I think it’s safe to say that the name Sandy has not been associated with anything remotely positive in America this fall. First, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, and today we struggle with the devastation that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Like most of the nation, the news of what happened at Sandy Hook has left me heartbroken, angry, and confused. I can’t seem to stop shaking or crying or feeling sick to my stomach – and I can’t even begin to imagine how the community of Newtown is attempting to cope with it all. It’s senseless. If I could, I would trade my life just so one of those kids could have theirs back. I’ve experienced a lot out of life already, made my mistakes, sinned – so why does it happen that I’m allowed to go on when they’re not? Why them? I can’t be the only person asking myself these questions. I know I’m sure as hell not the only person thinking about what we can do to prevent a crime like this from ever happening again.
I wish we could all agree that today’s tragedy is reasonable cause for more gun control and mental healthcare, but apparently there are citizens out there who believe this is cause for teachers to carry guns. UM, excuse me? So, your solution for our nation’s gun problem is… more guns? Yeah, because that’s logical. Please, stop your 2nd Amendment “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” bullshit, because people use guns to kill people.
Our society cannot continue to ignore the importance of mental health any longer. People with diseases of the mind should never be brushed aside simply because their afflictions don’t necessarily appear physically debilitating. As much as we poke fun of how “psycho” Carrie gets on Homeland, bipolar disorder isn’t a joke and neither is any other serious psychological condition. I know I’m guilty of mocking my own ailments in order to make the best of the situation, but these are things that need to be treated sincerely at the end of the day. These illnesses are no excuse for the wrongdoing they so often lead to, but in order to prevent disasters like today’s from happening, more needs to be done to provide awareness and real help for the people suffering mentally. There needs to be an open dialogue and a greater understanding of these adversities. Read this.
I think my friend Jeremiah said it best:
“I am not a parent. I do not own a firearm. I’ve never had someone close to me die as a result of such a heinous act. I guess you could say I’m completely unqualified to debate this topic, but I will say this, if you told me there was ANYTHING we could do differently to assist in protecting the lives of the innocent especially those of children, I’d say do it. Don’t debate it, just fucking do it.”
As for now, I’m consumed with overwhelming heartache and frustration. These kinds of things aren’t supposed to happen. Don’t take a single day for granted. Don’t take a single person for granted. If you love someone, let them know. Life is too short for anything but love.
Sandy Hook, you’re in my heart. That’s my two cents.