I was sitting in a restaurant holding a meeting but the television was on overhead. It was in Spanish but the scenes did not need further explanation. I then found out that a massacre had taken place in an elementary school.
What they seem to know at this moment is that a 20 year old man with two pistols began the massacre, killing at least 18 children and a total of 27 people. Apparently he killed one of his own parents. The motive behind the killing is, at present, unknown.
The gun lobby will immediately remind us all that ‘guns do not kill people; people kill people’, and will insist that nothing needs to be done. But we have to ask ourselves, beyond the issue of gun control, what motivates someone to carry out such a massacre and whether there were any signs of a problem.
All too often the signs are there but no one says anything or is prepared to take action. It is sort of like that notorious incident from New York City decades ago where a woman was killed and neighbors watched. It subsequently was discovered that those watching each expected someone else to take action, thereby relieving themselves of the burden/responsibility.
Did people see the signs with this murderer? Did they feel that they were in no position to say or do anything?
In terms of gun control, i am actually in favor of people having the right to guns but i want to know why is it so easy to get them? Think about it this way. In order to drive you have take a written exam and then you have to actually take a driving test. If you do not pass, you do not get to drive. Simple as that. Rarely are cars used as weapons, although it has been known to have happened.
Yet guns are weapons, so why is there not a more stringent requirement in getting gun permits and buying guns? I am not saying that this would necessarily have prevented the Newtown massacre, but i frequently wonder whether the reality of scrutiny might just discourage a few angry people from taking that step towards disaster.
For now, i grieve with the families. I imagine, with a shudder, what it would have been like had i received a call, when my daughter was in elementary school, telling me of a shooting, not to mention telling me that she had lost her life.
A country with the history of the ‘wild West’ and a gun culture seems not to be able to escape the consequences, regardless of how tragic.