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Thoughts Following School Shooting in Newtown, CT

Since forever, at least in America, we've had repetitive incidents of gun violence wantonly killing people, most recently in Newtown, CT. Will we ever learn?

Friday morning we took a quick trip over to an area shopping mall to watch our 7th graders school band do a half hour mall concert. I’m always proud watching kids perform, and the teachers work their magic with those kids, and this concert was no exception.

This band was a unit, playing a medley of Christmas songs for quite a throng of us, likely heavily sprinkled with parents and grandparents of the student (our grandkid also had his aunt there. His Mom and Dad were at work, the former as a Middle School Principal a few miles away.)

Enroute home we stopped at a store on busy France Avenue to pick up some items, and decided to have lunch in a casual dining place across the drive. Meal over, we walked past one of those ubiquitous flat screen TV’s on the wall, sound off, closed captioning on.

I noted something about a shooting in a school, and the view of the top of a school somewhere provided by a news helicopter. We stopped until the closed caption at least identified where the breaking news was taking place, and saw it was in Connecticut, and drove home.

The rest is history, and as we all know, the massacre at the Newtown, CT, elementary school became the story of the day, and will now dominate for awhile the public and perhaps even the political conversation — and it is a conversation we all need to be involved in about our American reverence for rights, freedom and guns, regardless of deadly capacity.

We’ve had plenty of warning and even practice in this conversation: Not long ago was the Aurora theatre; followed by the assault on the Sikh Temple; followed by the attack on the business in Minneapolis; the Portland Mall…and on and on. There were similar events before; others still to come. Pretty uniquely American….

Random acts of violence involving guns. We know that such events trigger similar events. Someone, somewhere gets an idea….

The debates again beginning will be predictable, I fear.

After Aurora the on-line Patch newspaper editor in Eagan started a poll/conversation on gun control. I had joined the conversation thread then.

Consistently about 60% of respondents were against any kind of gun control, and were passionate about it; the rest of us were more or less evenly divided in favor of gun control, or at minimum of restrictions on guns and ownership.

Aurora passed, and on life went, but the poll remained and I was still on the list to receive comments. After each of the above incidents the comments began again. I just looked (early a.m. on Dec. 15) and there are 684 comments, with the percentages consistent with my above comment.)

I’m guessing that sometime today the poll will return to my inbox, with the predictable passions continuing.

Of course, the 60% against gun control is reflective only of those who take the time to present their point of view in a non-scientific poll. It is just a poll, and is so acknowledged there.

But at least respondents present a point of view, even though it is one I have always disagreed with.

If there is to be a change in gun policy in this country, it is going to have to be from the people, including the many who think they can’t do anything, and complain that it’s up to the politicians.

Not so.

WE are the politicians in this and so many ways.  We have to be the leaders in this.

A wrong position on guns has for far too long been a political death sentence for our political leaders, and if we don’t like that, we’re the ones who will have to be, as Gandhi said, “the change we wish to see”.

Those middle schoolers at the suburban mall went home safely yesterday; 26 people, mostly tiny children, in a Connecticut town didn’t….

POSTNOTE: My favorite blogger has a good summary of yesterdays news about the CT massacre and the politics here.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Phyllis Jackson December 18, 2012 at 04:38 PM
No trying to reason with Yomammy....he doesn't want to listen to any common sense. Did you use an assault weapon when you went target shooting and hunting?? I really doubt that you did, plus tell me who needs these assault weapons and for what use, other than to kill people. I'm all for people having their hunting guns and rifles,but only the military and the SWAT teams should have assault weapons. Let's try to reason instead of being ignorant,
Susan December 18, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Of-course you won't, because stopping your antics would be the grown up thing to do...
Susan December 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Kris, I am all for that. There is absolutely no point or purpose for these other than to kill as many people as fast as possible. We regulate food, drugs, toys, and all other products in the name of protecting human life, yet somehow guns are untouchable. Its absurd!
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Dosen't sound like you are being to "reasonable". Yes, I DO target shoot with my "assault" rifles. The are cased in transport , and locked up securly at home. . You erode rights slowly like this--- think of the frog in the pot...and it can happen for ANY right we have. You just keep telling yourself it cant happen to any other amendment...
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 05:03 PM
sure there is a purpose...becasue they are fun to shoot!
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Obama...the greatest gun saleman in history. lol.
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I will take that risk...you feel free to hug the intruder in your house...
Janet Hartje December 18, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I think if mental health care were as affordable and acceptable as say a gun we might not be having this conversation.
Dick Bernard December 18, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I'm always most intrigued by the people who comment with aliases - "yomammy", for instance. I give them as much credit as their anonymity deserves, which is no credit.
Phyllis Jackson December 18, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Couldn't agree with you more Dick! If they were so adamant in how they felt, why use an alias. I call them cowards.
Rich Brington December 18, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Hey Susan, I agree with you. We should also ban all fertilizers. Hell, just still me in a white padded room. Susan, you don't get it. The evil will always find a way to commit evil. Getting rid of guns will only restrict people who want to protect themselves from evil from having guns. The people who want to commit evil will still find a way.
Susan December 18, 2012 at 05:32 PM
It saddens me that some find that target shooting with these ridiculously deadly weapons is more important than children's lives. There is no logic in this particular argument in regards to freedom, only the child-like, stamping their feet and saying "because I want it!" It will be interesting to see what the Republicans in Congress will do....take a chance at losing their NRA money, or stand up and say enough is enough, we need some boundaries.
Rich Brington December 18, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Susan, go to hell.
Susan December 18, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Rich, all you have to do is look at the comparison of what happened in China and Connecticut, on the same day, to see the stark difference. A knife - twenty children are alive. A semi-automatic gun - twenty children are dead. DEAD. If you can't see this, you are blind.
Susan December 18, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Rich wrote: "Getting rid of guns will only restrict people who want to protect themselves from evil from having guns. The people who want to commit evil will still find a way." Do these ranters even read what other people write, or do they just assume everyone on the left wants to ban guns. Please get your facts straight, I don't want to ban guns, which I clearly stated.
Phyllis Jackson December 18, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I can't believe that cans are more important than our children's lives. What a ruthless people we have become. There are just some people that do not want to reason with anything....someday some of these people may have a family member killed by these guns that they so want to keep in their lives. Maybe then will they change, but I doubt it.
Phyllis Jackson December 18, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Guns not "cans" in my statement above....sorry about that.
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 06:14 PM
dont care.
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Another lefty go-to statement "do it for the children!!!!"
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 06:19 PM
she hates these cans!!!!
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 06:25 PM
And when you finally pass these laws and libs dance in the streets, with church bells ringing...The criminals will form a line to turn in their weapons and "clips" as the left call them. Criminals are known for strictly obeying "laws" that are passed. Maybe someday we will make murder illegal, and then we wont have to worry about being killed anymore!!!! ( I am soooo writing my reps to get on this serious "murder" issue!!)
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 06:26 PM
yawn.
Rich Brington December 18, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Yomammy, so people don't agree with you but don't worry. There are still some of us who support you in Woodbury.
Susan December 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Thomas, I mean RIch, I do believe you are the first and only.
yomammy December 18, 2012 at 07:09 PM
well.....thats one!!!! :)
Susan December 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM
It's such a terrible thing to consider....our children.. Please keep it up, yomammy, you're telling us more about yourself with every ridiculously ludicrous statement.
Scummy Liberal December 19, 2012 at 01:05 AM
News flash, "Yo mammy accidently kills best friend with his assault rifle , his next best friend, mistakenly thinking he was an intruder. He just stopped by , he said, to drop off some hollow points I asked for. I will put them to good use the next time I shoot my, new best friend, my assault rifle, he elaborated.
Kris Janisch December 19, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Dick posted another blog today: http://patch.com/B-cHGC
Kris Janisch December 20, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Let's keep it clean everyone. No person attacks please. See our terms of use: http://woodbury.patch.com/terms
LIVE-ANOTHER-DAY January 21, 2013 at 12:26 PM
yomammy rocks.

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