A Sad, Dark Knight

Jessi­ca, John, Gor­don, Alex, Rebec­ca, Matt, Jon, Veron­i­ca, AJ, Micay­la, Jesse fell to vio­lent killing in Auro­ra CO.This is a sto­ry of sor­row. These peo­ple have left us. Farewell, adieu, to God. It is a time to cra­dle our love and wish them safe jour­neys to the next world. We are griev­ing and we don’t want this type of gun­ning down to hap­pen again.

With your close ones, share your feel­ings and reac­tions to the Auro­ra killings. Chil­dren 8 and over have heard about it, and par­ents will want to ini­ti­ate a con­ver­sa­tion to assure chil­dren they are safe. We need to admit what hap­pened (no need to empha­size gory details). All fam­i­ly sys­tems need a pro­tec­tor, because kids know they are vul­ner­a­ble. Your role, along with fam­i­ly coun­sel­ing, is to keep them safe. Be con­fi­dent in this.

I’m sor­ry per­son­al guns are used this cen­tu­ry more against humans than for hunt­ing. I grew up on a farm, and guns were for deer and geese, nev­er to be used in self-defense. Killing was linked to the food you eat, not to get revenge or atten­tion.

We don’t under­stand why young peo­ple are shoot­ing. Why in 2011 Boston tal­lied 63 mur­ders on its streets, and the rate in 2012 is increas­ing? Look at these famous events that have hap­pened in the last 15 years.

  • 2012 In a movie the­atre in Auro­ra, 12 dead, 58 wound­ed by James 24 years old.
  • 2011 In Tuc­son when 22 year old Jared shot Rep Gif­ford and killed 6 oth­ers.
  • 2007 At Vir­ginia Tech where Cho 23 years old killed 32 stu­dents.
  • 2005 At Columbine 12 stu­dents and a teacher killed. Eric 18 years old and Dylan 17 years old con­vict­ed
  • 1998 Jones­boro AR 2 boys Andrew 11 years old and Mitchell 13 years old killed 4 girls and a teacher.

Does this seem to be an alarm­ing pat­tern? The accused are 24, 23, 22, 18, 17, 13 and 11 years old. Vio­lence is not an auto­mat­ic instinct. Vio­lence is learned and can be unlearned. More and more these acts are unnat­ur­al.

Oba­ma cut a sharp fig­ure in Auro­ra CO this week­end hear­ing sto­ries of vic­tims, and called the shoot­ing, “sense­less vio­lence”. He loved the sto­ry of Stephanie who saved the life of her best friend Allie. Allie took a bul­let in her neck and as she fell to the floor, Stephanie applied pres­sure to the wound, pre­vent­ing her from bleed­ing until they got to the ambu­lance. She saved a life.

As trag­ic as today is…, it’s worth reflect­ing on young Amer­i­cans like Allie and Stephanie. They rep­re­sent what’s best in us, and they assure us that out of this dark­ness a brighter day is going to come.”

But we can inter­vene. This is where prayer and action inter­sect.

Maybe it’s the mag­a­zines, maybe it’s the inter­net
Maybe it’s the lot­tery, maybe it’s the immi­grants
Maybe it’s tax­es, maybe big busi­ness
Maybe it’s the KKK and the skin­heads
…Maybe it’s the art, maybe it’s the sex
Maybe it’s the home­less, maybe it’s the banks
Maybe it’s the clear-cut, maybe it’s the ozone
Maybe it’s the chem­i­cals, maybe it’s the car phone
Maybe it’s the fer­til­iz­er, maybe it’s the nose ring
Maybe it’s the end, but I know one thing
If it were up to me, I’d take away the guns
I’d take away the guns
I’d take away the guns by Cheryl Wheel­er

List­ed below are some exten­sive resources for fam­i­lies. What can we do to off­set fear and paral­y­sis? Let’s empha­size com­pas­sion with our fam­i­lies. Let’s feed the home­less or knit gloves instead of nurs­ing any anger. The more we act com­pas­sion­ate­ly, the less we live in fear.

APA – Psy­chol­o­gy Help Cen­ter:Man­ag­ing Your Dis­tress in the After­math of a Shoot­ing
Help­ing your chil­dren man­age dis­tress in the after­math of school shoot­ings

Red Cross:“Red Cross Sup­port Col­orado Com­mu­ni­ty After Trag­ic Shoot­ing”;
http://rdcrss.org/PkaGkW Tak­ing Care of Your Emo­tion­al Health After a Dis­as­ter http://www.redcross.org/www-files/Documents/pdf/Preparedness/checklists/EmotionalHealth.pdf

NYU Child Study Cen­ter:
School Shoot­ings: Help­ing Teens Cope– A Guide for Par­ents. Insti­tute for Trau­ma and Resilience http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/school_shootings_helping_teens_cope_guide_parents

CNN: “Five Tips for Talk­ing with Kids about Scary News”
http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/20/living/talking-kids-scary-news/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

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