The Connecticut shooting earlier wrests a gnawing in my gut this evening, as it does with many of you. A truly horrifying occurrence and just imagining what the families and community members affected must be experiencing brings pain.
I do not believe there are simple solutions. Would tighter gun laws actually prevent something like this? Maybe it would help a little to slow a pissed off person from grabbing a firearm off a shelf. But someone warped enough to commit to a plan? Drug laws exist, but people find a way to get their hands on their desired goods. Someone hell bent on destruction can find a way. Arming teachers? Would a wild west shootout be a safer place for kids? Today's mass murderer killed himself in the end, I hardly think he'd be deterred by the possibility of being shot down. He had something dark to express, some awful impression he wanted to leave on the Earth, and so he did. Coming out unscathed, preserving his own life, doesn't appear to be on his malevolent itinerary.
Perhaps an armed good Samaritan could have limited the damage and limited lives lost, yes, but damage would most likely still have to occur before another would become fully aware that a danger needed to be snuffed. So it's not as though arming everyone is a full on solution to eradicating violence. Unless we were all trained to have ninja reflexes and catch every bad action at the slightest inception of the act...even Superman couldn't stop every bad thing from happening, and he had laser eyes.
And the Trayvon Martin incident? Gang territories? Could concealed weapons create more travesty as hyper sensitive and paranoid fellows try to prevent travesty?
The incident, its causes, its symptoms, its prognoses are complicated, and knee jerk solutions have their devil's advocates. This may not be a time for I-told-you-so's to be flung from either side of the aisle.
When these shootings occur the question is thrown; "why would anyone do such a thing?" But the perpetrator is explained away as a monster. They may very well be one. But how is a monster made? Cerebral anomaly? Demonic possession? Weeks after James Holmes went on his rampage we all seemed to forget about him. No psychological lessons lifted as to explore a social cure, an antidote to the atrocious. Perhaps until we dig deeper with this question, turning it on it's rhetorical back, we remain open for frightening repetitions.
It's easy to want to put ourselves on lock down after watching the news, to subconsciously write suspicion on other people's foreheads. We don't know them or their intentions, keep them at bay. But if we take it so far as to shut out and shut in, what cycles are reinforced? Sick stuff floats in the cold shock waves of alienation. There may always be bad people in the world, but at the risk of sounding like a hippie long since laughed away, a little social warmth may slow the poison from circulating, penetrating, infecting, and spreading.
The best course may really be to hold loved ones close, and not stop there, hold our communities close and make a deep mental note not to wait until events like these happen to remind the people around us that we're all in this, cruising through a flawed society, together.