Even After Sandy Hook No One Will Listen

There has been another shooting in the United States. This time Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was the battleground. At the time of writing this there were conflicting reports about the amount killed, and though I’m sure there is a more definitive answer out there now I feel that takes away from the real issue: someone walked onto an elementary school campus and shot at kindergartners.

So, where do we go from here?

The victims will be mourned by the media and our hapless politicians, buried and that will be the end of it. The issue of gun control will be raised slightly, only to be pulled away by the slight of hand tricks lobbyists have taught our favorite politicians and media outlets.

Though it all we will continue to hear the phrase, “isolated incident” being muttered in newspapers and conversations–but after fifteen years of campus shootings can we still make that argument?

My fear is that Sandy Hook is going to be a name that triggers some thought when heard years down the line, only to end with a scratch of the head. That is not take away form the importance or severity of this event, but merely to serve as a reminder that if something isn’t done now to tighten gun regulations in the United States there will be too many Sandy Hook’s to remember them all.

What’s the answer? Should children begin carrying weapons? It has been suggested weapons are an American citizen’s right, and as Cass Barron has so eloquently tweeted, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” Perhaps the answer is an armed guard at every elementary school across the nation?

So far the reactions on twitter from those in support of gun rights have come across as cold hearted. Kyle Shake tweeted: “#SandyHook will be another driving force in the Assault Weapons Ban. Stir up the libs, here comes a gun control debate.”

Is this what the tragedy at Sandy Hook first brings to mind? There is a misallocation of priorities here that will inevitably prevent any reasonable conversation on the topic–and I’m not only referring to individual’s squawking across social media platforms, but in congress as well. Our national mindset mimics that of our political party; we cram in the facts we’re fed and cling to them as though we’re not sure if we’ll ever be fed again.

Events occur in our life that are preventable. We endure needless tragedy because of some ideological path. Why? There are children dead–there are memorials across school campuses most of us can’t remember the name to, and still there is a necessity to adhere to an antiquated mindset that weapons in the hands of everyday people is the safest path for our society.

This tragedy should give evidence to the reality that what we have in this country is a flawed system that at the very least, out of respect for the deceased, deserves to be looked into. I can’t help but think of the song, “Fortunate Son,” by Credence Clearwater Revival. I think of the line: “It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son.” In the United States we live saddened by bad news, but far removed, like learning of the death of someone you didn’t know–there is no personal connection so it’s easy to maintain strict adherence to an antiquated mentality.

But, your argument is always the same: if someone wants a gun, they will buy a gun off the street.

Well, that’s fine and dandy but I’ll leave you with this: these massacres, do they take bravery? Absolutely not. Does it take bravery to walk into a gun store, file the paperwork and wait for it to go through? Or, what about having someone you know buy it for you at a gun show like the fellas from Columbine did? No, not particularly. However, would that coward have the ability to approach an arms dealer on the street? This is a known criminal, who at that moment is understood to be carrying a weapon, because our maniac intends to purchase it from them with a wad of cash stuffing their little pockets–my guess is no because if they’re coward enough to fire upon little children then they wouldn’t possess the gall to walk up to a hardened criminal and ask for a weapon. In all honesty, this is how drug deals happen, and they often have unhappy endings, so why would a gun deal be any different?

What will happen in a few years time? No one really knows, but I could make an educated guess: Sandy Hook is just going to be a slightly memorable name from a long list of American tragedies; they will continue to occur because the tragedy hasn’t happened to no senators son.

Hi Ho! I’m Hungry, but so is the Rest of the World

Well, Cheech and Chong are happy–as is Spicoli.

I mention these characters of the higher class for a reason. With the legalization of marijuana in Washington state and the impending legalization of it in Colorado, my mind wanders to the films of my youth–those college films filled with capers, over-sexualisation and alcohol; films where there is always some bildungsroman culminating in a wild chase scene. The saviour? Well, more often then not it some ample chested woman scantily clad who is capable of distracting those who need distracting long enough for the heroes to disappear into relative safety.

Think of films like Porky’s, or Porky’s 2; Revenge of the Nerds and the like; we are twenty years removed and we still find ourselves distracted by methods of instant gratification.

That is why this debate about whether or not the legalisation of marijuana is the right thing is our time’s pair of big distracting breasts.

It is as absurd as it sounds. Some of our greatest minds are distracted by this marijuana conversation, when brainpower should be spent tackling any number of the larger issues that are plaguing the world. Whether or not I can buy a joint at the corner market is not one of them.

People like to get high–just as they like to get drunk. Did prohibition stop people from drinking? Nope. Was there a correlation between the lack of alcohol and the Depression? Without any facts, I’ll say yes. Can we say the same for our current climate and the lack of marijuana? Yes, if we ignore fact and accuracy once more–truth is that simple to come by.

According to the pundits, the legalisation of marijuana will spin the masses into an unending spiral of degradation and depravity. But the question remains: do they truly believe that the great problem solvers of our time, the instructors and politicians haven’t the willpower to pass on the dutchie before heading off to work in the morning? Apparently the ability to say no to a beer or cocktail prior to work isn’t enough to forego a little purple haze after your bran flakes.

Look, we haven’t angels running our world, it’s evident; no one pretends that they are (unless you live in the bible belt and Mike Huckabee is your kind of dude), but we trust them enough with the keys to our uranium Pizza Hut’s, or whatever secret place they’ve drummed up to store it. We trust them enough because we find something strangely comforting in their shortcomings. It’s like hearing that God picks his nose and wipes it under his chairs. There is poetry in basic human foulness because us lesser souls are equally as foul–what they choose to do once they are through with day, well that doesn’t concern me as much as what they do during it, and it is this that leads me to my over arching question: why are we still wasting time talking about this?

The world is falling apart at the seams: Israel and Hamas (not to be confused with Jewish and Arab people, there is a difference) are equally terrible because they are dead set on destroying each other, and everything else around. Corruption is rampant as greed spreads like crabs from a pair of lost & found underpants. Poor people have less; the rich are growing richer–swimming in their hoards of cash like some disgusting live action Scrooge McDuck–treating taxation as though it were the responsibility of the poor alone. Major corporations are following suit as their funds are being sent through loopholes and distorting revenue, while resting in some small nation’s favourite bank, comfortably beside their executive’s personal fortunes–all receiving no tax.

In China, Egypt, Syria and the United States we find oppression, censorship and the wild mistreatment of women.

All of these issues that are causing death–both literally and figuratively–bloodshed and the inability to carry on with basic human rights: eat, sleep, breath, live and love, and we are busy wasting time discussing whether or not marijuana should be legalized.

Well, who cares? Let that debate exist when Democracy lives in Egypt; when the blood and tears left behind in Tahir Square aren’t left in vain; we can spark the Marijuana debate when Assad is punished for brutally killing his own people; when food and water is accessible in Africa and war torn Syria; when women around the world aren’t blamed for the violence some else has inflicted upon them.

We have all of the technology in the world to make our lives better, easier. Conveniences are the norm, but the world is falling into worse shape. Racism and discrimination is on the rise–Ah, but who cares, right? We have bigger fish to fry–some commie bastard hippies are token up in my country.

They may be high but that marijuana they’re smoking is taxed by the state, which is more than we can say for the income of the pundits fighting the legalisation of marijuana.