I’m responding with five thoughts on the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I actually have a lot to say because this is my profession, one of my passions, and the foundation of our future as a nation.
Really James Dobson, you once claimed a profession that promoted mental health, not your hogwash about these kinds of tragedies being the gracious and gentle judgement of your concept of a pissed off and petulant God, annoyed because he isn’t omnipresent anymore (kicked out of the godless public schools–really?! Idiocy!), annoyed because we elected a black man to be in the white house (again!), annoyed because a small fraction of humanity is born gay and wants to be treated with respect, annoyed because this nation retains a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body.
For you to equate the death of these 20 elementary school children in any way with the abortion of a zygote or the destruction of a frozen embryo in a lab clearly demonstrates to me your complete inability to comprehend human life, human suffering, human heartache, demonstrates to me that the religious malpractice you peddle would be irrelevant to this nation, to all of humanity if it weren’t so damaging to good people victimized by your dementia. If you were here with me now, I would say something to you I’ve never said to any person on this planet, and I would mean it: “Shut up and go away!” I call out your (and all of those of your ilk) hatred, your mental illness, your lack of compassion, your paranoia, your inability to think rationally, your completely self-fashion view of a God who is made in your own mean and self-serving image.
2. I am sick to death of people, even good people that I went to school with and count among my friends, making crazy, illogical arguments for the gun industry. One such example: Because people kill other people in car wrecks, should we ban cars?” Oh for god’s sake! Please! You can think better than that. We as a society tolerate car ownership knowing that car accidents happen, but we don’t allow people to own and drive armed tanks down the street. I do not oppose gun ownership. I do oppose the American people having access to the tools of warfare. This is just not good common sense.
And for my more radical friends that believe Fox News when Rupert tells you the government is coming after all of your guns: if this government ever comes after you, you won’t even know it. Your every move is tracked. If this government wants you dead, they will blow you off of this planet with a drone strike. You won’t even know what hit you. You can’t forget, this nation has become a military industrial complex, not a republic of, for, and by the people. Making the tools to kill people is what we spend the largest share of our tax dollars on, bankrupting the whole country. But, let’s blame that on welfare, on entitlement!
3. Arm the school teachers and the administrators? My god! Are you nuts?! Talk about living in a police state?! I would quit on the spot. I didn’t become a police officer. Even when I was a tiny kid, I wanted to be the fireman. I became a public school educator. Imagine all of the law suits when something, and I can think of many things, goes terribly, terribly wrong as a result of this profoundly bad idea! This is yet another distraction from the serious issues at hand.
4. This nation has had more mass killings since 1999 than all of the rest of the world combined! We are an unusually violent people though our level of violence has gone down over the past 30 years. The South is the most religious, most Republican, and most violent part of the nation. The percentage of households that own guns has dropped over the past 50 years. The vast majority of guns used to kill other people in this country are obtained legally. Click any graph to enlarge it. Source: Washington Post article: Nine Facts about Guns and Mass Shootings in the United States
The majority of Americans wants sensible gun safety, wants every gun purchase to require a background check, wants the absurd level of violence in this nation to stop. People can still demand this of politicians.
5. Mental illness abounds in this nation, and Reagan began the end of services for the mentally ill, literally throwing them out on the streets to become the homeless population we see all around us today. This is an excellent read on the problem many Americans live with every day: I am Adam Lanza’s Mother. (The article was also reprinted at Huffington Post.)
Where is our shame?!
A nation that can not afford to take care of the elderly, the sick, the mentally ill is a nation that can not afford to build drones, bombs, missiles, surveillance satellites and equipment, and on and on and on!
We need to address our culture that equates human value with increasing levels of consumption, after all, it’s all about you. But, well, corporate culture will have none of that. Profit margins matter more than anything at the end of each quarter.