Friday, December 21, 2012

Writer's Block

I know you don't come here for social commentary or to keep up with current events, (unless you count the comings and goings of my family as current events).  But the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary a week ago in Newtown, CT has left me stymied as to how to just pick up with this blog as if nothing happened.  How can I gripe about my messy, needy children when 20 families no longer have first graders to tuck in at night?  How can I go on gushing about my adorable, clever children when so many lost their lives? 

Not since 9-11 have I felt so personally affected by a national tragedy in which I don't actually know anyone who was killed.  The articles and pictures keep catching me off guard, and I get all choked up over and over again.  We haven't watched any television coverage here, because I'm not sure I could stand to (amongst other reasons).

In order to move on with this blog, to pick up where I left off, for my own sake I need to spew out a few links at you, things that I have found worthwhile this week.  So forgive me if they do not interest you, you are welcome to just come back tomorrow.  (If they strike you as oppositional to your views on gun control, though, I encourage you to read on.  Don't we owe it to each other to carry on an informed dialogue and not just ingrain ourselves in our own ways of thinking?)  Whatever your feelings are in response to this tragedy, I encourage you to use those feelings in whatever way you see fit to accomplish positive change.  I donated to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.  I've heard of others who are calling up restaurants in Newtown and footing the breakfast bill for strangers.  My friend is offering a free portrait session to a deserving family.  Others are coming up with 26 (27?) good deeds and random acts of kindness to carry out on their own to honor the victims.  I think all of that's wonderful but would really love to see people specifically do something (any little thing) to address the number of lives lost annually to guns in this country- whatever that "something" may be.  Call your senator to share your thoughts?  Talk to a friend to influence public opinion?

Okay, thanks for humoring me.  I know this is not the place....but it is.  Because without this post, I can't stomach posting Waylon's (late) 15 month update.

Kristoff:  Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?

Kristoff (follow-up):  Looking for Lessons in Newtown

Rowe Walters:  What Six Looks Like


Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this Kate. I feel the same way. - Susan S

Ann said...

Hey Kate, I think your sentiment is well expressed. It's so hard to feel like we have any power in this world sometimes and yet, there are small steps we can each take to change the laws regarding access to these kinds of weapons. My parents and grandparents have always been gun owners, and I do not think they would ever have had a problem with banning assault weapons. It's just the very least we should be doing.

I found out last week that one of the 6 year old boys killed in Newtown (Ben Wheeler) had grown up in our neighborhood (Sunnyside, Queens) and only moved in April of this year. His mother helped organize the mom's group I am so lucky to be a part of. And they belonged to the private park we call our second home. It just feels like it could have happened to any of us.

And yet, the fact is that we still have to go out in the world and let our children experience things for themselves. But the vulnerability will never go away. I try to make peace with this, but times like this are so very hard. Wishing you peace and comfort as well.

katandkarl said... - Interesting Slate study.

katandkarl said...

That link so did not come through, eh? - article name
'How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?'

It should be up top still. I think we all need to be a little more aware of how guns are killing people every single day. It's insane.

Mindy said...

"What Six Looks Like" left me in sobbing and gasping for breath. Just seeing the link again makes me shake.

Kelly said...

Beautifully written, Kate. I, too, am having a lot of trouble with this latest tragedy. Tears flow whenever I see pictures of the victims or hear related news. If Evelyn catches me tearing up she'll ask what's wrong, and I usually just answer with a hug while telling her that I love her so much. I think anything we as individuals can do to prevent something similar from happening in the future is very worthwhile. Thanks for the links.

Emily said...

I'm probably showing my sociologist tendencies here, but I've been frustrated by much of the coverage/debate about the tragedy because it ignores all of the points raised in this op-ed that I thought you might find interesting:

Meanwhile, looking forward to pictures of your kids with new toys and cool things like canned plums or whatever it was G wanted last year ;)