Just imagine being the parent of one of the victims. What a horrific loss, and unimaginable shock. They wake up the morning of the December 14, 2012 absolutely fine - nothing abnormal at all, then bang! What they imagined to be things going according to schedule turned out to be anything but. All the derangement of a murderer's evil was visited on them shifting them out of place and away from the peace of being a parent. It really knocked us all for a loop. So sudden, so hard, there was no time to process it.
That people like that can walk through society never being spotted or headed off, really is amazing. They get access to semi-automatic weapons, with assault rifles used by Polish Military Intelligence, and handguns used by American local law enforcement and the federal government. Sometimes it makes a person wonder what it is the people supposed to be preventing this kind of thing are spending our tax dollars and resources on exactly? What a wasteful failure.
There seems to be a new rampage involving guns each month, if not once a week at this point. Clearly, whatever forces are at work in our government in the prevention of such terrible tragedies are in need of a good house cleaning, and perhaps with a board of civilian oversight made up of average people. Really. It's one thing when gun rampage using legally bought weapons is a rarity, and at one time it was, like major skirmishes between Israelis and Palestinians, but now they are all too common, and we are all paying the unwanted and completely unnecessary and, one would think preventable, price.
Then again, our government can't even properly screen people going into the military. For example, the rate of people enlisting in the military that have committed rape is at least double what it is in the general civilian population. As a result, women serving in the armed forces today are more likely to be raped by a fellow American soldier, than to be killed by a foreign enemy combatant. We can't even screen what people are being accepted into our military.
Then, once in the military, our government cannot protect the women serving from being raped. They don't even do a thing to whittle away at the culture of denial and permissiveness. In many cases women don't bother reporting, because the person to whom they should report is a friend of the rapist or the rapist themselves.
As such, what should be the safest community in the world is actually a hazardous place for women. As Marcia G. Yerman reported in her piece about the documentary, The Invisible War, “More than 20 percent of female veterans have been sexually assaulted while serving; 80 percent of survivors do not report the incident. Claims are not treated seriously and the credibility of the victim is continually called into question. Rape cases are usually handled by men, as women are considered "too sympathetic" for the task.” ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-g-yerman/the-invisible-war-documentary_b_1650009.html)
Just as troubling is that military contractors working for one of the three major defense contractors to the Pentagon, DynCorp, have been caught on three separate occasions molesting child sex slaves. They first were caught in Bosnia, then in Columbia and most recently in Afghanistan. ( http://www.salon.com/2002/06/26/bosnia_4/) ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-isenberg/its-dj-vu-for-dyncorp-all_b_792394.html) ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/213720) In Afghanistan they were caught arranging and participating in traditional Afghani parties where young boys dress up like girls to then be auctioned off to the highest bidder to be raped. ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/26/AR2009072602358.html) Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has not only ignored the problem, but has renewed their contracts without batting an eye.
In places where standards are supposed to be the highest kept, and our government is supposed to conduct itself in ways that are beyond reproach, women and children cannot even be protected. Actually, according to the statistics there even is a much higher incidence of men being raped in the military compared with civilian life – men.
Tragedies that happen with legally purchased guns only serve to underscore the fact that somewhere our government is dropping the ball when it comes to keeping us safe. Apparently, the gunman's mother bought the weapons for him that he used to kill her and the children at the school in my home state of Connecticut. As family members, when we see that one of our own is getting involved with guns - especially when they are young, or psychologically unstable – we need to do something.
The truth is, gun legislation to correct the issues may be hard fought, and thus take a long time; hopefully not so long, but in the meantime it is up to us. If we know a person that's psychologically unstable that possesses a gun, we should find a way to prevent them from obtaining or keeping it. We can't just sit by and allow such things to happen, and then sit back as the news miserably fails trying to spin things politically.
We must also demand better from our politicians, and the people in charge of law enforcement. Gun violence is all too common and unfortunately it takes a shooting in the suburbs to make us all realize it – even though it is happening everyday in poor inner city neighborhoods across the country where kids can't even walk to school for fear of being shot. It must be stopped.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.