Curtain Raiser

We Can Still Do Something About it, Colltalers

It may be impossible to anyone outside Newtown to begin to grasp the immensity of what took place there last Friday. Those few moments that the tragedy lasted will be playing in a loop every day for the lifetime of each of those personally touched by it.
To everyone else, the massacre will only add to yet more fear, and feelings of hopelessness and betrayal, as it’s happened many times before. The despair of realizing that no one was listening when we collectively have said enough the last time around.
It’s quite possible that no one will be listening yet again, as we rush through a definitely sobering holiday season, knowing full well that for a new group of over two dozen American families, there won’t be any joy to be had.
Then again, we feel that we must rise again, and say that it’s enough again, and demand change yet again, and lose our voices screaming at those who claim to represent us. There’s got to be something we can do about it.
And, beloved readers, there are. But before we get to that, let’s address first those who’ve been so jaded, so hurt by what it means to be living in this 21st century America, that will settle only for a complete, and profound, change in the way we are as a nation.
For them, the way we go about imposing, with weapons and destruction, our views on the rest of the world is tragically absorbed by the twisted minds of our most disturbed citizens, who then act upon their own madness.
Bless those radicals because they’re right, and their refusal to accept remedial solutions will ultimately lead us to a better day. There’s no question that much of the carnage going on our streets has a lot to do with the mayhem we visit on foreign streets.
But we need to start somewhere and President Obama, however sincerely he’s expressed his feelings about the murders of Sandy Hook, must as well set up an immediate task force, that will address the two main causes of what happened there.
Its mission should be to set the guidelines to instruct new federal legislation for gun control, and to elaborate a nationwide system of free, long-term care for those who need mental health therapy.
Such task force would present its report by the end of January, in time to top the president’s agenda for his last term in office. And if there’s any instance when executive powers should be invoked to approve a measure of public interest, that should be it.
We’re incurring into a self-indulgent exercise here, adding our voices to the pointless noise of hundreds of pundits, self-appointed experts, and politicians.
In fact, all that those families would ever ask right now would be to us all shut up and let them mourn their personal losses in peace.
We must stop interviewing little children, airing ‘portrays’ of the killer, and divining his insane motivations, if only to prevent the hundreds of thousands of mentally unstable youth in this country from believing that people will know about them, no matter how horrible things they may feel compel to accomplish.
But we couldn’t talk about pretty much anything else today. Let’s just hope that this debate, transfixing the nation and parts of the world, over the random mass killings of innocents, will lead us to another conversation about peace and understanding. Take good care and have a safe week. WC

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