There was a time in history when parents lost many children. Well-to-do individuals often protected themselves by having their children sent to a wet-nurse and having them raised in homes where they were sometimes loved, but often neglected. Yet, if their child died, these parents nevertheless grieved.
Times have changed. A child may develop a disease that threatens his or her life, but we now expect our children to survive illnesses and when they leave for school in the morning, we also expect them to return home and tell about the day’s activities.
Losing a child is the worst of pain. I saw my father break down when one of my brothers died. He was sitting between two of his medical doctor friends who took him to another room. But as of that moment, he never again allowed himself to love a child. My sister also lost a child: a five-year old. The death of her daughter broke not only her heart, but also her fragile health.
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the hospital being treated for an infected foot. So I did not learn about the tragedy until supper time when I turned on the television to watch the news. I heard myself say: not again! There are details I do not know, but when I turned off the television, twenty children and seven adults, including Mrs Lanza, were dead. The last thing I saw were people standing vigil in front of the White House.
I heard President Obama’s speech at least three times, and I believe he set the tone. He was visibly saddened by the tragedy, saddened to the point of wiping off a few tears. He is a father and he is also a sensitive and compassionate person. Flags were at half-mast and Americans were keeping vigil, as was the world.
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For the time being we are grieving, but afterwards, we must protest or call ourselves cowards. These massacres must end and it is within our power to make changes that would reduce the death toll significantly. It should, for one thing, be illegal to own and carry firearms. There are many Republicans in Congress, but whether a member of Congress is a Republican or a Democrat is irrelevant when children die. Many if not most are parents or grandparents. They know that what happened to twenty children in Newtown yesterday could happen to their children or grandchildren. So every one must act and act now.
It seems to me that the oft-amended American Constitution could be revised yet again so that it cannot be used to allow civilians access to firearms. I am not saying that we can prevent all murders, but I am saying that if people cannot own and carry firearms they cannot shoot innocent children or anyone else.
I do not like pointing a guilty finger, but it would be my opinion that the National Rifle Association was complicit, albeit passively, in yesterday’s tragedy as well as earlier tragedies. If yesterday’s shooter had not had access to a firearm, the people of Newtown, Connecticut would have been spared the worst imaginable loss, the loss of a child, and their children could have grown into adults and enjoyed life. That right was taken away from them.
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We have gone back to Thomas Hobbes (5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679), John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778), but their ideology is also that of millions of individuals who live in the United States of America and want this madness to end. Carrying firearms constitutes the “freedom we surrender” to live in safety. In other words, safety dictates that we not own and carry firearms.
I feel immense sorrow for the bereaved mothers and fathers of Newtown, but I also feel very angry because ultimately the system failed these families. Before I close, allow me to praise the courageous teachers and other individuals who put their lives at risk to save little ones. They acted selflessly and some paid the ultimate price.
Yesterday, children died and they died needlessly. Take away those horrible guns.
© Micheline Walker
15 December 2012
Thank you for your sensitive and thoughtful post.
Gallivanta, These poor people need our support. Many had probably bought Christmas present for their dead child.
My best to you, Micheline
Lovely choice of music to accompany your post.
Isn’t a beautiful piece and so well played. I believe the title means “I call out to Thee my Lord.” Nikolayeva was a great pianist. I thank you for your note. Best, Micheline
Micheline, my dear, your message has touched my heart and I cried! I do not know what happened in America. Guess again was a massacre that killed school students and I’m so sorry that such horrible things happen!
I do not agree that civilians bear firearms. I disagree that be war. I do not agree to be killed innocent people and children. However be stopped immediately.
It’s so painful when a child dies. My mother, ever since my brother died in a car accident and broke your heart, she became very sick. She did not accept the situation! It is very sick! Her heart is very weak for both pain!
Have a wonderful day, my dear Micheline! Be blessed! Big hugs always with love, Stefania! 🙂
Stefania, Twenty children between the ages of 5 and 10 were killed by a 20-year old. Seven adults also died including the mother of the gunman. As for the gunman, he committed suicide. Americans are allowed to own and carry firearms. It has happened so often that if I had a child and lived in the United States, at this point, I would no longer allow him or her to go to school. Without the support of Congress, the President cannot stop the slaughter. But if he goes to the people, we may see a change. Big hugs Stefania. Take good care of yourself. Love, Micheline
Micheline, my dear …. I’m so so sorry for this situation. So far this very serious case was reported in the media channels in my country! I’m truly sorry for killing innocent people! : (((
Take care of yourself! Be blessed!
Big hugs always with love, Stefania! 🙂
It was absolutely horrible but President Obama is asking for change and I wrote a post showing that civilians did not have a right to own and carry arms. The Mayor of New York is also asking for change and I think people will get together and correct matters. They have too much to lose. For the parents, it’s something that will always be on their mind. Christmas will never be the same for these people. Big hugs Stefania. Love always, Micheline
Naomi Baltuck said:
I agree with you. There is absolutely no reason for any civilian to own a weapon of mass destruction, which is often the weapon of choice when someone decides to go on a rampage. Contrary to what the NRA says, the solution to gun violence is not MORE guns. But they don’t want a solution. They want only to secure their power and position and wealth, which they use to bully and bribe and frighten the lawmakers of this nation.
I agree. In the United States, there are millions of guns circulating among civilians. Yet the country is as protected as a country can be. I agree with President Obama, it has to change.
That young man suffered from a rare form of autism but autism does not usually make people violent. The problem is a societal one.
Jueseppi B. said:
Merry Christmas Ms. Micheline…..
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… * , • Merry’ • , * ‘
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‘ ‘ • Christmas . • ‘ ‘ ‘
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Namaste and never forget the grieving families of Newtown, Connecticut.