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Saturday, December 15, 2012

A reaction to the recent elementary school shooting in Connecticut.



The question that crosses a lot of minds is, “What kind of human being would do these things?”

I cannot answer that fully, but I can offer this: “A sick one.”

Not “sick ” in the sense that most people are using it, because I feel like the word has definitely lost its meaning in today’s culture. I believe a lot of people do not really know what “sick” should mean.
Humans generally should strive to keep themselves and everyone around them alive. It’s not some bullshit overused friendly saying. I believe that is a part of human nature. Maybe not on a conscious level for most people, and maybe for most there is more of an emphasis on themselves rather than others. But our society today runs on an agreement. Basically, “don’t kill me, I won’t kill you.” It urges people to act for the greater good, or as one of my teachers redefined it, the most people. It might not always be “fair” (and we would have to then define fair and the possibility of it even existing in all of humanity) but it has worked.
In this sense, I think a lot of people believe that those violate this social agreement are sick. Twisted. Something is wrong with them. They don’t act for the greater good. In the end, the shooter ended up killing himself as well, so one might say that he wasn’t even concerned with himself.

It is hard to grasp this, but some people just really do not think the way others do. Some cannot draw certain connections from point to point. This is why some people violate the agreement in the first place. Perhaps they do not see how this is benefiting them at all.

There are people out there who just have no regard for human life or the value of an actual person at all. Some do not see people as high functioning (supposedly) rational animals, but as living objects. The kind of people who make decisions to slaughter innocent people, and the kind of people who would take it a step further and unleash their confusion, frustration, maybe anger out on children.

Actually, as far as intensity of the crime, there is honestly a reaction separation when it comes to the average age of victims. The amount of travesty felt in our nation if this had been done in a retirement home or a hospice might be slightly different. No life should have more of a value on another. But there is a difference. What makes most people, especially myself, incredibly upset is the fact that most of the victims were children. Innocent, unexpecting, as mass shooting victims are, but the difference was that they really had their entire lives ahead of them. Most of them had not even grasped all of the evils of the world yet. Maybe the most they had been exposed to was a bit of animated punching in a Saturday cartoon that they can’t watch anymore.

Most of these victims just were not yet aware of all of the ways humans could hurt.
I look over at my brother, and he is sleeping now on his little bed. And he knows about punching and wrestling and yes, even guns (my uncle took him to see The Dark Knight, and my dad had a very long talk in opposition about it). There’s a rift between those who want to “shelter” their children and those who want to expose theirs so they can be aware. I’ll elaborate on that later. But my brother is a typical child. And if he were in the position that those children faced, I know he would not really know what exactly was going on. This is going to be difficult to type:

He would not be able to process that a human being was in his school, killing his classmates and teachers. He understands what happens during a killing, but not the things behind it and why exactly it is so bad. He would not be able to understand why this person would end the lives of people. He does not yet know the true value of a human life yet. He only knows that some things hurt and that should be avoided. But I do not think he really knows the concept of death. Not just about the concept of death.

If my brother were in a classroom, about to be the next victim on the list, he would be scared, horrified, but I do not think he would actually know he was going to die. He would not know he would lose his life and never see his family again. I think he would just feel pain and he might not run all of his family members through his mind. He would call out for my mother to stop the pain like he does when my sister gets into small fights with him and not really know what would really await him.

I say all of this and it sounds like I am greatly underestimating my brother’s intelligence, along with children in his age range. And maybe some children do consider their actual life and mortality at a young age. But in these statements, I mean they simply do not yet understand mortality on a deep level, they just know the definitions, but not the significance behind them. Growing up is mostly adding more knowledge to the foundations you developed as children.

That is what also makes violence against young children abominable. Be it abuse or something like this. Because the shooter or hitter is ruining the foundation for a child who has yet to discover the world.
There is just something wrong and now millions are finally aware of it. It’s like we keep on getting reminders, except they shouldn't be reminders. Because labeling disasters as reminders means that we must have forgotten about them since the last one happened. Instead, we should be making more progress to eradicate them. But it’s hard. People are working towards it, but the majority just don’t seem to care unless something pops up on the news every few months.

Violence is still glamorized. Life has lost its glory, significance, and meaning. The efforts that people are making do not have enough awareness, which leads to a lack of funding to promote solutions.

Realistically, gun control would hopefully reduce the number of gun crimes. But those who shouldn't have them at all could still find ways of obtaining them. The topic that needs to be addressed is violence in general and that has a lot to do with the mind and how people make violent decisions.

So now we get into mental health, which along with gun control, is controversial. Some people would say that an emphasis on mental health means that people are condoning their crimes and blaming it on something they cannot control. I say that it is to help and the goal is to ultimately end crimes like this. It is not meant to redefine crime and pardon those who commit them. That is assuming mental health played a part, and I argue that it might have because of the nature of this crime- and the shooter’s inability to stop himself before or after he started at any point.

Then again, I know little to nothing about how humans think. I just think I know how they think and how they should.

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