The Grinch That Killed Christmas

Merry Christmas, Sandy Hook.

Eventually we will forget you.  We will forget the horrific details.  We will forget your names.  We will forget how we felt.

We say we won’t forget.   We say this time it will be different.  We won’t let the politicians wriggle off the hook or the gun lobby to control the debate.  Not this time.    But  will we really do anything different this time than all the times before?   We promised all those victims all these times before we wouldn’t forget and we did and we wouldn’t let it happen again, yet it does.

What’s so different this time?

After all, you weren’t our kids.  Someone else will mourn you.  Someone else will walk past your empty bed.   Someone  we don’t know who live somewhere we’ve never been will mourn you.

We’re Americans.  We love our kids.  We love our guns too.  Don’t ask us to choose between the two because you might not like the answer you get.

Sandy Hook will be forgotten.  The media will move on to another tragedy in another place.  They know the next atrocity is always just around the corner.  This is America.  There is always another atrocity just around the corner.

I’m not a “ho-ho-ho” kind of guy when its a good December and this has not been a good December.   Adam Lanza is The Grinch That Killed Christmas.

The killer nobody saw coming.

It isn’t a Merry Christmas and the holidays aren’t all that happy.     Sandy Hook takes its place along Columbine, Red Lake , Virginia Tech among the bloodiest school shootings in our country’s bloody history.    Certain places  seem inconceivable to be targeted to become a slaughterhouse.   Churches and schools head the list, but as history has proved time and again.   Nowhere is off-limits.  Everyone is eligible to be a victim.

In the wake of Sandy Hook, Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas.  It seems like  denial of reality.   Adam Lanza and the lurking monsters like  him are the Grinches That Killed Christmas.

As sure as the night follows day,  there will be those eager to speculate about what happened, why it happened and how it can be prevented.  Some of this contemplation will lead to constructive suggestions.   Most will be useless.  What’s left will be useless bullshit.    That’s when its time to tell the NRA to move over and make some room for media.   They have to take their share of the shame.

For the most part the press has done some very good writing and reporting on this tragedy.    It’s hard to balance the public’s right to know with the Newtown families need to grieve, but most of the media have conducted themselves in a responsible, respectable manner.   Which means there are those who have done some very bad writing on this tragedy.

Meghan McCardle wrote a long-ass piece for The Daily Beast where she pondered possible solutions and offered and one “you’re yanking me, right?” proposal.

I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.

Yes, that’s an excellent idea. Adam Lanza would have been foiled if only those cowardly six-and-seven year old children had overcome the natural urge to cower and run for cover and instead had rushed the gunman en masse.

Come on, kids! Dogpile on the shooter!

No way that wouldn’t end well. Perhaps Miss McCardle also believes the Japanese kamikazes were a brilliant military tactic too.

For even more simple-minded answers to complex questions, we mosey over to The National Review where Charlotte Allen observes:

There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K–6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

To her credit, at another point in her essay Allen observes, “This is stupid advice.”

Allen is absolutely right. Her advice is stupid.    A male janitor doesn’t mean  he’s a male action figure.   Had there been one big, strong man working a Sandy Hook that would have meant…nothing.   At his bullshit fest of a press conference,  the NRA’s  Wayne LaPierre said, “The only way—the only way—to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun.”

There was an armed guard at Columbine.   He couldn’t stop Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold from doing what bad guys do.   There was a campus police force at Virginia Tech and what good did that do?

None of this helps prevent the next Sandy Hook.   And it’s coming.  We all know it is.

If you were looking for a Christmas Eve message of joy and glad tidings you will be disappointed.    The joy is not there.  The tidings are grim, not glad.   Lives have been lost .  Hope has been crushed.

There’s not a lot to be merry about.

One thought on “The Grinch That Killed Christmas

  1. Jeff, I’ll never forget my husband’s words when I told him the news. He said, “This is the worst thing that’s ever happened,” and he’s right. We are all scarred now. This Christmas has a shadow over it; the saddest in my memory. A friend wrote that the Newtown tragedy has left a “big black, jagged, gaping hole in Newtown.” I go to bed at night and can’t sleep, thinking about what happened.

    The teachers and principal performed heroic acts of bravery; their love and responsibility for their children so evident.

    We are all grasping for answers, unfortunately some of the voices are not adding to the conversation but simply creating ignorant noise. I hope something productive will come out of this tragedy. I don’t know though.

    Thank you for adding to the conversation. I wish you and your family peace this Christmas, Jeff.


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