I am shocked and broken-hearted over the tragedy in Connecticut. It is hard to comprehend the depth of deprivation that causes one human being to sacrifice the lives of young children to relieve the pain of their personal suffering. And, how unrelenting the perpetrator’s suffering must be to require the level of carnage that took place today in Connecticut to satisfy its greed for comfort and resoultion. How much selfish justification and vengeance was concentrated in this perpetrator’s psyche to necessitate the carnage of twenty-seven human beings as retribution before taking his own life?
Is gun control the answer to stopping the random violence that appears to dominate our world in such a public way? There appears to be no safe venues.
As I watched the news, I was stunned that the media appeared to be using separationism to raise this tragedy to a more debase level of insanity due to the pristine nature of the community. It appears that our culture is much more comfortable with the things that can be explained away. If, for example, the tragedy happened in an inner city school, the tragedy would be more explainable.
How did we get to this place in society where tragedy has a value score based on the social status of its victim or venue? The media used the median income of this pristine town ($111,000 give or take) to support its premise of entitled insulation from violence!
The media used the phrase “magical insulation” to describe the town’s belief that they were immune to the misfortunes of less distinctive communities. It was reported that the families who moved to this town did so to insure this insulation. But, there is no Magic!
Somehow it is believed that correct decision-making and the concomitant privilege to have options in our lives insures immunity. This thinking also causes another type of insulation. It causes the insulation from the feelings of vulnerability and empathy that foster a “That could never happen to me”” response to the world. This “magical insulation” creates separatism and a sense of entitlement that keeps boundaries so rigid that connectedness and relatedness can never be felt.
Society must be able to experience vulnerability, empathy, and connectivity before we can solve the problems of violence. It is separatism that creates the abyss between those who believe they are insulated and those who do not have the means to fabricate this self-deceptive insulation. Separatism also creates the abyss of endless solutions that focus on the problem rather than the solution. Jails are a perfect example of this failure.
Gun control is rooted in the Right to Bear Arms and the concept of rugged individualism. The very idea of this right is to insulate the individual and maybe his family from external violence. However, there are no real discussions about how this individualistic notion prevents a collective consciousness and solution to a global problem.
Guns are another social representation of the self-deceptive “magical insulation” thought to be the protector of the ideal town of Newtown. Bad things don’t happen to good people. Right? How many innocent people have to be killed before people will act as a collective consciousness to insure the safety of all?
I know there are no easy answers. But, this question needs to be asked. Could the perpetrator have been capable of this heinous act of violence if he felt connected and valued by a society invested more in the collective than the individual, more invested in the solution than the problem?