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”


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