Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In Which I Am Not That Sad.

So I will start by saying that deaths, especially those of very young people, are always tragic.  I have nothing but sympathy and sorrow for people who experience these losses.

But.

The school shooting in Connecticut recently seems to be something a lot of people took personally.  I am sad that terrible things happen in the world, but I am not, personally, crying over this one. There are plenty of terrible things in the world and I use up a lot of mental effort not imagining them happening to my children.  There are horrible things happening in houses near your very own - I can practically guarantee many people are being raped, hurt, abused, and starved in your very own community.

In fact, this is pretty much how I feel about it, too:

And yes, I want you all to be upset and angry about the victims of Newtown. But I also want you to be upset and angry for daily victims of violence. Because it's happening. In the US. In your state. In your town. It's happening.
I'm sorry that terrible things happen.  We should work to prevent them.  But just like 9/11, this event has only shattered the illusion of safety (and increased the scale- in the US, at least).  The dangers were already there.  

4 comments:

  1. Indeed. I feel sad for everyone involved, and do pray for them. But I realize there are many other terrible things happening, and in certain countries 26 deaths is but a drop in the bucket. It's useless to go to pieces over tragedies, it's much better to analyze what happened and try to prevent it from happening again!

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  2. I am not going to read any of the things you linked to, but I am both with you on this and not with you. I live in a cave and so don't actually find out about most horrible things that happen, and I like it that way. Horrible things can easily turn into tragedy porn, and the typical American response to horrible things is to rabbit after something tangentially related and pretend that's a fix. On the other hand, I find I'm devoting a certain amount of energy to not thinking about all those dead children. Even in my news/social media blackout, I still have to work at it. And yes, one of the ways I do it is be reminding myyself how much suffering is going on right now, right here in my very own city, but while that helps me keep perspective, it's not comforting. You know?

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  3. I agree with you (I also think that you are braver than I am because I'm the sort of person who doesn't want to voice an unpopular opinion without at least a tiny hope that others will share it. Chicken.) This *was* an illusion of safety. And like the comment above mine, I'm putting some energy into not thinking about someone's babies in danger...dead. But it's the same thing I have to do nearly every day when another child is killed in violence in a tiny town in Texas/Seattle/the desert and as a collective we simply turn our heads the other way.

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  4. Anonymous5:31 AM

    I cried about Newtown for several days. But I wasn't really crying about Newtown. I was crying because--and maybe I'm wrong--I know this won't change anything. That it's more deaths in vain. More pointless lives lost. We could prevent this shit, and so much other violence, and we're not.

    I kept asking my girlfriend if it makes me a bad person that I was more focused on the policy implications than the lives lost. She said it doesn't. I'm still not sure.

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