Monday, December 17, 2012

Count Me Out of This "Debate"

I consider myself a reasonable person. I am not particularly political, if for no other reason than I don't feel hugely passionate about most issues. I'm a bit of a fence-sitter.  When I do come down firmly on one side of an issue, I often can see the other's side point of view, making it hard to engage in too vehement a debate. When I do disagree with someone, I try to be accepting of his point of view, as long as it is argued with reason and not invective.

Not this time. I'm going to have to sit this one out.

Like many people, I have been deeply affected by the events in Newtown, CT. I seemed to have been spared the anxiety that has plagued some parents, but I continue to be deeply saddened by what happened. I have not watched a single television item about the tragedy and have only read one or two headline articles each day. I haven't saturated myself with information, but yet I cannot stop thinking about it. About how wrong and how sad it is. About what it must have been like. About what it must be like today in that town.

Even with my limited news exposure, I've seen enough on my Facebook News Feed to see that it has rightfully renewed discussions about gun control, mental health care, and media coverage of this type of tragedy. Of course, none of these things are singly to blame, but we'd all be better off with positive changes across the board on these issues. Who wants more guns, less care for the mentally ill or the glorification of what happened?

Apparently, there are some. And this where I bow out of accepting the other side's view. This is where I am going to need to block out those people because it creates an unhealthy amount of anger for me.

On the day of the shooting, while others were posting prayers, one person posted that he was sure everyone would soon be whining about the gun industry's being to blame. I ignored it. Today, while trying to remain upbeat and complete our final preparations for Christmas, I saw another post to the same effect, and it made me snap. As if anyone's primary concern at this moment should be for the gun industry. You have got to be kidding me.

To those who think the rest of the world is looking for scapegoats or deep pockets by calling for gun control, please keep your opinions to yourself. At least for a little while. While I firmly disagree with your position, I will be happy to debate the merits of your assertion when twenty-six families have had time to mourn. When I can get the images of someone opening fire with a semi-automatic weapon on a first grade classroom out of my head.

Until then, have some compassion and keep your opinions to yourself. This is not the time.

If you disagree with me, please do not respond in the comments. I will delete it. If you have been one of the people concerned this week about the gun industry, I will be blocking your posts from my Facebook feed. I think it's insensitive and inappropriate, and I just can't listen to it anymore.


4 comments:

  1. Cynthia: I couldn't agree with you more. My heart and prayers are with those 26 families who will not have their loved ones with them on this Christmas. Give Charlie and Isabella a big hug for me today.

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  2. To expand even further.....http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/opinion/sunday/kristof-do-we-have-the-courage-to-stop-this.html?_r=2&

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    1. That's a great piece. I particularly like the "cars don't kill people, drunks do" counterargument. In case anyone can't click through the link above, try here:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/opinion/sunday/kristof-do-we-have-the-courage-to-stop-this.html?_r=3&

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