- Posted December 15, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Newtown school shooting: Thoughts and tributes
Peace and Safety, Then Sudden Destruction
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
'Tis the season of peace and goodwill. Yet, 11 days before Christmas, a madman shattered that tranquilty as he rampaged through Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut killing 20 children and 6 adults. The horror of this tragedy made even greater in that the majority of the victims were students in grades kindergarten through 4th.
For one too many times this year, our nation has been shaken to its core by a senseless act of murder and mayhem. We have endured too many mass killings in just one year. From Colorado to Wisconsin to Oregon to Connecticut. There is no rhyme or reason, there is only death and destruction.
Our hearts are heavy. Our thoughts, our prayers once more go out to the families and the victims who have been touched by this deranged action.
At the same time we honor and praise the teachers who went above and beyond in keeping safe the children, though traumatized, who have survived. These teachers, from all reports, in the face of danger managed to keep those in their charge calm and away from harm. These teachers truly meet the definition of heroes.
The loss of life is always tragic and more so when at the hands of violence. We have seen it played out way too often over this last year. But, it isn't just the mass killings that are a tragedy, which capture the heart of the nation and the attention of the media. It is also the often daily killings taking place in cities across the country such as in Philadelphia, Chicago, Birmingham, Little Rock, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Washington DC, or any of our major cities.
While some are calling for stricter gun control and the President has called for "meaningful action", it goes much farther and deeper than simply passing laws to limit gun ownership. It is a societal problem. It is a cultural problem.
As one CNN iReporter noted, "It's bigger than gun control." That contributor, Omekongo, went on to say, "While there is a place for a gun control debate in the wake of the shootings in Connecticut, the bigger issue that must be discussed is our addiction to violent means of expression. We are a sick nation. We need to heal for the sake of our children."
He is right.
Rather than addressing the root of what is happening on a much more frequent basis, we are looking at the most visible. We need to look inside. We need to reevaluate our dealing with issues and concerns. We need to go back to instilling the idea of problem solving by sitting down at the table together and working things out rather than resorting to violence to resolve any perceived grievance or slight.
Look at the most popular video games, the most popular movies and television shows that get the ratings. Violence and glorification of violence seem to be those which consumers (that's me and you) are so quick to tune in and enjoy. We must find a way to change this cultural shift back to one of compromise, logical resolution, devoid of a tendency to give in to our baser animal instinct.
We are now 10 days from the holiday which celebrates love, peace, joy and family. Yet, this day we are reeling from the utter devastation of yet another gunman.
It is time for more than just a conversation. It is time for action to rethink and change our moral compass.
From the Cornfield, with heavy heart, I sit in Mark's Den in disbelief that yet again murder and mayhem has pushed aside reason and shattered our hope and peace.