to answer yesterday’s horrific tragedy with a quick quip about allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom is an exercise in magical thinking. you know who else using magical thinking as a viable means to problem solve?
children between the ages of 6 and 7 years old.
yesterday morning, 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7 years were gunned down and murdered in their classrooms and elementary school hallways. those who huddled together in cubbie spaces and behind locked bathroom doors wanted to believe that morph powers really existed and that the lessons they learned in karate class would serve them if the gunman somehow got to them. they wanted to believe they would be able to protect themselves, their friends and their teachers with one swift karate chop.
as adults, its time we set aside magical thinking and open ourselves to the reality that what we have been doing is not working. we are not protecting our children.
right-to-lifers have actually twitted things like ‘liberals want to talk about gun control but they kill babies everyday with pro-abortion policies.’ and gun control advocates have had the audacity to caption photos taken of children being walked to safety from sandy hook elementary with ‘are you ready to talk gun control now?’
today, 20 sets of parents will visit a funeral home to begin making arrangements to bury, cremate and memorialize their 6…7 year olds. they will pick out child size caskets and have to decide if they should bury their child in a ballet costume or little league uniform. they will have to ask someone to help them write obituaries a paragraph or two long and consider if flowers or plants will be the best arrangements for the casket spread. did you know there is no such thing as a child size burial plot? the image of a child size casket being lowered into a man size burial plot has haunted me for decades.
but today, on december 15, 2012 that is their reality. and across town another son and father will have to quietly select a similar box for a mother who was shot and left dead in her home. her offspring the murderer no one will mourn.
would a gun hidden in a teacher’s drawer really have been the answer?
is murder in a classroom really the platform by which to spew your stance on abortion rights and begin a conversation again about pro-life legislation?
when will we stop using these horrific tragedies as platform for separatist sentiment that get you attention, but yield zero resolution?
i believe in children. i believe in a child’s right to be nurtured, cherished, loved, protected, and guided. i believe in a child’s right to live in whatever magical fantasy wonderland they want to create and as an adult no matter how busy i am, i will always stop what i am doing to answer a pretend phone call and seriously debate the merits of batman’s utility belt.
children are allowed to think magically. their development requires it in order for them to grow up to be effective problem solvers. adults, however, do not have the luxury of magic thinking. adults instead are protectors and helpers of children.
yesterday, we failed.
today we have the responsibility to send support, love, condolences and assistance to the community of sandy hook.
tomorrow we MUST solve the issue of gun violence and resolve it’s link to mental illness. our children’s lives depend on it.