The Sandy Hook Discussion: “But I Think The Gun Helps”

photo of president obama talking about the sandy hook massacre pictures
This post is, perhaps, a bit more of a rant than most. So . . . enjoy.

The horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut was a national tragedy.

I think that that is one thing on which most of us can agree. I will not regurgitate the upsetting details here. Because I want to talk about the response to the shooting—the things on which we do not all agree.

A lot of people are blaming the lack of access to mental health services in many places in the US.

A lot of people are blaming the easy access to guns throughout the US.

There are some loony people who are blaming outlandish things. I mean, for one thing, the idea that prayer being “banned” from schools is responsible for the shooting would be an absurd and, frankly, insulting concept even if prayer were banned in schools. But, I mean, it is not. I went to public school. Some students pray before they eat their food at lunch. My high school did not, to my knowledge, have an Abstinence Club, but there was a Fellowship Of Christian Athletes and they certainly prayed. I know that students might pray fervently and silently before, during, and after taking particularly important tests. Some students pray during the raising of the flag in the morning, though for the life of me I have no idea which school club or what is responsible for doing that.

What people complain about being banned is mandatory prayer in schools. And people complain about exclusive prayer in schools. When you go to a friend’s house and his or her family prays before a meal, it is polite to remain silent as it happens and to wait before you eat and perhaps to hold hands—depending upon the customs of your friend’s family. That’s called being polite, and you are at a friend’s house of your own volition. School is a very different situation. No mandatory, teacher-led, or student-let classroom prayer could ever be “non-denominational” enough to not exclude at least some of the religious students. And, oh by the way, not all students are religious at all. There is no need to bully students of minorities (or majorities) by excluding them. Formal and informal student-groups and afterschool clubs are more than sufficient for any student religious group.

I have even heard some proponents of “bringing prayer back to our schools” speak as if those students (and parents) who object to institutional prayer in schools are invading parties. That is not the case. Even if that mattered, I know that my family has been in this particular county of this particular state since before the Civil War. We have not invaded anywhere recently.

Interestingly, Mike Huckabee and the Westboro Baptist Church (that’s the “God Hates Fags” group) seem to have similar views on the shooting. Mike Huckabee has blamed “taxpayer-funded abortion pills” (his concept of reality is a little shaky) and other signs of the US having laws differing from those of conservative Christianity for the shooting. The Westboro Baptist Church (that’s Fred Phelps’ thing and, oh by the way, he is …

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Wisconsin Teacher Valerie Burd Lauded for Cool Head During School Shooting

Photo Still of Fox News Coverage of Wisconsin School Hostage Situation

Teacher Valerie Burd is being hailed as a hero following her actions at Marinette High School, where she remained calm after one of her students, Samuel Hengel, held her and over 20 students hostage before ultimately taking his own life.

Hengel, who was considered a nice kid and a …

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Gunman Shoots Two Children at a Carlsbad, California Elementary School

photo of shooter orourkes apartment

This past Friday morning, two children in the affluent San Diego neighborhood of Carlsbad were shot during recess at their elementary school.  The victims, two little girls, 6 and 7 years old, thankfully were not fatally wounded.  They are expected to make a full recovery.  The motive of the gunman, 41-year-old Brendan O’Rourke, is still unknown. However, he is currently in custody, but is sadly he is not cooperating with the police.

According to reports, O’Rourke scaled Kelly Elementary School’s fence during recess time.  Witnesses to the shooting say that O’Rourke appeared to be out of it, but heroically, he was tackled by three bad ass construction men who witnessed the shooting.  After being apprehended, when asked for his name, O’Rourke gave police three different names, including that of a woman.  This led officers to question his mental state.

Neighbors of O’Rourke noted that he often displayed odd behavior. In fact, they described him as a total nut job.  Vickie Rowe-Mitchell, whose apartment is under O’Rourke’s, told reporters that he would scream racial obscenities late into the night and stomp around; it’s said that actual pieces of her ceiling would fall to the ground during …

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