‘Twas Eleven Days Before Christmas

I had an odd, random thought earlier: what kind of hell is it going to be to return that X-Box or new laptop–for which a parent braved a Black Friday mob–because the lucky boy or girl was shot and killed at school?

“And why are you returning this?”

“Oh, my kid was shot three times in the head with a military assault weapon.”

“My Lord. I’m so sorry! Was he in Afghanistan?”

“No. She was in her first-grade classroom.”

Emilie Parker, Age 6, Deceased

Emilie Parker, Age 6, Deceased

I don’t know what drove Adam Lanza to go on his murdering rampage. I don’t know what the cherubic Emilie Parker did to deserve three bullets shot into her brain.

If somebody came up and shot me, know what? I’d be angry and scared, but some part of me would also be thinking, “While this DOES suck, and it really hurts, there HAVE BEEN some definite sins in my past. Anyway, it’s been a helluva ride,  and I’m not afraid to die.”

No way Emilie Parker had time to commit as many sins as I did, and even I don’t deserve to be shot.

We’ll never know what Emilie would have done with her life. She was teaching her four year old brother how to read, so maybe she’d have been a great teacher. She was really good at drawing, so maybe she would have been an artist. She had an air for the flamboyant (and she was beautiful), so maybe she would have been an actress. Or maybe a forklift operator at Home Depot–it doesn’t matter; we’ll never know. She will never get that chance. She was shot to death by a man she didn’t know,  just because she went to school like she was supposed to do.

There was a lot of talk on the Interwebs yesterday about our country’s lack of adequate mental health services for the indigent. This guy wasn’t psychotic–he had Asperger’s, at least according to those who knew him. He kept to himself, rarely talking to anyone, but he was an honors student. Nobody really seems to know what happened to him. He apparently quit going to class.

But the guy wasn’t living in a refrigerator box somewhere. He lived in a nice house. His mom had trouble working, but she was able to squeak out an existence on the $240,000 a year alimony she received. For $20,000 a month, she could have paid for a shrink.

Adam Lanza was not a street-living psychopath, unable to afford his meds. He was withdrawn from society, as one writer put it, “walking through life leaving very few footprints.”

We can’t blame our country’s indifference to psychiatric patients who have no insurance. (We can and should blame our government for this egregious situation, but we can’t use Adam Lanza as an example)

The gunman had Sig-Sauer and Glock semi-automatic pistols, and a .223-caliber Bushmaster assault rifle. The coroner  said the murders were committed with the rifle, and the resulting damage to those tiny bodies was the worst thing he’s ever seen. The Bushmaster is not designed for hunting squirrels or anything. Ronald Scott, a former head of the Massachusetts State Police’s firearms lab, says, “…the weapons are designed for combat. ‘There’s really no other use for them’.”  (MSNBC.com)

The American Revolution was fought with flintlock muskets that took forever to reload after every shot. The were only accurate to about a hundred yards, and if you missed, your best chance to survive was to use the bayonet attached to the end of your musket. The Revolutionary Army didn’t have .223-caliber Bushmaster rifles. Thank God, neither did the British, or we’d all be speaking English today.

Strike that last bit.

There’s a wonderful exchange in a “West Wing” episode. Sam and Ainsley are arguing the Second Amendment, and why Republicans (Ainsley) are so anti-gun control, while the Democrats (Sam) want strict gun control. Ainsley says, “It’s not that you all hate guns. You hate people who like guns.” I don’t know why I thought of that.

I guess it’s that this is the denouement I foresee. Once the memorial services are done–once the networks finish broadcasting those tragically small coffins being lowered into the ground–this tragedy will be grist for political grandstanding on both sides. Both sides will huff and puff, and bloviate about how “banning assault weapons would have prevented this tragedy,” to which the other side will say, “If the teacher in the classroom were armed, the gunman wouldn’t have succeeded.” (The “armed teacher” thing has already been suggested–I can’t remember which dickwad said it, though)

Amazingly, speaking of dickwads, according to a New York Times article I read, Mike Huckabee actually said that if we allowed school prayer, this wouldn’t have happened.

Words elude me as to how stupid a statement that is, unless you had U.S. Army Rangers and Navy Seals leading the prayer. “And lead us not into temptation. And deliver us from evil. As well as from crazy armed guys bursting in here and killing us during our spelling lesson. For Thine is the Kingdom…”

“Experts” will appear on talk shows, and explain why the killer’s parents screwed up, or how the system failed the shooter. Networks will milk this until the Inauguration gives them something fresh to besmirch.

I hate what happened in Newtown, CT. I hate it with a passion. Those children and adults were people, not actors in a bad TV movie. They were not pro-gun nor anti-gun activists, and yet in death, that’s who they will be, the masters they will serve.

I’ll do my best to ignore the bloviating (although, I do love using the word “bloviate”).

This crisis boils down to one thing. This:

Emilie Parker, Age 6, Deceased

Emilie Parker, Age 6, Deceased

I hope the motherfucker who robbed the light from those impossibly blue eyes suffers the most agonizing afterlife imaginable, so torturous and painful that Satan himself gets queasy and pukes.

I  wish the Newtown community Divine Peace, rapid healing, and  that all the media go the hell home soon.

And to all those victims, adults and children alike, requiescat in pace. For indeed, “The streets in Heaven are far too crowded with angels tonight.”

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6 Responses to “‘Twas Eleven Days Before Christmas”

  1. I can’t even reply. I can only look into those beautiful eyes.

  2. You’ve seen on FB how I’ve struggled with this. And then I look into her eyes, and I shatter. I’m done.

  3. I have felt a hopelessness after this that I have never ever felt before. I don’t know how I will shake it. Or whether I should.

    • Little kids, 11 days before Christmas. You know they were all excited.

      I agree with you, my friend. How will we shake this, or even should we?

      Their surviving classmates are crushed, I’m sure. My Carrie teaches first grade, and she loves her kids to pieces. So the teachers will be crushed. The parents? God, the nightmares that will be legion in Newtown. Horrifying.

  4. The horror is unimaginable. Knowing how sensitive kids this age are, I can barely even imagine them being able to return to a schoolroom.

    • I know! And if you can’t feel safe in your first-grade classroom, you may never feel safe anywhere. Hopefully, they’re young enough that their memories will fade. I don’t know, though: I remember a lot from when I was seven.

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