This nation is no stranger to gun violence. It happens everyday. It is also not unfamiliar with shootings that happen on institutions of learning and education. However, the most recent shooting was especially tragic. This mass murder’s victims were not just adults but little children.
On December 14 Adam Lanza murdered his mother at her upscale suburban home in just outside Newtown, Connecticut. He stole three of her guns to continue his carnage. His path of destruction would end at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Lanza took two semi-automatic pistols and laid waste to entire classroom of young children and taking out several more in another classroom. He also took out the school’s principal Dawn Hochsprung and a few other adults before he eventually took his own life. The families of that town were shocked and crushed that something this horrific could happen in their neck of the woods. None were more traumatized than the victim’s families and the survivors who witness their world shattered in a matter of minutes. The entire nation grieved for the community of Newtown. Even President Obama himself cried when he made a public announcement expressing his condolences to the families.
Perhaps the most painful reality about this is the fact that the victims were little children. To the mainstream media this makes the situation all the more heartbreaking, and it is. Nothing is more crushing than the death of a little child. However, there are few things we need to ponder while we are in a state of mourning:
Think about the deaths of numerous children trying to survive in this country’s poorer areas, some of them are, no doubt, children of color. Consider Chicago’s increase in the shooting deaths of black and brown youth, the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, the many youth killed by U.S. soldiers abroad and those destroyed at the hands of nations that the U.S. supports. Let’s not forget the dozens, if not more, black youth killed by overzealous vigilantes and color-aroused cops. Don’t they deserve not only sympathy but a call to action?
When President Obama said that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin, the young, unarmed black male teen murdered by Florida neighborhood captain George Zimmerman, people suspected it was nothing more than a political move. There was no consideration for mourning at the time of Martin’s death as grown people made it their mission to excuse the murder of a young teenager as something that needed to be done as they did, and are doing, with many other murders of black youth. It was more than obvious that not only black youth’s lives mean little in today’s society, but they also expected to die, and no one should start grieving because somehow they “deserved” it.
This also is a grim reminder of the ongoing controversial issue of gun control. There are many people who demand better and wiser policies that concern the use of guns. However, there are those who see the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, as the basis of their argument for more support to own more and more guns. To them this is a call for action for hyper-protection against anyone or anything.
No one can deny that the United States isn’t a violent nation. It’s history is soaked with blood and troubled with destructive violence within and outside its borders. Part of that violence comes from paranoia combined with a pension for violence, and with guns in the mix, it’s no surprise that this nation is among the leaders of gun-related deaths.
Yet, the conversation of what to do with guns seems more important than actually doing something about it. Politicians will spend hours upon hours on the issue and get further and further away from reaching a viable solution. And while they’re debating, blood is spilling, especially the blood of young children.
While this mass shooting will light another candle for this nation to reflect on it’s pension of, and for, violence, this will pass over. Then, another mass shooting will occur. More shooting deaths will pile on on on. In the end society will turn a blind eye to this and other senseless tragedies all for the sake of maintaining their paranoia while allowing more psychopathology to fester and more guns to fire.
Never Considered Terrorism
Lastly, no one will bestow the title of ‘terrorist’ to Adam Lanza who took out many people, including his own mother, before throwing his own life away. Yes, I know some will say that is the least of their worries, but why are certain people considered terrorists and others are not? There is no question that if they was caused by a Muslim or someone of Arabic-Middle Eastern descent, the mainstream media will call him a militant Islamic terrorist, and visions of 9-11 will reappear like ghosts.
There’s something else. We all know this is white privilege at work. Never being seen as a terrorist or thug, and awarded the privilege of individuality are two givens. But, the issue of violence by whites is overlooked, yet again. Not even the thought of intra-racial white violence, or white-on-white crime, will ever cross the heads of many, and that is a white privilege blessing in disguise – of something uglier.
Upon viewing the footage of the aftermath of the Connecticut school shooting, I can’t help but notice that most of the people there are white. So, I can only assume that most of the victims were white. If so, then to ignore other examples of white people killing each other would be a huge disservice to the white community.
Violence by white people across this nation must be addressed. The only thing keeping that from happening is ignorance and denial. As a result more and more white people will be the victims of crime and violence by other white people way more often than they would like to believe. While they are worried about being victims of black perpetrators, real of imagined, they can’t seem to fathom that their assailant is most likely the same color as they.
These and other issues are something to contemplate if not for yourselves, for your children – all children.