I have been conflicted about writing about what happened in Connecticut on Friday. So many have been so quick on the trigger to put out their opinions and I didn’t want to be that one who threw out some fodder before really taking the time to think and process exactly what has happened. At first I thought to myself that I just had to put something out there. I needed somewhere for my anger to go. I needed an outlet. Then I made the mistake of getting on my social media sites and found my anger going somewhere I didn’t really want it to go. I immediately logged off and curled up on the couch with my kids for a while, then baked some cookies, and decided that writing out of anger was not a good idea. Today I have had limited access to my social media, and the few minutes I spent checking in on things, I remembered why I had logged off yesterday. I was left asking myself this question, and I suppose I am asking you the same; What is really important here?
When this tragedy first hit the news, all I could think about was how horrible I felt for these families, the victims, the survivors, the community, the country. There was a pit in my stomach that brought tears, sadness, anger, fear. Tears and sadness for those parents who sent their children to what is supposed to be a safe place and now they will never be able to tuck them in at night or kiss their angel faces. Anger that someone could commit this heinous act against another human, let alone defenseless children. Anger that so many people are so insensitive and self centered. Fear in my heart that not even our schools are safe anymore. Fear that I am here raising five children in this world so full of uncertainty and hate. Fear that my children will not be allowed to be the children that they should be, but instead they will be forced to be children who are constantly looking over their shoulders unsure of the dangers that are lurking behind them.
Like so many others, I turned to social media for information, for a place to find guidance and help, a place to share my emotions, a place to comfort not only myself but my friends. What I found instead was anger. Not anger towards the coward that committed this act, but anger towards each other. Anger not about what actually happened in that small town in Connecticut, but anger over a political issue. Anger that brought out words that I was disgusted to read so soon after such a tragedy. Words that were meant to hurt others and incite an argument. Words aimed to divide and separate us instead of bring us together. Words so unnecessary in the moment that it was then that I realized my mistake and immediately logged off. Two simple words really. Two words that are a hot debate, a hot political item. Two words that, to me, have absolutely no right being discussed on the day of, or the days immediately following, a tragedy such as this. Two words that cause such a divide in this country that it brings out the worst in people. Two words; Gun Control.
I am not a card carrying member of the NRA, nor am I anti-gun, so before you go all bat shit crazy on me I ask you to just read and think. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a citizen of the United States. I have my own thoughts and I will not push them on you and I ask you to do the same for me. I have very mixed emotions on this entire issue and I am not looking for someone to sway me one way or the other. I am not looking for a debate on why we need more control or why we don’t. What I am looking for is some compassion. Some understanding. Some separation. Some support. Some love.
I have a very difficult time understanding why, in light of such a terrible tragedy, everything is turned into a political platform. Yes, it is unimaginable and horrific what happened in that beautiful school. No, I do not see what politics has to do with what happened at this. exact. moment. I truly, in my heart, do not believe that bringing up the topic of gun control makes a damn bit of difference at this very moment. This is the type of change that takes months, if not years to make. The type of change that is riddled with arguments, anger, and resentment. The type of change that isn’t going to change what happened in that elementary school. These families, these children, this community don’t need to be subjected to the debates and hate speech aimed at the opposing sides. They need to be shown that we are truly joined together in support. That we are praying for them, meditating, thinking, lighting candles, however you show support and love for those who need it.
Now is not the time for arguments. Now is the time for help, and for healing. This community has a long road ahead of them. Funeral arrangements to be made, decisions about their school, grieving, crying, healing. Now is the time for the rest of us to quit bickering for just a few days and think about what is really important RIGHT. NOW. Right now at this very moment. Right now there are twenty sets of parents grieving for the loss of a child that was supposed to outlive them. Right now there are seven families grieving for the loss of a parent, spouse, cousin, sibling. Right now there is a community drowning in sorrow. Right now there are survivors dealing with emotions that those of us who were not there could never imagine. Right now there are families who have gifts under their tree that will never be opened. Right now we, as a country, need to help lift them up and show them that we do care about them. Right now is the time to help, not argue. I beg you to please stop the arguing over gun control. It isn’t helping this community. It isn’t helping anyone RIGHT NOW at this very moment. We can debate next week, why don’t we HELP this week?
Here are just a few ways that you can help RIGHT NOW. If you know of other ways to help, please leave a link in the comments. My comments are moderated, so once I have verified, they will be published.
Life According to Julie: Helping a Family Who Has Lost Their Beloved Son.