I've been in a funk for awhile, but probably never more so than in the immediate aftermath of the events at Sandy Hook Elementary school. It's taken me nearly a month to write about my feelings.
The massacre happened on a Friday. News organizations had the luxury of a pre-Christmas holiday weekend, when viewers weren't paying attention to minute by minute coverage, to piece together at least some of the details. Starting early Monday morning, every major news organization in the U.S. was broadcasting from Newtown, Ct. An image started to form for me that day, and it wasn't pleasant. That image is what led to this diary, and my personal feelings about what everyone needs to see – visually – to shock this nation into developing some sanity regarding firearms control and regulation.
What follows below the squiggle isn't all that long, but it's rather graphic. I apologize in advance for any personal trauma that this diary may trigger for individual Kossacks. If you're sensitive to this stuff, please read no further.
Ever since the Newtown tragedy, and particularly on the Monday after, a video loop started running in my head based on the timelines that were being developed. I've visualized from a "fly on the wall perspective" what the horror must have been like, from the first trigger squeeze in a Newtown house, through the time that police arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary. Every adult in America needs to understand the background of this event, then honestly create an unsanitized visualization in their minds of what happened on that day, and finally (hopefully) come to the realization why most of the proposed solutions being floated wouldn't have stopped the carnage.
It's the unsanitized visualization that would, without question, move America closer to some gun sanity.
I'd like to be able to erase the visualization that I've created in my head of the horror and sadness of the event as it unfolded. As much as anything, I'd really like to understand why, nearly a month after the events in Newtown, not a single piece of federal legislative or executive action has yet to be taken in order to demonstrate a national resolve that there will be no Sandy Hook's in the future.
The one thing that might finally shock America into dealing with gun sanity would be a single leaked picture of the macabre scene inside of Sandy Hook Elementary after police arrived. One damn picture would be worth a million words. Barring that, an animated video (I don't have the skills) of what the rampage was probably like, based on available descriptions and timelines, during and after the massacre, might do the trick.
Every American, both pro- and anti-gun, needs to have the mental motion picture of 20 babies and 6 adults being systematically executed in cold blood, in rapid succession, looping through their brains at 24 frames per second until we get to a point in this country when such an incident is no longer possible.
The events of December 14th, 2012 in Newtown, Ct. are not abstract, though they become so when the debate is sanitized. We cannot, as a country, afford to sanitize the picture in this instance. There needs to be a true visual shock to the national consciousness. And then we need to move past shock.
Anger and resolve on a national scale are the key emotions that will be required in order to force some rational decision making. The path forward needs to lead to an end point where no single civilian citizen in this country has the capability of creating death on the scale of Sandy Hook. While we will never totally eliminate the potential for mass slaughter of young children in their classroom, we must have the political will and national courage to do whatever is necessary in order to immediately and dramatically decrease the probability (and body count) of another such tragedy. Turning schools and other public gathering places into armed fortresses is not the answer to the core problem of a country gone gun insane. Gun sanity is.
Once again, I apologize in advance for the somewhat graphic nature of my diary or any trauma that my description may trigger. But like I said, I can't get the images out of my own head.
At the end of the day, there will be no pictures of the Sandy Hook massacre released to the public. No one is going to put together a video animation of the events and upload it to YouTube in order to force visualization, even though many of us might agree that America's collective nose needs to be forcefully rubbed in the problem in order to fix it.
As a country, we must get to a place where sacrificing 20 young children and 6 adults at the altar of the 2nd amendment simply isn’t acceptable or even possible. When incidents like Sandy Hook become no more than a basis for abstract political discussions, and the reality of the horror fades into statistics, I don’t know how we get to that place other than the release of graphic imagery that can’t be ignored.
I’m not sure there’s any other way to end America's infatuation with guns.