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words for grief: Sandy Hook

December 18, 2012

I was in Wal-Mart’s vision center yesterday, checking on the overdue status of Lawson’s spectacles, when I happened to glance over and catch an older woman looking intently at Truitt with a misty look in her eye. Since Tru was in the process of Houdini-ing out of the strap that buckled him in to the cart and trying his very best to effect a runaway while I fondly but somewhat absently held him in place, I was at first confused.

Then: “you just look at them all a little differently now, don’t you?”

There was instant recognition, and I nodded soberly. “Yes, ma’am, you do.”

The past few days have been rough. It was difficult to let Lawson get on the schoolbus yesterday morning, difficult to let Autumn go on to the  middle school with her ride. It was hard to simply sit at home and wait. Good Morning America was a wash, because the faces of those six and seven year-old babies were there, breaking my heart anew.

There are no words for the unspeakable. To say I’m so sorry is insufficient. It’s a small thing, but I think we have at least shared a communion of grief as parents, brothers, and sisters. We have all asked the question, why?, knowing that there is no answer that will truly appease the soul’s hurt and offer any justice.

Now there is quite a debate circulating about guns, and the legitimacy of gun ownership. Some of the debate I have witnessed is pretty intense…pretty vitriolic, really. In all fairness, I think it is time for a conversation on this topic…a civil exchange. It needs to be a dialogue, though–a courteous give and take of ideas. I’d love to hear your thoughts…how about I start with mine?

We have always been supporters of the right to bear arms. My husband hunts, and stocks our freezer every year with meat we do not have to purchase in a supermarket, meat he has processed with his own hands, meat that is lean, free of any preservatives, and is entirely “organic.” He is passing the art and skill of hunting down to his son, as it has been done for generations preceding him. Gun ownership is something that has always been handled carefully and responsibly in our home. Our children are familiar with guns and the mechanics of the weapons, but have been thoroughly instructed in the safety issues that accompany them. They go hand in hand. There has never been a loaded gun brought into our home in the 17 years that we have been married, and God willing, that will continue.

I was nonetheless appalled when I saw the weapon that Adam Lanza used. This type of weapon has no place in the tradition of hunting, or even in target shooting, for that matter. I can’t really think of a situation where it’s necessary, except combat. To me, the question up for debate is not so much whether or not there should be gun control, but to what extent guns should be controlled. Does gun control mean the government will be able to dictate I may or may not own a gun at all? Boo, hiss. Or does gun control mean the government will set tighter limits on how I may purchase a gun (did you know that a gun may be purchased with no waiting period and no background check at most gun shows?)? Check. Does gun control mean no personally purchased weapons with a round capacity beyond…say…five? Fine by me. I’m not unreasonable–would just ask that my government not be unreasonable, as well.

The simple, basic truth of this matter is that a gun did not kill those precious babies. A deranged man did. He chose a particular weapon, and used it. He could have chosen an explosive device, and killed hundreds more. It is God’s grace, to my thinking, that he did not.

My point is this: until we–all of us: parents, educators, politicians–get to the why of the problem, the controls we enact and the safeguards we initiate will be flotsam protections against a rapidly rising tide.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2012 11:48 pm

    Such a hard thing, and hard to put words to it. You’ve done a nice job though…… putting words to a difficult thing.

  2. Anaise permalink
    December 26, 2012 9:21 am

    You wrote, “The simple, basic truth of this matter is that a gun did not kill those precious babies. A deranged man did. He chose a particular weapon, and used it. He could have chosen an explosive device, and killed hundreds more. It is God’s grace, to my thinking, that he did not.

    My point is this: until we–all of us: parents, educators, politicians–get to the why of the problem, the controls we enact and the safeguards we initiate will be flotsam protections against a rapidly rising tide.”

    And I heartily agree.

  3. supersarahann permalink
    January 27, 2013 1:36 am

    Very, very well said. It was a hard topic to discuss in our home. We homeschool, but keep up with current events, and it was so hard to explain this to my son. It is a hard thing for ME to comprehend and then deal with all the arguments about gun control that are hot on it’s heel.
    I agree with Anaise up there, you nailed it.

  4. Lori White permalink
    January 27, 2013 9:54 am

    Thanks, Sarah. It issuch a tough topic, though, and just doesn’t get any easier.

    ________________________________

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