In The Wake

To those who truly believe that personal gun ownership is primarily to blame for the mass shootings in America, I would suggest that you a speaking from a political point of view rather than from commonsense.
If you’re a leftie, you hate guns irrationally and if you’re a righty you defend them passionately and sometimes irrationally.

 But think: How is gun ownership different from personal drug use or even gay marriage rights issues?

You can’t ban drugs, you can’t ban love, and you sure as heck can’t ban guns. It’s not that hard to make them for starters. The manufacturing of guns came a long time before the manufacturing of modern toilets.

¬†For me, it boils down to personal choice tempered with parenting. No one but the killer made the monster that killed the defenseless Sandyhook children. Not US gun policy, not the fact that by all accounts he was crazier than a can full of rattlesnakes. There are plenty of crazy people who don’t kill.
The only mitigating factors may have been the medication he was on and the type of parenting.

Turns out the mother of the killer was a nutter herself.

According to her former sister-in-law, Marsha Lanza, Nancy stayed home to take care of Adam. Marsha Lanza also recalled that Nancy had turned her home into “a fortress” in which she was stockpiling guns and food to prepare for what she believed was an apocalyptic event associated with impending economic collapse. She had withdrawn Adam from school after “battling” with them over their unspecified “plans” for him.

So he was odd to start with and she poured some kind of religious poison into his ears which fed his paranoia.

I’ve woken every night since the shooting like many other American parents, thinking, how could he, is there something really wrong in this culture. The poor parents.

I banged the TV off in disgust, half an hour after the news coverage started. I checked in again this morning and the main channels are covering the funerals so I turned the TV off again.

Friday was a weird day to be part of American culture. I arrived home after the school run to hear reports of “some shootings” in Connecticut. I thought, “God, I hope there’s no fatalities”, only to be shocked at the carnage shortly afterwards.
I encountered others that afternoon. “NO ONE MENTIONED THE SHOOTINGS.”. It was eerie. I didn’t volunteer comments to friends or shopkeepers. No-one else broached the subject with me. We got on our way in a state of¬† bloodless suspension. It was the closest to the Zombie Apocalypse I have ever seen.

That evening there was a concert at our school.  We all looked out our kids on the school stage with the image of another devastated school not far from our minds.

The next day, we were waiting outside Costco (shopping nirvana) when the talking started. It started with joking. The Costco staff wouldn’t let the waiting crowd in, even though there was only two minutes until the opening hours.

This is very American. Everything is precisely timed. It is a bigger crime to be early than late.
The staff looked at the row of us standing ten deep and pulled down the roller doors half down in the event that the crowd got shopping induced vertigo and fell into the store before the opening time.

The man beside me yelled out, “we can still get in you know.” The crowd chuckled as we waited at the half open roller doors and poked gentle fun at the staff.

Then another man said, “There are some really dumb people in America. That animal who shot the kids”.

Another stranger said, ” they weren’t even kids, they were babies”. “Just babies.They were so young. just babies”.

We murmured, wiped our eyes and cooed over my twins in the buggy I was pushing. Then the doors opened and I ran ahead of the human tsunami to get to the chilled goods section before I got trapped in haberdashery.

 My son and his friends at the school concert the night of the shooting. In America, the show always goes on.

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