SANDY HOOK PUTS US ALL ON THE HOOK,By Louise Annarino,December 16,2012

16 Dec

SANDY HOOK PUTS US ALL ON THE HOOK,By Louise Annarino, December 16,2012

I have finally stopped crying every time I think about Sandy Hook Elementary School. So many of us are afraid to allow such grief to overwhelm us, fearing we will lose our minds. Since the death of John F.Kennedy, I have been a public crier. I cry over news reports. I cry if I see anyone else cry. I remember once hearing Italian actress Sophia Loren respond to an interviewer’s comment about her beautiful eyes, “If you haven’t cried, your eyes can’t be beautiful.” She then went on to describe what horrors she and her mother experienced in Italy during WWII…with tears in her eyes.

Tears teach.Tears tell us what matters most, whom we most care about,whom and what we are willing to suffer for…even die for. We must pay attention to, and find answers to our tears. I am not sure, however, that we are asking all the right questions when it comes to gun violence. We must discuss the limitations and expansion of gun control consistent with the U.S. Constitution. After all, any bill Congress passes must overcome constitutional challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court. Clearly, the 2d. amendment right to bear arms, like the 1st.Amendment free speech provisions, should be subject to reasonable regulation. It is ironic to argue one “cannot yell fire in a crowded theatre” but one can carry in a weapon, even into a bar full of drunks. The Wild West has taken root in middle America.

However, gun control did not prevent Sandy Hook. It appears Mr. Lanza withdrew his purchase request from a local gun shop when informed he had to await a 2 week back-ground check. Not willing to wait so long he used guns belonging to his mother. His mother? Who needs assault weapons in their homes? We hear descriptions of safe and friendly Sandy Hook where violence is unexpected; so, why the arsenal at the Lanza residence? No matter what gun control laws we pass,even if they work for most cases, we cannot prevent every violent act so long as we behave with such senseless abandon regarding gun ownership. What is it with us that  the problem always belongs to “the other guy”? And lock-down did not save Sandy Hook Elementary; the gunman forced entry.

It reminded me of meeting all students Affairs staff called by the OSU Dean of Students during the Spring 1970 student strike.As an RA in Lincoln Tower I was required to attend. There, we were told of plans, to which I strongly objected, to build a fence around the administration building to block access, and to protect it from protesters. The protest was in response to a refusal by the President to meet with the student body and Afro-Am presidents and receive a petition requesting recruitment of minority faculty-staff-students, establishment of a minority affairs office and  Black Studies Department, and policies and programs to end racism in on and off-campus housing etc. I suggested the university use the money for the fences to fund such programs and end the protest peacefully. Why is our first response to a crisis fear rather than problem solving?

As we begin the discussion on gun regulation, let us seek to solve problems rather than fear the loss of our guns, or their proliferation. Let us focus on how and why guns are used; and how we can assure ownership and use is reasonable for the good of our communities. As NYC Mayor Bloomberg instructed host David Gregory on this morning’s MEET THE PRESS, just because some drivers speed does not mean we should stop regulating speed limits on city streets and highways. Such laws save thousands of lives every day.

We may never answer why Mr. Lanza killed his own mother and so many innocent children and educators in Sandy Hook. Our minds cannot comprehend such “violent reasoning”. Even so, we can do something to stop the violence in our own and nearby communities throughout the state of Ohio.  We may not stop another mass murder in America; but, we can reduce gun battles and drive-bys on city streets. It is time to wipe the tears away and get to work on sensible gun regulation.

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One Response to “SANDY HOOK PUTS US ALL ON THE HOOK,By Louise Annarino,December 16,2012”

  1. HLW December 17, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    Extensive and regular background checks for all people residing with the purchaser would be a good and reasonable place to start. And on another note, what sort of mother keeps an arsenal of guns while expressing concern for the mental stability of the son that lives with her for crying out loud!!

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