A roundup of responses to Friday’s tragedy

A roundup of responses to Friday’s tragedy December 15, 2012

I wanted them to know that someone loved them and I wanted that to be one of the last things they heard, not the gunfire in the hallway.”

There’s only one funeral home in Newtown, Connecticut.”

“In America, it’s currently easier for a poor person to get a gun than it is for them to get treatment for mental health issues.”

“People need access to good mental health treatment but not because they might go out and kill someone but because healthcare, regardless of the reason, should be a human right.”

“It is long past time to stop taking seriously anyone who would claim that God allows gun massacres in response to U.S. Supreme Court rulings or what they believe to be insufficient levels of religious belief.”

“Those who insist that we should not ‘play politics’ with the victim’s grief conveniently ignore that politics is what caused that grief.”

What would be disrespectful to the victims is acting as if this tragedy could not have been prevented.”

To seek to silence willy-nilly those who raise these concerns by accusing them of politicizing a tragedy seems an attempt to shut down conversation — the conversation that needs to happen — perhaps out fear of where that conversation might lead.”

“At some point, we will have to stop putting it off, stop pretending that doing so is the proper, respectful thing. It’s not either. It’s cowardice.

All we have learned from doing nothing is that nothing has been done.”

“I have no problem with the guy next door having a hunting rifle under lock and key, but there is no justification for any American civilian owning a weapon designed for killing lots of people quickly.”

“Although they are few and the number of victims only account for 1 percent of those murdered by firearms every year, the mass shootings deeply disturb us.”

“FL police: Man shot roommate over how to make pork chops.”

I’m sick of the NRA.”

“At what point do we start holding the National Rifle Association morally responsible for all these shootings?”

“One of these days it will be time to start pushing back against the disinformation, propaganda, and lies of the gun lobby.”

“We cannot develop a legislative or regulatory plan to address gun violence and mass killings if Congress won’t even agree to hold hearings on the issue.”

“If our policies on healthcare and firearms are such a good idea, how come no similar societies are following our example?

“Why do we spend at least 1,000 times more money protecting ourselves from terrorism than we do protecting ourselves from gun violence?

“We call on the church to regain its courage and its voice, to bring its moral authority to the table, and to lead honest and full discussions on the role and utility of guns in our democratic society. If the church of Jesus Christ is not part of the solution, then our silence is part of the problem.”

If the Church wanted to make itself relevant again, all denominations would band together and demand stricter gun control.”

Let us be free, though the world perish.”

“We won’t move forward, because we can’t move forward, until we confront the bogus, twisted, blood-drenched theology at the heart of many Americans’ addiction to violence.”

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  • Great post. The problem is everyone may write about this today, but I doubt I’ll see an action in the future.

  • AnonymousSam

    It shouldn’t surprise me that the Westboro Church is thrilled that this happened and is praising it as a glorious happening. It shouldn’t; how low can they possibly sink compared to their own actions on many occasions?

    Still, somehow, my optimism has once again been proven foolhardy.

  • Worthless Beast

    Eh, the only thing I expect to come of this is what I’ve already been seeing on comments boards:  Impotent cries of how we should lock up all the mentally ill in bedlam houses like we did in the old days.

    I’ve sort of become used to being seen as a worthless, subhuman, inherently threatening by just existing beast, all because I was brave enough to get the help that labeled me as a worthless, subhuman, potentially dangerous by breathing beast.  But I take my meds and go get groceries and hold doors open for people just like a regular human does.  And I think more people would function rather than fester if only getting mental help *wasn’t* an act of courage in the face of stigma.

    The world will move on like always, with more tombstones to dot a Conneticuit graveyard, I suppose, potential lessons forgotten.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I was just rereading a favorite Harry Potter fic, and there was this line:
    “No, he is quite sane, but it is the peculiar type of sanity which recognizes no being other than itself as truly human.”

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I saw a clip of the teacher whose words are the first quotation in Fred’s list. I hope she knows what a beautiful human being she is.

  • Jessica_R

    Oh that picture of the cops hugging each other in grief hurts my heart. I hope all the survivors and first responders get the grief counseling and mental health care they need. 

  • I was in a rather lengthy Facebook debate today (I know, wonderful use of time) about gun control, facts, figures and all that. There’s a lot of interesting data on both sides; anyway, I just realized that the pro-gun types are probably never going to give an inch on this issue – they’ve wrapped it up with the sacred, the way American right-wingers are so good at. I don’t think there’s a point in discussing or debating with them any more. So be it, I guess.

    There was a second shooting, tonight, by the way. 10-20 rounds fired. Thankfully, no deaths. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Fashion-Island-Mall-on-Lockdown-as-Police-Respond-to-Report-of-Shots-Fired-183661531.html

  • Ah! The Dangerverse! I never did finish that series. I was amazed at myself for finishing the Sacrifices Arc. (O_O)

  • atalex

    “If the Church wanted to make it self relevant again, all denominations would band together and demand stricter gun control.”

    Why on Earth would the Church want to be seen as relevant to people who don’t already support it wholeheartedly? Where’s the money in that?

  • The Guest Who Posts

    As someone who has suffered from depression in the past, I want to say this: please realise that you are nothing of the sort.

    Everything who needs it should seek help.

  •  The Sacrifices Arc? As in Lightning on the Wave’s Sacrifices Arc?

    That’s an awesome series.

  • It’s massive. I’ll give it that :P

    I liked it, but there are aspects of the writing and characterization – well, that would get way too far off topic and it’s a discussion for another time.

  • Insanity is not a medical definition it’s a legal definition. And by that legal definition most mentally ill people (including myself) are sane.

    See law.com’s definition: http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=979&bold=||||  “n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot
    distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to
    psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior.”  (it goes on from there but that’s the crux of the matter).

    The definition of a mental disorder is:

    “A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological pattern or anomaly, potentially reflected in behavior, that is generally associated with distress or disability, and which is not considered part of normal development of a person’s culture. Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives. This may be associated with particular regions or functions of the brain or rest of the nervous system, often in a social context.” from Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_disorder

    And (also from that article) “According to the World Health Organisation
    (WHO), over a third of people in most countries report problems at some
    time in their life which meet criteria for diagnosis of one or more of
    the common types of mental disorder.”

    I think that even in America where such things happen distressingly frequently a murder-suicide spree shooting requires a chain of thought that is psychologically anomalous and not a part of normal cultural development.

    The definition does need reworking. Some behaviours are pathelogical even when accepted by the dominant culture and it explains a lot about why certain non-pathologies end up being classed as mental disorders for prolonged periods.

    And as for “No, he is quite sane, but it is the peculiar type of sanity which recognizes no being other than itself as truly human.”Psychopathy is defined as a personality disorder and personality disorders are classed as mental disorders, but Psychopaths aren’t insane because they do not fit the legal definition. (Sociopathy is catchall term for psychopathy and anti-social personality disorder so it’s a mental disorder as well).

    Does anyone seriously want to tell me that Voldemort (I assume the quote is about Voldie) wasn’t depicted as a sociopath?
    People are free not to like the definition of mental disorder (as I mentioned above I think it needs reworking) but as it stands its hard to see how saying spree shooters have some sort of mental pathology is incongrous with the definition.

  • P J Evans

     The people who want to lock up all of the ‘mentally ill’ would be surprised how many there actually are who would fit their definition.
    (FWIW, my definition doesn’t include bipolar/unipolar, probably because a lot of people I know fit there.)

  • Andrew Galley

    “FL police: Man shot roommate over how to make pork chops.”
    Florida control: an idea whose time has come?

    (note: this stupid joke is not meant to be an anti-gun control analogy. It’s not that clever)

  • The_L1985

    As a Floridian, I say Stand Your Ground can’t be gotten rid of quickly enough.

  • Tricksterson

    Interesting that calling for stricter gun laws, or even a discussion about stricter gun laws is “politicizing a tragedy” but saying that this tragedy came about as a result of “taking God out of our schools” apparently isn’t.

  • P J Evans

     Because guns should be allowed everywhere, but God can only go where She’s invited and the door is physically opened for her.
    Yeah, right. People who believe both parts of that sentence should be asked why guns are more powerful than God.

  • RE: Katilin Roig + Fischer/Huckabee:

    “I felt that, in the time, I tried to be very strong for my children,” she said. “I said anyone who believed in the power (of) prayer, we need to pray. And those who don’t believe in prayer, think happy thoughts. … I told the kids I love them and I was so happy they were my students. … I didn’t think we were going to live.”[…]”I just want Christmas,” she said her students told her. ” ‘I don’t want to die. I just want to have Christmas.’ I said, ‘You’re going to have Christmas and Hanukkah.’ I tried to be positive.”

    Yep, no God, no Christianity, no belief there. No respect for the varied beliefs of others, either. It would be nice if this instilled a sense of shame in Huckabee and Fischer strong enough to reconsider their stances, but I’m not holding my breath for them to listen to someone who could be a better person under more trying circumstances than they can be in dealing remotely with the same tragedy and explicitly politicizing it.

  • Worthless Beast

    Hmmm.  All I know is “having an issue” doesn’t necessarily follow “not in touch with reality” because if I could, right now, not distinguish fantasy from reality, I think the form it would take would be me, running around my local park looking for a wish-granting fairy whose magical powers I could use to turn all the guns in the world into Nerf.

    (Not that I’m against all gun owners or anything… I have relatives who hunt and are responsible with their weaponry – and they have things that are just like basic deer-rifles, or in the case of one uncle and aunt, cumbersome to load historial-style powder rifles kept for their historicism and almost never used since they prefer to bowhunt). 

    But yeah… guns in the hands of those less responsible – Nerf. All Nerf, please. Sadly, I’m too grounded in reality to go fairy hunting.

  • There are some people who cannot be allowed to interact with the larger society because of their particular form of mental illness. A small number, and hopefully shrinking as we learn more about the brain, but it is true. We’ve failed those people horribly, as a society.

    Anyone who lumps every mental illness together, and says all mentally ill people should be locked up, is obviously extremely ignorant. There are as many kinds of mental illness as there are physical illness, and we know far less about the mind than we do about the body. (Separating the mind and body is probably incorrect, too, but I don’t know how else to phrase it.) Obviously conflating someone like you (or like I was when I had depression) with someone who murders children is completely wrong. But that goes both ways. Some people have got to be locked up, because there just isn’t anything else we know to do with them, and they’re dangerous to themselves and others.

    Of course, we need good health care for everyone first — it might catch this stuff. And we definitely need gun control, and not just for people we could catch as violently mentally ill. 

  • How many more elementary school shootings, yes, but how many more men murder their wives and wives’ families with guns as well? Those murders stack far higher than elementary school shootings, and no one ever does any more than shrug over them. Heck, the latest high-profile one, in the NFL, keeps being reported as a “suicide”, completely leaving out the “murder” part!

    And how many more shootings of every other kind? Do we really ONLY value the lives of children? And do we even value the lives of children? So long as only one or two children die, and it was their father who killed them, no one seems to care to do a thing besides say “oh dear” and move on. For that matter, where was the talk of gun control when right-wing nativists murdered a little girl with the excuse of “drugs”? 

  • Matri

    People who believe both parts of that sentence should be asked why guns are more powerful than God.

    Because they’re the same people who believe that their all-powerful, omnipotent god becomes utterly and completely powerless in the presence of a non-zero amount of non-RTCs.

  • This is all a result of making insanity mainstream.

    Teachers are lazy union thugs! Rich people are the only engine of our economy! There is no global climate change! There is a war on Christmas!

    We have got to speak about how stupid the stupidity has gotten. Just because some talking head on TV is endorsing it does not make it so.

  • Tricksterson

    Not ntil they can answer why God has no choice about sending people to Hell but gays can choose their sexual prefernce therefore giving them more free will than God.

  • Well, we know God’s weak against iron chariots, which could possibly translate to weakness against metal in general. That’s one possible explanation.

  • Tricksterson

    So obviously gays and lesbians are  sentient robots!  It explains everything!

  • Hey, speaking as a gay sentient robot, I resent… um, no, wait, how does that go again?