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I don't need to know their names

 

It's Saturday, the day after what will forever be known as the Sandy Hook School murders.  Yesterday Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old man, broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and shot to death six adults and 20 small children.

We're all in shock and looking for answers.  We're crying, grieving, mourning, and we want answers.  We want gun control that actually controls guns.  We want people not to blame the guns but the shooter.  We want to know the names of the victims, and, as I write this, all news stations are on alert, awaiting a press conference where those names will finally be announced.

We decided long ago that when we know the names of the dead we make a connection; we see them as human beings and not as statistics.  When George W. Bush, in an atmosphere where so many people were against his wars, decided that it was too political to show our war dead arriving home in body bags, we were furious.

When President Obama finally opened it up, publicizing the names and showing us proof that the flag-draped coffins were back on our soil, we saw it as our chance to honor the dead in a way that actually meant something. 

I want to know the names of our military dead. There is something to be said for giving them public identities in order to recognize that they gave their lives in the service of our country.  They gave their lives for us.

But when I heard this morning that they were going to release the names of the children later today, I cried. I don't want to know their names today.  I don't need to know their names today.  I don't want their names associated with yesterday's horror.  Not now.

The emotions are still so raw it could be my own shock,  my own grief, my own thoughts as a parent and about kids in general, but if the lives of those kids can't be given back to the families, the least we can do as supporters, it seems to me, is to take a moment to remember them, not as victims of a gruesome murder but as wonderful, vivacious, funny, wacky little creatures who gave those around them, every day, a reason to love them.

I don't need to know their names in order to honor their existence and to mourn with the mourners.  I can picture them as children in every school, in ever community, in every home.  I see them in the eyes of every child who trots off to school thinking the worst that could happen to them is to fail a test or make their best friend mad at them.  I know who they are.

I don't want this first day without them to be laden with gun control arguments or off-the-wall, fact-free analyses about what happened and why, only later to to be capped with funeral dirge music as the names of the children are read off, as their sweet pictures roll on and off the screen, raw reminders that their deaths were the outcome of an unspeakable act of madness.  Not today.

Please.  Not today.

A reporter on MSNBC was choking up as he stated:

I have seen people removing their child safety seats from the back seats of their cars.

They wont need those devices any longer.

People are removing presents from under their trees...

Because there wont be anyone to open them.

I cannot imagine being a member of the police force or being part of the clean-up crew that had to go into the classroom that presented the dead bodies of those babies!

The look of horror on the faces of the surviving children as they escaped is too much for me.

It is reported that some of the parents with children who escaped the massacre are removing their outside Christmas decorations. Evidently because they feel guilty about celebrating anything except for the fact that their own children survived.

That's all I got right now.

 

Everything about this story is too sad for words.  It has hit me harder today than it did yesterday, and I didn't think that was possible.  That's what shock does, I guess. 

It is hitting the whole country hard.  In our life time this will be felt and remembered like the death of Jack Kennedy and the Oklahoma Federal Building bombing.  The reason is the pain is so strongly felt personally by almost everyone.  I still can't look at pictures of the bombing without feeling grief. 

I did some research on a little of what you need to know about the sad state of 'gun control' in the USA.

I posted this on a Richard Day news item, which will likely soon disappear if Artappraiser (no offense meant)  updates us further on such issues as Gaza rocket perfumes,  François Holland and French gays, or Very Important speeches given by General Hassan Firouzabadi in Tehran.

Since the Newton massacre there were (2) killed in a shooting at the Excalibur Casino in Vegas, (3) killed in a shooting at a hospital in Alabama, and (50) shots fired outside a mall in southern California, causing panic but no injuries.

Checking online, it is legal to mail order a 100 round drum magazine for a Bushmaster assault weapon and ship it to Newton, Connecticut. No problem. The assault weapon itself is OK too "As long as they were either pre-ban, or are neutered (no bayonet lug or folding/collapsing stocks, and have either no flash hider or a permanently pinned one)." But, get this..... you might have to pick the gun up from a 'FFL' running guns from his pickup truck.

An FFL is someone with a Federal firearm license, it allows the FFL holder to buy and sell guns and military style weapons from their home or pickup truck, Instructions for getting one are here. They have a package deal where you can get a regular FFL AND a 'Class 3' instructional packet for $54.99. The Class 3 allows you to legally own and sell machine guns, silencers, and make or modify fully auto weapons.

One online seller has a list of FFL holders they can ship your gun to in states that don't allow you to get the assault weapon from Fed Ex or UPS. They ship it to the FFL, you pick it up at some designated location, or the FFL holder may drop it off at your house.

Ables's 'Sporting Goods' explains how that works here.

States violating the Republican Party Platform on magazine size are:

States Prohibiting Large-Capacity Magazines:

California 10 round limit
Hawaii 10 round limit
Maryland 20 round limit
Massachusetts 20 round limit
New Jersey 15 round limit
New York 10 round limit

 

There is a bill that is going to be introduced on assault weapons that Senator Finstien has been working on since 2004. It will be introduced on the first day of the new Congress in both houses at the same time. The ban is going to include class 3 items. We will learn just how broad it will be on class 3 and gun shows. She said on MTP this morning that NRA will not be able to have the court over turn this law. The 1968 Gun Control Act authorizes the additional bans so I am guessing she working under that authority. I don't know if this will be a permanent ban like Title II.

We'll need to watch this closely and make sure it doesn't get buried like the rest of the promises after every other mass murder in our country.  The horrible events and the subsequent outcry always prompt our lawmakers to come out and make promises, and then nothing happens. 

I hope Feinstein gets it done this time but honestly, I'm not holding my breath.

NCD, thanks so much for this. Obviously there is no real gun control. The responsibility ends when an important looking document signifying some watered-down attempt at law-making is signed and touted and then tucked away.  Because now the job is done.

I'm working on a piece about gun laws and the NRA and this will be useful.  Thanks again.

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