Sorrow, the sky cries

Rainysaturday2012 003It is raining, on the snow. Maybe a fitting showing of grief over the meaningless death of so many in that Connecticut grade school. It’s a long way from here to there. But we share the loss.

Crying to the universe, why is this happening and what can we do to prevent it? We are in denial. It’s already sad history; it cannot be prevented.

Little kids couldn’t have caused the shooter distress, so why? He shot his mother, can we blame his parents? Why did she have those guns? Who let him come into the school? That’s anger and maybe even rage for some. We want cause and effect and obvious reasons. Something to make it stay in its box, something to make it not so random or bewildering. And we can make up answers and we will. We’ll do this so that it won’t happen, won’t have happened. That’s bargaining.

It’s already grief, shared, but not abated for a long, long time for those that were there. And not abated for those of us who vicariously watch all the broadcasts about each ‘new’ development. That’s depression or acceptance, maybe, but we’ll go back and forth, zigzagging through the stages of grief. Lets try to understand ourselves (external focus and internal awareness) and try to accept and take the positive out of a mortal situation; it happened to make us do better and be a better people. Do we understand that the locally implemented heightened school security is to prevent ‘copycats,’ that the media notoriety spins off others of us who want this kind of fame. Attention changes actions, good and bad.

What would be a better people? A better nation? And what does this intense publicity do to us?

The religious among us will call for more faith. The righteous will call for stricter laws. The pacifists will call for banning handguns, assault weapons. The gun DIYs will want more concealed carry, even in schools. The parents will call for my child to be safe in public, but stay out of our home. The sociologists will talk of reducing societal stresses, violence in the media and in the country. The psychologists will call for earlier interventions for mental issues and training coping skills. The schools will lock their doors, barricade, hide inside and be suspicious of the innocent.The police will practice more urban warfare games and school lock downs. The politicians will try to pass laws without the money to fund them. And who will benefit, will society actually benefit or will we just be more scared, less trusting, doing whatever we were doing before, more?

Each perspective will have its best answer. Each will be right; each will be wrong. Emotion plus political will may drive the money for THE SOLUTION and then we’ll complement ourselves for our effort or shake our heads at the waste and loss of freedom. Just like we have for the homeland security changes in our airports, our border crossings, but wait a minute, wasn’t this terrorism?

Do we really think that anyone can stop an unknown, random person among our thousands of people who for whatever irrational reason is willing to kill known or unknown others and then commit suicide? If it was as easy as spending money, we would have done it already and maybe we did, but it’s gone unnoticed.

And after the fact of the incident it’s easy to see the signs, but that’s after the fact. We already have 25 percent of the world’s population of jailed people, in our jails. This kind of shooting was a rare event; terrible, but rare. Suicide by gun, is not rare. Mental illness is not rare. Poor coping skills…not rare. Unhappy people, far too common in a nation of abundance.

I’ve looked at some of the studies of various earlier efforts in US to quell gun homicide. The results, for the most part, haven’t been wonderful, well we’ve got, what we’ve got. Lots of guns and really, controlling guns/ammo would be a management tool, not actually an over-all solution. Problem oriented policing appears to have some of the best outcomes. In healthcare I was used to problem oriented interventions. That begs knowing what the  problem is and being very specific to the person(s) and family or facility. Do we know what the problem is and why we as a nation have so many more homicides than other nations at similar socioeconomic status or maybe we’re comparing ourselves wrongly because we haven’t come to grips with the current vast split in poor vs wealthy? Why do so many women go to get mental help and so many men that need it, avoid it?  And can we do the research without bias? And then would we have the will to do change, whatever the agreed upon many-faceted best solution is when it affects us, our business, our freedom and our pocketbook? Or would we just rather shout out our preferred solution that we already are doing? Because it’s someone else that’s the problem, not us.

Well, I told you I was cynical in my “About.” Maybe it’s from all those years in healthcare working with people who continued doing things that resulted in worse chronic illness and being really surprised when someone actually significantly made changes, wow when you do them they really work, of course, could be my skewed sample was that of those remaining in long-term care.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of so many in one day and my condolences go out to the community and families.


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