December 19, 2012

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I could not find the words to express the true horror I felt, just like everyone else, after the tragedy in Connecticut. It took me days to process the shock; I had been taking yet another unofficial break from blogging, and the post that went live yesterday had been already scheduled long ago. 
I am not one to express myself well during times of grief and bereavement; I tend to clam down on myself and appear as cold or uncaring to others. I have come to figure out that the best way to cope with devastation is to shut access to emotions that should occur naturally. 
But the thought of those innocent children, ripped off their families in a place where they should feel safe, happy, and eager to learn and develop; the idea that they will not be here for the holidays, they will have no prom, no graduation, no acceptance in college, no weddings... In short, that their lives have come to such a cruel stop is simply unbearable.  
After Friday, I've received an email newsletter from my university (New York University) with a link to an article written by a health professional on how to help children cope with the news of public shootings. "Plan defense strategies with your child". Every school has safety drills, but they didn't exactly prove to be effective, now have they? "Tell them that it makes the news because it is important, but it is unlikely to happen".
Unlikely to happen, but still, it happened, more than once. And every single time I heard that there was a shooting, a part of me, in terror, expected to hear "Bethesda, Maryland". Either the schools that my cousins attend, or my former high school, where friends I care a lot about are every day, studying or working there. 

IFB and about every blogging pro advise not to get political, but to hell with it, I'll get political: numbers show it. Death tolls show it. The evidence is in our face, plain and grand: guns kill people. I have always firmly believed that, which is why I do not own a gun, while I could; I rely on pepper spray to defend myself. That is a method of effective defense that can't be used by blood-thirsty psychopaths to randomly kill people. Tasers also work. But if the government lets people own and maintain this unhealthy fetishism with the idea of owning a contraption that can take so many lives, there will be more innocents to die. Every time parents send their children to school, they'll wonder if they will see them alive. Every time someone goes to a shopping mall, they'll wonder if they'll come out alive and uninjured. 

A stop must be put to this now. 

A right to self-defense, yes. A right to kill, no. Firearm ownership by civilians must be banned immediately. Access to defensive non-lethal weapons, like pepper spray, tazers, and such, should be made more available. But first, ban guns. 

And may the victims of Friday's tragedy rest in peace. 

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