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Making Sense of the Senseless

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Like everyone else I'm shocked and saddened beyond words about what happened this week in Sandy Hook.

What the parents, brothers, sisters and people who live in that area must be feeling and going through is way beyond what I can comprehend.

I'm left in shock praying that God will help all those touched by this horrendous tragedy.

Just seeing the list of the names and ages of these sweet young children brings tears to my eyes.


What happened doesn't make any sense to me.

I really don't think it can make any type of sense to anyone.

Yet this murderer took the time to gather up his guns and ammo drive to the school and do what he did.

In the days that will follow, I feel sure that some people will try and say he was a shooter who had mental health problems.

I say he is a murderer.

Lots of people have mental health problems and don't go out on a killing spree.

Don't call him a shooter.

He is a murderer.


I know more than my fair share of murderers.

Guys who have killed other human beings.

Some have killed out of rage.

Some for financial gain and some just because of peer pressure from gangs and maybe for the thrill of it all?


Some are sorry for what they did, while others just fail to see or understand what all the fuss is about.

While maybe one group is worse than the other?

The bottom line doesn't change.

Just like this guy in Sandy Hook, they are murderers.


Already some people are ready to point fingers and blame.

I've read that because the media covers these stories, the media is to blame.

Some want to blame weak gun laws.

It wouldn't surprise me to hear that video games, movies, taking prayer out of schools, along with a long list of other things are not brought up as reasons why people murder others.


This was senseless.

Trying to make sense of senselessness? Just doesn't make sense.

While maybe we can and maybe we will look at how we protect and secure ourselves?

Maybe with armed guards and more police on duty?

I'm not sure that we can ever protect and make ourselves really secure?

Just the other week a search of the jail where I work, turned up two homemade knives.

A inmate in another jail managed to make a rope out of toilet paper and hang himself.


This sense of knowing that there is nothing I can do to be 100% safe and secure is real.

As for right now?

All I can do is pray for the those who lost their lives and the people that are left and hope that somehow, someway they manage to manage.

"May God hold them in the palm of his hand."


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Yah, for as long as people have free will they will be free to use it for great good or great evil, or for more general mediocrity.


There's nothin' anybody can do to stop it.


The fellow stole da firearms from his mother whom he killed. No waitin' periods or mental health checks could have stopped that.

The fellow did almost all of da killing with a rifle, apparently. No ban on handguns could have stopped that.

The fellow apparently shot out and smashed through da glass around the entrance instead of usin' the door. No amount of locked doors and security cameras would prevent that.

The fellow went from classroom to classroom shootin' kids and teachers. No amount of silly school "lockdown" protocols would prevent that.

Da fellow was in high-traffic areas with lots of kids and teachers, and apparently wearin' protective gear. It's unlikely that armed teachers would ever have anything resemblin' a clear shot.


For as long as people have free will, they will retain da capacity for doin' great evil.


For my part, though, the real story is not the tale of the wicked gunman. The story is the teary-eyed tale of the love and sacrifice of heroes. It's the story of the Scout Salute owed to those who dedicated their lives to our children and gave the last full measure of that devotion in defense of their charges, and the many others who would have, and who now support the families of the fallen.


To the principal and school psychologist who ran toward the fire in a desperate effort to stop the intruder.

To the assistant principle who barred the door and took several rounds in holdin' it fast to save da folks within.

To the young teacher who hid her kids in a closet and then was gunned down alone while tellin' the man they were all at gym.

To the two teachers who perished in the effort to defend their kids against the madman in their midst.

To the many men and women emergency responders who responded with all their spirit and now support each other and the families in their grief.

To the citizens of the town, young and old, who have set aside their own concerns to come together in support of those in pain.


As long as people have free will, they have the capacity for great good.


We can never stop evil, for it resides in the will of humans which is forever free. We can, however, by our own example of love and heroism, by our lives of service, by our coming together as community, by our willingness to spend our precious time with young people, make the good stronger and greater than the evil.


We can reach the young, shy boy before he becomes the disaffected loner of a young man. We can teach proper handling of firearms so they are neither glorified nor feared. We can be responsible with our private and public dollars, so that young people have hope and opportunities and necessary support. We can prepare those who will in the future be the responders of skill and spirit first to arrive on the scene, and by our examples of citizenship prepare the citizens who will support their communities in future hard times.


And when sadness or tragedy or evil come, as they may into every life, perhaps too our example will inspire the future heroes who run toward the gun fire, who bar the door, who stand face to face with humanity's worst evil and save the children sheltering in their shadow.


(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Found out that I was three degrees of separation from the tragedy. A friend from my youth relocated there with his family. His kids are survivors.


So, I got a picture of a couple more kids to pray for. Not any of the ones seen on the news. I'd like to think that in the grand scheme of things they need our prayers for more than just immediate reasons. Somehow, for Good to prevail for eternity, like Beav said, evil must have it's way for a day.

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Our hearts go out to those lost and the survivors and families of those children and educators in that school. Those who survived will be tramatazed, possibly for life. Those who lost someone will have a hole in their family unit that will be always felt.


I will be interested to see what does come out of Washington, if what they try to piece together is a package of controls on guns, hollywood shows, mental illness, violent games etc. and it finally has not only Democrates, but Republicans, the NRA and others working together for a solution.


It is a shame it took something like this to bring people together united for a cause. Perhaps legislation will not solve it all, but if it makes it harder for those with mental illness to get these ideas from the comuter games and movies, and have an easy time getting a hold of semi-automatics & ammunation whether they purchased it or stole it from someone they know has it. It wasn't done in time to prevent this attack, but perhaps it will be in place to prevent another event that we never hear about, because it never happened.

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I'm not praying for God to step in and comfort those who lost loved ones. Too little, too late. I'm asking Him why he wasn't there to prevent the tragedy. What in the world could be the "plan" in all this??? I understand atheists a little better today.

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Pappadaddy - Why not both? Just because you are angered over this tragedy, and possibly want to vent your anger at God or others..


Why would you not wish those who lost loved ones some way to find peace and comfort, whether that be embraced by others who love them, by finding a way to channel their grief with a purpose in memory of thier child, or even if for them that comfort comes from their deeply held religion and a belief that their children are now in heaven, and they will someday be united with them..

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Because, Moosetracker, peace and comfort are things that are not going to come to those families for a very long time, if ever. Peace and comfort are the kinds of things the rest of us wish for them while we speak in platitudes and sing cumbayah and shrug at the hopelessness of ever doing anything to stop or prevent this kind of stuff because (I'll borrow from the Doxology now) it's God from whom all blessings flow. It MUST be his will.

We will say these things to each other and nod in approval and then we will soon enough turn away from those grieving families, thankful that it wasn't US, and get on with our lives. And those grieving families will understand, profoundly, how alone they are and how empty and dark and indifferent life really is.

And the rest of us can turn back to our illusions, stuff our faces while conspicuously consuming in a national ritual, and then fall into a mindless stupor while a television displays adult males grappling over a ball.

Merry Christmas to all.

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I thought the President spoke well last night.


I'm not sure what changes are needed or will come?


One casualty of the cuts in services we have seen here in PA has been drastic cuts in caring for those will mental health problems.

State Mental Hospitals have had there budgets cut and many of the State Hospitals have been closed.

I've read somewhere that the thinking was that the private sector was able to provide the care needed.

One of the outcomes of this is that people who are mental ill end up in correctional facilities. Where much as the staff try to help the staff, don't have the skills or the training needed to really help.

These people get locked up not for being ill but for a crime they have committed.

They serve their sentence and are let go. With little or no after care plan.



It was ironic, on Friday I sat through a presentation on Mass Murderers, Spree Killers and serial killers.

One point that was made was that most of the people who perform these murders are not mentally ill. - They may have things that might seem odd, but there are lots of people who have these quirks and some who are really ill but still don't go around killing and murdering groups of people.


I'm not a great gun lover.

Still I understand that here in the USA, there is a vast number of law-abiding citizens who own guns and use them is a safe and responsible way.

Different people seem to want to read the Second Amendment in different ways.

Trying to get all the guns off the street and take away what many see as their right to bear arms? Just isn't going to work.

There has to be some kind of middle ground that people on both sides of the issue can come together on and agree.


Starting tomorrow, I'm in class learning how to instruct our Incident Response Plan.

While maybe our Department doesn't always get everything right?

When it comes to plans and planning the Department seems to really do a good job.

We of course don't know what sort of incident we might have to respond too.

So far I've been at work when we have had floods, a tornado tear the roof off part of the jail a small fire and a guy who was cutting himself up with a razor blade.

But the incident could be anything.

My big fear is that with more and more gang members being locked up, is that we will see gang fights break out and with more and more cuts to budgets the inmates might riot.

Watching the guy cut himself up did effect me.

Not so much at the time, but a day or so after it kinda hit me.

I knew that something wasn't sitting that well within myself. Thankfully I was able to talk things over with the other members of my team and work my way through it all.


If seeing a big hairy naked convicted criminal, cutting himself up, can effect me? I can't even bear to think what the first responders at this school went through and are going through.

My heart goes out to these people and you bet that they are in my prayers.


As the President read the names of all the people that had been murdered, I couldn't help but shed a few tears.

I'm not sure if any good can or will come out of this terrible tragedy?

I hope it can.












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I was unplugged from the world over the weekend and come home to see this has happened.



I got that sick feeling when I saw it and read the story.


From the account I read that schools security is infinitely tighter than my kids schools. There doors are not locked, the buildings are nearing 100 years old, no electronic locks no internet and no TV in every room.



I wonder what the mother knew about her sons mental condition......Why was he taken out of school and home schooled. I wonder what his social media pages will turn up....I wonder what was on the computers that he felt they needed destroyed......


Why why why an elementary school?????????????


Aspergers syndrome.....gives me pause for a number of reasons in the troop......



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pap & pack - I know this is hard to believe if you haven't seen it for yourself, but "peace and comfort" can find its way in to to people robbed of all happiness. You see it in some people, victims of war and famine and the worst depredations, and it seems to be a supernatural work. You want it for everyone else. Maybe even for yourself.


Maybe that's not possible. Maybe the forever-tormented are the rational ones, and those that find comfort and dust off the ashes and walk tall in the midst of such sorrow are as mad as one who would perpetrate those heinous crimes. Maybe the mix of us need to live together so we don't forget how much work needs to be done on the level of the soul.


Doesn't matter. I'm stuck with a God who offers peace and goodwill. I'm calling him on it. And even though I haven't seen my friend for decades and never met his wife or kids, I'm hoping that somehow my prayers will better help them be messengers of all that.


Finally, like Ea. says, there's a difference between a person who is insane and one who is indifferent to human life. So if you know a crazy person, this week might be a good time to get in touch and let him/her know in not so many words that you're glad they've managed to keep it together.

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Whether we hope that these families will find a way to carry on in some way after their loved ones were ripped from them or not wish them well at all, we will all in a week or month carry on and only remember them again when a similar tragedy strikes, or someone does a news peice on them..


Sometimes you do see a news piece on a family member of a murder victim finding a way to channel their grief. As long as it is healthy and not an obsession that in it's own way is not healthy, this is how many do pick themselves up. Or they do it, because they are parents of other children who need their parents, and they find a way to pick themselves up and carry on for the sake of having their other children grow up happy and healthy.


I don't see the logic that with you holding out and not wishing them well, that this will somehow translate in your being able to not have your own lives push in and have this tragedy get pushed to the back of your mind.. It will do that either way, unless you have been directly effected by it.



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We will say these things to each other and nod in approval and then we will soon enough turn away from those grieving families, thankful that it wasn't US, and get on with our lives. And those grieving families will understand, profoundly, how alone they are and how empty and dark and indifferent life really is. And the rest of us can turn back to our illusions, stuff our faces while conspicuously consuming in a national ritual, and then fall into a mindless stupor while a television displays adult males grappling over a ball.


Yah, I reckon that's as good a description of da inherent despair of atheism, and da deep depression and lack of connection that da young man felt when he decided to arm himself to slaughter children as I've ever read. Yeh want to know why young men do these things? They feel da way packsaddle does, and along da way it becomes a desire to do somethin' "big" to try to escape that lonely sense of indifference.


It's a choice, though, eh? It's a choice to view da world in such a way, and our choices in so many ways create da world we live in and experience. How we perceive da world becomes da world, at least for many folks.


Da reality is different. What we saw was people run toward the gunfire, and give their lives to save others. For every one person so lost in godless despair and lack of connection and evil, there were many so filled with love and hope and purpose as to lay down their lives in service. Even as we speak, hundreds of friends and professionals are givin' up most of their own holiday tryin' to bring closure, tryin' to place da remaining kids in schools and with counseling resources, tryin' to offer what support they can. People are even reachin' out to da family members of da perpetrator, recognizin' that they are some of da worst victims of this act.


Yah, yah, this was partly da story of a lost young man, disconnected and nihilistic. We can adopt his worldview, and recreate that world in our lives if we choose. But da true story here is far brighter than that, eh? It's the story of profound goodness in da face of darkness, of love and sacrifice by ordinary folks so deep that it makes da angels sing.


Why does God allow these things? Because without da free will to choose despair, there cannot be da free will that chooses hope. Without da ability to destroy, there is no ability to create. Without the capacity to harm, there is no capacity to love and hope so deep as to stare down a gunman and give your life in defense of the innocent. God allows free will for the same reason we in scouts allow youth independence and leadership. Because while an adult-directed troop might be perceived as preventing inconvenience and harm, in the end it is just an empty shell of a program that accomplishes nothing of substance. It is an act of selfish control rather than an act of trust and love. So we allow boys freedom knowing they may fail, because we also know that is the only way they will grow to goodness and manhood. It is an act of love.




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