NEWTOWN: THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE GROTESQUE

NEWTOWN: THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE GROTESQUE

Adrienne BoettingerFriday,13 December 2013

The Snap:

Saturday marks an important anniversary. No, not the anniversary of one of the best weekends for gun dealer profits in this country… but that reminds me I should probably get a greeting card for the NRA. Does Hallmark make one along the lines of, “Thanks for ensuring that 2/3 of gun legislation since the Newtown massacre actually relaxed gun restrictions!” But the NRA has commandeered too much of the conversation where 14 December is concerned, so let’s focus on the response to the tragedy by the community, rest of the country and world. Although the shooting brought out the worst in some of us, it continues to show that the good and strong among us will not be deterred.

The Download:

People’s responses to what happened can be broadly categorized into the beautiful and the grotesque. Wanting to end on an up note, let’s get the unbelievably awful out of the way. We’ve set the bar so low for Washington that it’s amazing lawmakers didn’t trip over it in their attempts to avoid even speaking to the victims’ families. Unsurprisingly, national legislation amounted to a whole lotta nothing and most state legislation wasn’t that much better. Then you have the lunatic truthers, including those saying the shooting was a government-media conspiracy to pass assault weapons bans. Finally, you have the individual, sadistic morons — many claiming to be evangelical Christians — sending letters and cards to the town to tell them the shooting was God’s punishment.

Thankfully, the biggest outpouring of response to Sandy Hook seems to be one of love. An online exhibit featuring letters and gifts from kindergarteners through senior citizens will tear your heart with their simple expressions of empathy, hope and kindness. Then you have those inspired by the tragedy to do what they can to promote school safety, whether that is from community organization or political mobilization. Many of these groups were founded by relatives of the victims, looking to learn from the tragedy and help prevent others from experiencing the same pain.

One response will hopefully be a silent one — namely that of the media on the actual anniversary. The community of Sandy Hook asked the media not to intrude in on the solemnity of the day, as their massive presence constantly brings people back to that terrible day last December. Even though I generally deride the 24-hour noose cycle, it looks like most media outlets are honoring the town’s request.

Finally, the victims’ relatives are trying to again turn this tragedy into something beautiful. They’re asking people to mark the anniversary, not with protests or political disagreements, but with acts of kindness. As you hustle about town in your holiday preparations or take your own children to their dance rehearsals and basketball practice, remember the parents in Connecticut who would give anything to have one more moment with their children. Remember and in the spirit of that remembrance, spread some kindness.

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

CNBCNew York TimesHuffington PostThe CourantEmbracing NewtownSafe and Sound Schools, WBURABC NewsNewtown BeeFox NewsBoston GlobeMy Sandy Hook Family, Image Credit: Flickr



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