Thunder, Raindrops & School Massacres
This is a picture of winter on the move today. It's snowing over a large portion of the West,in the north from Minnesota to Wisconsin and it will be moving East towards the Great Lakes region. Light rain might be falling today in Newtown, Connecticut as parents, friends and town people struggle to cope with an unthinkable tragedy that has plunged our nation into an emotional disaster. Further to the East in New England snow will fall quietly as people watch TV news shows, read the news stories and watch their Twitter Feed.
Weather, unlike sudden mass murder massacres, can be predicted, forecast and prepared for...
There are maps, but they are all after the fact:
(link to site above explaining the map)
Mass murders like Aurora, Columbine and Newtown seem only predictable in the rear view mirror. Good Monday Morning Quarterbacking will show us that young man was detached from those around him and suffered some sort of personality disorder that interfered with his ability to lead a normal life with seemingly normal emotions. An OCD preoccupation with violence, video games and some sort of revenge that often only he understands. Yes, there are many common denominators... first being they are usually men, young men and they are usually suffering some sort of mental illness. Yes, women also suffer forms of mental illness but it is rare to see a young woman grab 3 guns and take out a classroom of 6 year old innocent children shooting so many bullets into them at point blank range that even the medical examiners cannot say for sure yet if one child was killed with ten or eleven bullets. Then again his mother, who was also killed by a gun shot into her face, was a gun advocate who was proud of her collection that she kept in her home.
It is true.. people kill not guns, guns are just the choice used to do the killing, however it is hard but not impossible to kill that many innocent people with a knife or a billy club. So, yes the person pulling the trigger KILLS... but the gun is the vehicle to deliver death and often the guns that are used are able to deliver death faster and more efficient than we can possibly imagine.
This is not a rant against owning guns. In Nazi Germany one of the first things they did was make it illegal for people to have guns... this happens in many totalitarian, dictator run countries the power is soley in the hands of the secret police or the Army.. This is not about a hunting gun or a handgun for a pawn shop owner to keep on him in case of a robbery... this is about a brave new world of guns that often can bring down a small army and if Butch Cassidy and Sundance had them at that final shoot out they might have survived and taken out the army that was waiting for them .....
The guns we have today out there are not the guns we had back when our forefathers wanted to make sure that every man had the right to bear arms..
The video games we played when video games were first designed are not the video games that the killer played at home, late at night, locked in his room, alone and not interacting with real people.
Somehow we segued from Pong
to fancier games we could play at home on our Radio Shack Computers..
This one had a soundtrack that was so annoying the computer was lucky I only turned the sound down and didn't get destroy the computer ...
Then there was Pacman... and Pacgirl and Pacbabies...
Somewhere... we moved forward to a new level of video games
That I won't mention here for fear that someone will go Google that game and start to play it...
When you give a video game to any disenfranchised, emotionally empty, confused person of any sex who obviously has anger issues and that game allows them to shoot, kill, maim children, old people, pimps, prostitutes and politicians over and over for hours becoming totally desensitized and disconnected with reality you have a recipe for creating a mass murderer. Yes, it may be one in a thousand or ten thousand, but all it takes is one young man or woman with a gun that could take out a low flying black hawk helicopter to go on a rampage in a shopping mall or an elementary school and kill 30 people before you can say PONG.
Here is an article in July of this year written by Forbes after another earlier mass shooting:
And, yes if the principal had a really good gun and was well trained in shooting that might have helped, but only if she had the opportunity to sniper like set up and take him out fast because his guns would most likely have been better than her guns.
I don't know what the answer is...
None of us know what the answer is...
What is the common denominator here?
What is the common denominator...
This is Jason Loughner when he was young...
This is a more recent picture before he shot Kathy Giffords in the head at a political rally.
Why do so many young children today have Asperger's and other related personality disorders...and you can't just blame Asperger's which he may or may not have had as the creator of Facebook is reputed to have suffered from Asperger's and OCD and he created something we all use every day. That does worry me. I know several young people who suffer from such problems and I wrack my brain trying to think of kids I went to school with who may have had those problems but lacked a name. I was one of those very smart kids in lots of AP classes and there were always a few odd, quiet, loner type kids ...but ... they did not take out the school Columbine style. So, what I want to know changed? How did we get from there to here... And, most of those inward, quiet types were beautiful kids who I talk to today on Facebook as we are all reunited again online. They matured, they grew up..some had "normal lives" and others had lives that seem a bit different from the average kid who had 2 kids, 2 divorces and a slew of pets. But, they are productive, happy... just a bit different and I cannot think of any kid from back then...who took out 20 or 30 kids at a Pep Rally because they had a bad day, lost it and decided to go out in a blaze of glory.
Are we trying to hard to mainstream kids and not label them in a politically correct world. Lanza supposedly not only felt emotions, he didn't feel physical pain and his teachers had to make sure he was not hurt...as if he was burned while making something he literally would not feel the pain.
Something has gone wrong in the world today and I'm not sure what is it as mental illness has always existed...and violence and murder has always existed but something has gone seriously wrong when we know someone has a serious problem, yet we live in denial and try and pretend it's not that bad and he'll be okay if only we find the right drug to calm him and control him and then when he is too old to force the drug on him... and he is suddenly 23 and not taking his meds and something is wrong.
I was one of those kids who ran with the popular kids, the geeky smart kids, the writers, the actors, the guys in the band and the athletes. I was sort of your all round, smart, popular girl who was loved by teachers, classmates and a few girls probably hated me because I was so popular. Being in acting, working on the literary paper... I knew a lot of strange kids and being in AP classes they were strange, brilliant, competitive and ambitious and yet no one was a mass murderer on the nightly news. l
What changed? That is what I want to know...
Sounds crazy I know... but the list is long.
No mention of God or religion in school ...not even a "moment of silence" or "silent prayer" ??
Some people blame bad vaccinations in the 80s and 90s that increased chances of autistic disorders. (Does my living in the 80s in LA show??)
Some blame hormones in all the foods our children eat... milk, meat.... children ARE reaching puberty at a younger age today than they were before the hormones were added to the basic foods they eat.
Divorce? That is really debatable because I believe children growing up in a dysfunctional family become dysfunctional but in his case his parents divorce does seem to have been a turning point in his life from the little we already know.
Fill in your blank __________________________________________.
The list is long of possible crazy or not crazy reasons that children who otherwise might have been awkward or quietly creative become twisted and lost touch with reality and act out the anger they hold inside that they cannot communicate in any "normal way ...
Asperger's does not kill.... murderers kill.
Guns are used to kill by murders as their weapon of choice.
Anger kills. Hatred kills.
I don't know, but one thing I do know is that one of the reasons I LOVE WEATHER is I hate watching the local news. I hate hearing which 7 week old baby died in a car when the mother ran into a store for 2 minutes and didn't know the temperature in the car rose to 109 in August. I hate hearing that a mother or father or grandparents drove over their toddler grandchild by accident in the driveway when the child was playing in a blind spot. I hate hearing about a 17 year old runner being killed by a drunk driver and I hate hearing that some unhappy father killed his wife, children and then turned the gun on himself.
I like hearing about the possibility of snow or watching a cold front move east across the plains.
I like hearing about the possibility of fog in the morning and rain at night.
Maybe I like the control of KNOWING what is going to happen tomorrow at least weather wise.
I like knowing when I hear raindrops on the roof that the forecasters got it right and the 40% of rain was right and I love listening to the raindrops. I'd rather hear raindrops than gun shots. I like waiting to hear if the rain is giving way to wintery mix and then it stops and gets quiet and it's snowing... I don't like Heavy Medal Rock or Punk Rock.. I like Jazz and Country and Soft Rock. That's just me. My husband and many of my kids watch Sons of Anarchy. I think it's cute they enjoy talking together and yes I do watch Burn Notice... but even that makes me nervous and yet...I get to see Miami and it is written so well.
Maybe when I go to Spaghetti Models and Hurricane City and play with the links on Flhurricane I feel a sense of control of what is going on and what might be going on today, tomorrow and in the five day forecast. But, most of all ... I don't want to hear a 4 year old is missing and was found dead in a nearby lake. I like watching the water vapor loop more than I like watching shoot em up TV shows.
I like the weather and the sports and I turn the local news off.
On any given day you will find me watching ESPN or TWC, but not the local news if I can help it.
Friday's "Local News" in Newton, Connecticut became the Nation's "Local News" and all channels turned to this story as ABC and NBC became CNN and FOX. We all became one Friday as we heard the news and over the weekend we are all mourning the loss of Grace and Noah and the amazing young woman who hid the children in her classroom and annoyed the shooter by telling him his targets were not there and they were somewhere else and she gave her life protecting those children. What an amazing young woman and I am sure that all of us who trust our children to their schools to every day hope and pray we have someone watching over them like this angel did.
Vicky Soto, age 27, looks like a child herself and she died... protecting her small students. She was smart enough to think to hide those children as quickly as if they were playing hide and seek. Maybe, perhaps she remembered the story of the woman in Mumbai who crawled into a cabinet in the hotel kitchen as the the murderers ran through the kitchen shooting at people... who knows... God spoke to her?
And, note she smiles and glows... unlike the look in the eyes of the murderers shown above.
I don't know what the answer was but I do know we are all on edge, all upset, all looking for some answer and there was no forecast or warning that on Friday hell was going to break loose and tragedy was going to rain down on those innocent children in a first grade classroom as they were shot one by one.
Last night I went to bed, listened to the weather radio wondering what the temperature would be. Very old school I know... We had a big Chanukah Party last night for the 8th night of Chanukah that had been set up in advance for people from the Chabad Shul I attend. And, yes one of the subjects most talked about around the table eating a variety of latkes and cakes was not the Maccabees and the Ancient Greeks and it was not Israel and the problems in the Middle East and it was not the Fiscal Cliff it was the sad tragedy that took place on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.
The weather radio talked on possible showers, fog in the morning and warmer temperatures. I fell asleep quickly, exhausted from cleaning up and sipping some really good bourbon as I was cleaning up. I woke up at 3:30 AM to the sound of something rumbling... loudly... my nerves on edge more so than normal I could not identify it as thunder. That is how on edge I am to the possibility of anything weird out there happening I suppose, because I'm a weather freak and I did realize it was thunder. It sounded a bit like a train. I put on the radio and no mention of thunder or Twisters... though it did say rain. Then there was a flash of thunder that lit up the bedroom and an explosive crash of thunder and I smiled and I wondered if it would snow in ten days. The weather forecast missed that one... never saw it coming but it was only thunder and lightning at night... not terror in the mall or the elementary school.
This morning gun control is on the table again on the talk shows and Face the Nation sounds a lot like FOX News this morning and the careful discussion of mental illness and whether banning video games is a problem with regard to freedom of speech and creative expression... and etc, etc, etc...
The truth is it is true... weapons of War should not be on our streets or in our homes. Our forefathers who knew we needed to have the right to bear arms never knew about the guns that were used in Aurora. Mental illness needs to be addressed and parents need not to live in denial and maybe the medications we are using when they are young and taking them are creating a bigger problem and not solving the problem?
We can forecast the weather, but we cannot forecast which young person is about to snap and take out a mother and a father walking through a mall buying Christmas presents and we cannot forecast which 6 year olds will never open up their Chanukah and Christmas presents because some random guy on a random day decided to randomly run into their classroom and shoot them ten times at point blank range in front of his next victim.
There are a lot of questions today... there is a lot of mourning today..
It is time for answers and actions to be taken to help stop this from happening tomorrow or next week.
And, just as I believe this was a copycat shooting from the Mall shooting a few days earlier... we hope and we pray there will be no copycat shootings later this week or ever again.