This is so complicated
December 15, 2012
I woke up this morning to the news about the shooting in Connecticut. 27 dead, 20 of them children.
Like everyone else, my heart went out to their community. I send my kids off to school everyday, assuming that they’ll be safe and that they’ll come home at the end of the day. I can’t imagine the horror and devastation the families and community are going through at the moment. Every time I imagine being one of those parents running to find my kid, my breath catches and I blink back tears.
I realise that there has been a gun control discussion going on. I heard some debates on the radio the day before. By now I have seen a bunch of people jumping on both the pro gun-control and the ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ bandwagon and sharing infographics on facebook*.
While I personally agree with strict gun control laws, I feel kinda yuck that the bodies of the dead aren’t even buried yet and we are already making points about policy during a time of heightened emotions and using pretty strong words and images.
By all means, let’s have an intelligent conversation about gun control, but can we first allow some space for grief, support and ritual for the community involved? It just feels like we are capitalising on the deaths and taking advantage of a tragic situation to score political and policy points**
*Am I being too sensitive here? I just found it yuck to scroll through all these pictures of guns on the same day, when parts of the world are still reeling. To me this is armchair activism at it’s worst. Disturbingly, perhaps this blog is another example of it. You’ll let me know I’m sure.
** I learned this lesson the very hard way by doing exactly that many moons ago. I made a policy point after someone’s death. I even used their image to do so. I was confronted by a brave and angry person who was close to the deceased. I’m still grateful that she did. We both cried, I almost lost my job. I was deeply ashamed and I still find it hard to talk and even think about. But I gained a whole lot more insight and understanding in to the consequences my actions and words had on others. I might post about that another day though. Maybe. If I’m brave enough. Although, I think I just did.