I feel like I ought to say something about the tragic killings in Newton, CT. Every other blogger in the world worth his salt has taken a break from their regular schedules to talk about it, offer some consolation which will not be read by the ones who most need it, or a prayer, or an invitation to prayer. I don’t even have a regular shcedule to take a break from. But what is there to say? What do I know about it? Nothing.
I know that a young man went into an elementary school with a gun and killed children and teachers. That is it. I don’t know any more, I don’t want to know any more. I wish I didn’t know that much.
I don’t know any more because I only hear about things like this second hand. I don’t watch, listen to or read the news except at work where I cannot avoid it. I can’t help but think there is something unhealthy, or at the least a bit disturbing in our national fascination with “The News.” It feels a touch voyeuristic. A tragedy like this occurs, and yes, it is tragic. The nation will talk of nothing else for a while, and ratings will go up. The gun/anti-gun debate will intensify, politicians will make speeches. The faces of those who survived and the families of those who did not will be splashed across television screens and printed pages for our sympathetic viewing pleasure. Somewhere in the nation, right at this moment, there are a handful of sad, sick, dead young men who are taking note, wondering whether they could do the same thing, whether they could maybe do it a little more spectacularly.
Whose life is enriched in the slightest by having all the horror and pain of the world paraded in front of their eyes every evening, commented on by talking heads with well-practiced emotions? How many people are going to do anything to live more fully, and how many will merely become more depressed, or more desensitized?
For myself I never want to know about things like these, unless I can do something about it. My first reaction is always a deep, black, nauseating anger. I wish I had been there. am one of a handful of men in this country with the training, skill and will to stop such a tragedy in its tracks. I could have killed the perpetrator, quickly and efficiently, and saved lives. But I wasn’t there. It does neither me, nor the victims, nor their families, nor the perpetrator, nor any living person any good for me to be angry like that. Anger without action is poisonous, and I don’t want to be poisoned by it, so I don’t want to hear about it unless there is some action I can take.
Ever since I can remember I have dreamed about being a protector of lost, abused and neglected children. My reason for joining Special Forces was to get training I could use for that goal. Sometimes the knowledge that I have these abilities now, but not yet the freedom to put them to use, irks me. About three years ago I was venting about that to a friend of mine and she told me to be patient. I will be led to act when I am ready, but only God knows when that is. In the meantime, she said, you should pray. So I have. Everyday since then when I have prayed my rosary I have included a decade for the children of the world who are lost, or neglected, or abused. That is my action for now. I did not want to know, but now I do, and therefore I will pray.
Another action is to continue to train. As I get closer to finishing out my time in the Army I am starting to research the anti-human trafficking fight. Somewhere, sometime, a door is coing to open and when it does I will be ready.
From now on, I will always have a pistol on me whenever I legally can. The odds are I will never be in the right place at the right time to have to use it, but that isn’t really the point. The point is that wherever I am there will be a tiny island where violence against the innocent will not be tolerated, and will be met with consequences proportionate to that violence.
This should go for everyone. I am not saying that everyone should carry a pistol (although if you are willing to put in the time and money to learn its use, I highly reccomend it.) I am saying that this tragedy, like all others, was the culmination of millions of tiny allowances. Whatever it was that happened to this young man throughout his life to kill his soul so thoroughly, it happened because people around him allowed it to happen. If it was abuse, he was abused because people who knew about it did not take action. If it was bullying then he was bullied because the students and teachers around him allowed him to be bullied. We reap what we sow.
Defend the innocent around you, and remember that the guilty are guilty because they were not defended when they were innocent.