Brooks came to a comforting realization a few weeks ago when what started out as another night of routine dinner conversation became a philosophical discussion about birth and death: “I’m not going to die for the rest of my life.”
This was before Newtown, when this blog post might have been about how much I love watching him get a foothold on these worldly concepts that he’s just now beginning to grasp, and how that refreshingly makes me reassess my own grasp on all of it.
But now, after Newtown, that approach has lost its appeal. No one, myself included, can stomach the part where I tell him he won’t die until he’s very old, even though it is as statistically true as ever.
Because there is a hard, cold reality that cannot be wished away for the families of those 20 first-graders who tragically bucked those statistics and their 6 heroic protectors, not even in this holiday season of miracles.
Now that we know at least one of the victims had autism, I hope it is less important whether the killer did. I hope that what becomes most important is fighting for gun control laws and improving mental health care services.
I am a firm believer in tributes: whether it’s in the form of Ann Curry’s 26 Acts of Kindness or a retweet of my former colleague’s simple yet elegant 140 characters:
— Lindsey Christ (@LindseyChrist) December 15, 2012
Mercifully, the promise of a brand new year is just around the corner.
I would recommend watching the discussion on The Wendy Williams show with Penn Jillette. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06Lw7xa6lHU <—This is the link should you care to watch.
It is about directing the conversation elsewhere, and focusing on the real and true issues facing this tragedy, and the real issues facing children and their safety. It does, near the end, begin to shift towards mental health and autism. I feel Penn Jillette defends them well. It further made me love that man.
I was watching Penn Jillette before you and Kai were born. : )
Thanks for the link. Yes, agree that there are many other dangers to children and that some of the media is overplaying it (although you can’t discount that arguing that we should no longer cover the tragedy while being on a panel that’s covering the tragedy has significant logic flaws). But I don’t think there’s a serious argument to make against banning assault weapons and magazine ammunition–before or after this tragedy–and I also know how shaken Auntie Tracy’s community was when the girl from Aidan’s school was killed in a house fire last year. And that was one girl that died from a natural disaster–not a man-made one with 20 first-grade victims. As a parent, I just can’t let go of that–statistics aside.