By Susan Duclos
26-28 lives, 20 of them just babies, elementary school children, and one of the first responses from other pundits isn't shock, grief or sadness, but instead it is a political point, it is an embarrassment to all of us.
(Note- 26 to 28 used because different news outlets continue to give different numbers, but all seem to now confirm 20 were children)
Starting with the left, because in the initial headlines yesterday, while reports were still being confirmed and corrected, while the bodies of the dead hadn't even been removed from the school yet, that was the first call I saw for "gun control," via Taylor Marsh.
Others soon joined in, some actually saying that the day of such overwhelming grief and tragedy is the perfect day to talk about gun control.
Then the right, instantly talking about how gun free zones, as was the Sandy Hook Elementary School area, provide a false sense of security.
Then religious pundits talking about how events such as this happen because "we systematically removed God" from our schools or others saying God doesn't stop tragedies like this in schools because "God doesn't go where he is not wanted."
Here is an idea... how about everyone STFU for a minute, step away from the cookie jar.
This wasn't about politics, this was a sick man, Adam Lanza, who via Huffington Post and ABC News, had some type of personality disorder, didn't own the guns he used, they were his mothers according to another Huffington Post piece, and had no agenda but to kill.
Political points aren't going to go away, but for heaven's sake, how about giving the nation a second to take a breath before trying to make them by using the deaths of 28 people, 20 of them ages 5 to 10 years old.
Then, before trying to impose your political views and beliefs on others, how about taking the time and space that is being used now to turn a tragedy into a political point, and actually doing something to help the families and victims of this horrific crime.
Offer a helping hand.
For example: Newtown Youth & Family Services is also collecting donations.
VictimsFirst, families that lost a loved one in the Aurora movie theater massacre, has set up a relief fund for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Or a fund started by a former Sandy Hook Elementary student to gather support
for the victims, families, and all others affected locally by the
tragic shooting on Dec 14th, 2012. The funds are directed to the
school's PTSA organization.
Newtown Youth & Family Services is also collecting donations.
Others are trying to set up a non-profit org as a Memorial Fund for the victims and families.
A Facebook page has been set up for people to send condolences and
prayers for the children and adults killed in the Newtown shooting. Visit that page here.
The American Red Cross of Connecticut immediately provided grief counseling, you can find out how to help using their services by clicking the link above.
If every single person, writer, commenter, blogger and social media user, would first write, talk and/or link to a relief fund or to all of them, before politically maneuvering and making a political point, those families would have the help they need now.
They are grieving, they do not need to be worrying about how they can afford to bury their spouse, their child, their brothers or sisters or their parents.
How about doing just one thing to help the victims and their families before we help our own political agendas.
How does that sound, huh?
I can 100% guarantee that the political battle and arguments will still be there after the short amount of time it takes to link to something, anything, that could help those families.