ban assault weapons, require trigger locks, and mandate safe storage requirements for guns.”

    Australia no longer has mass shootings like this. They did in the past, but not now. What did they do to achieve this?

    Hint: it has to do with guns, not mental health services.

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