Friday I remembered Columbine, as experienced 13 years ago by a grandparent nearly a thousand miles away.
I also noted the reality of any tragedy: there is a short and definable life to any crisis, and then people move on. It is a survival strategy. We react, then retreat.
Only if a Crisis is kept in mind to carry on year after year, will it be much remembered after a few months.
For now we are all in Aurora in one sense or another. We have things to learn from Aurora, but it will take stamina to keep it from disappearing from view, as have all the others.
A local friend in law enforcement noted this morning that his sons good friend was in the Aurora theatre, was shot, and for a time was in critical condition (he’s doing okay). He tweeted “the first half hour of the movie was great”, or words to that effect…. Another friends daughter lives in LA, and one of her friends was in the Aurora complex the night of the killings.
In this global age, “six degrees of separation” is very much alive and well. We can’t build walls to keep people out. There are no borders. We’re on one earth.
Now comes the matter of the future after the news media depart Aurora. What will happen to the necessary conversation among ourselves, about violence in word and deed*, about deadly weapons and such? It is an essential conversation that deserves to live on.
I noted in the local Patch on-line newspaper yesterday a survey about Gun Control. Normally, I don’t take the bait for these, but yesterday I did, filing the following comment.
Posted 7:40 a.m. July 21, 2012, on Eagan Patch
Dick Bernard: “I follow and support the Brady Campaign. At upper right on the home page of their website is an ongoing tally of people shot in America each day. About 1 a.m. today, for today, the tally was 8; at 7:30 a.m. it was 84. Tally for the year thus far over 54,000…. In your poll I voted “Sometimes”, though I don’t hunt, have never owned a gun, and qualified as expert as a marksman in the Army. There is no need or excuse for weapons of mass destruction in circulation in a civilized society. Last I heard we don’t need machine guns to hunt deer; and the self-defense argument can easily be reduced to absurdity. But this won’t be dealt with in the next four months before the election. People need to have the stamina of the NRA to change course on this insane business of guns in this country.”
Right before commenting, I’d chosen the “sometimes” response about “Should gun ownership be tightened?” in this “non-scientific” poll. (“Sometimes: Some guns—those primarily used for hunting or personal protection—are fine. But weapons primarily designed for violence shouldn’t be available.”) (The other options were Yes, No and Unsure.)
At last reading, 55%s of the respondents want no gun control, so the comments are quite predictable. 26% say “yes”, 17% “Sometimes” and 1% unsure.
I found the observations interesting, and rather than try to summarize them, here is the entire thread, which is now up to 147 comments.
Where do you stand on this. This deserves deep face-to-face conversation neighbor to neighbor.
* – Relevant to this conversation is an article of mine published in the July-August, 2012, Minnesota School Boards Association Journal on Bullying. You can read it here: Bullied MSBA Journal001