Newtown: Why the 'Why' Doesn't Matter Right Now

Author: Kim Bayne
Published: December 16, 2012 at 6:39 am


Across the other side of the globe I awoke this morning to the news of the horrendous tragedy in Connecticut. I am almost ashamed of the refreshing normality of my Saturday morning. My 5 year old son is watching television. I am baking cookies for a Christmas lunch we are attending later today. My cat is not satisfied with her dry food and is winding her way through my legs, trying to convey that she simply must have something from a can. My other children are in bed asleep. I am inundated with news reports and images and I must be careful how much of this awful scene I expose myself to. I am not mentally strong enough to reconcile in my head the fact that almost 20 families are going to be missing their children on Christmas morning next week. I cannot absorb and process the knowledge that another human being wanted to do so much damage to their fellow humans.

As the facts of this event emerge, there will be many angry, emotive standpoints. There will be the anti-gun lobbyists who will be aggrieved that they KNEW something like this would happen, they will view it as an inevitable extension of the gun laws in the US that they perceive as being too lax. The pro-gun movement will trot out the adage ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’. The education unions will demand greater protection for teachers in schools. There will be people who blame the video game culture of the digital era, there will be others who blame mental illness and why more isn’t being done to prevent people that are inclined to this behaviour, from obtaining a gun and using it for horrendous, messy, tragic consequence.

The blame game is inevitable. America is hurting. Hurting for the families of those innocent souls who went to school to teach and learn and are now not going to be home for dinner tonight. The avalanche of human emotion is going to be enormous. As is the human condition, everyone will react differently. This is why I espouse that blame is redundant right now. The wider reasons behind how this individual obtained a gun, was able to obtain a gun and why they used it the way they did is irrelevant right now. I believe that devastated, grieving families are asking ‘why’ as more of a epithet of grief, rather than as a genuine desire to know why. The knowledge that will emerge in the days and weeks to come will not make their losses any easier to bear. The knowledge that comes to light may make their struggle with grief harder, rather than easier.

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