A State Of Anomie: The Tragedy At Sandy Hook Elementary, CT

“We have endured too many of these tragedies…” President Obama

-Social instability, alienation, emotional emptiness and despair, breakdown of standards and values – suicides and mass murders…a state of anomie.

The right to bear arms: Semi-automatic handguns, assault weapons, revolvers, shot guns. Violence glamorized on TV shows, in movies and in music lyrics…Right to free speech!

A State of Anomie –suicides and mass murders. The right to bear arms –legally and illegally acquired weapons of mass destruction. Workplace shootings , shopping malls , restaurants, government buildings , law offices , military bases , temples, movie houses ,schools .etc. . Street warfare in Chicago, Philadelphia and so on. Gun violence, state of anomie. Domestic terrorism. Rousseau, Hobbes, Durkheim, Noam Chomsky…the debate continues.

Columbine High, Westside Middle School, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood etc. …and now Newtown , Connecticut : an elementary school (Dec14, 2012). Gun shows, shooting ranges, gun ownership, mental health, gun control, access to affordable health care …discordant babbles: the right to bear arms.

High capacity magazines, not in war fronts but stored away in homes, needed for what? The National Rifle Association, a powerful gun lobby…defender of gun ownership and the second amendment to the Constitution. An amendment that was adopted on December 15, 1791 and whose purpose was to protect the young nation from external aggression: “A well- regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

Adam Lanza, a 20 year old white male and the alleged shooter, took his mother’s guns, reportedly lawfully acquired by her. Newtown, described as a serene small town where they all know each other where no one expected such carnage to occur. Not like the inner city with its blues. Adam ,who lived with his mother (no talk of his father so far) allegedly shot the mother first with her guns and then went out for more gruesome and savage killing spree , not of deer, antelopes or other animals but of innocent kindergarteners . He armed himself with his mother’s legally acquired weapons, dressed, as reported in the news, in all black with a bullet proof vest to go with it and shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School early on Friday, December 14, 2012. By the time he was finished with his hunting, 20 children aged 5-10 years and six adults in the school (the Principal included) had been gruesomely, brutally and savagely murdered at close range by his bullets. According to news report, the gun he used for his murderous expedition has a 30 magazine capacity.

Why does a civilian (his mother who legally owned the guns) need such a high powered gun when she was not going to war or in active service with the military? The Congress and the President need to answer that question for the American people who they keep telling after every massacre that they would do something but never do because of their fear of the National Rifle Association; and because of their desire to win elections rather than earn the ire of the NRA and lose at the polls. Could Adam have been able to kill 26 people without a gun, either low or high caliber, within the ten minutes duration as reported?

“Let the little children come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of God”…Adam Lanza, the alleged shooter had a different plan for the innocent children. To see those children who survived being led from the school with their eyes closed as instructed (to spare them more shock of seeing the carnage), brought tears to my eyes as a parent , just as President Obama was moved to tears as he addressed the nation on the sacrilegious and savage murder of the those little children .The last time I was moved to tears was when former Congresswoman , Gabrielle Giffords , who was shot through the head on January 8, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona as she addressed her constituents , returned to Congress and with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz , her friend , holding her hand as she gingerly walked toward the microphone to speak . That she survived the shooting was a miracle. Gun violence, lethal weapons and high capacity magazines.

As usual, the 24hour cable news and analysis of the savagery would continue for the next couple of days until big news comes up. There would be the psychologists and others to offer their expert opinions on the shooter and how the families can heal. Shocks, prayers, sorrows expressed as the nation mourns yet another massacre. The usual rituals after each mass shooting or when like Brutus , a celebrity turns his own legally acquired gun on his/her spouse and children , then takes his own life .

The right to bear arms remains. The state of anomie persists. Unfortunately, until something drastic is done to stop the carnage from gun violence and better attention is paid to mental illness, and the alienation that goes with it, by providing adequate and affordable mental health services. Let the carnage and savagery stop. Let the massacre of innocent children stop .Our children are our future…let society stop postponing the fight to control guns and gun violence. For those who claim they need the guns to defend themselves, let it be known that most homicides by gun occur from people who know each other not from strangers coming in to shoot and kill the occupants. And of course if one must own a gun to defend oneself or go hunting animals, one does not need military type guns to do so.

“We have endured too many of these tragedies”. The time for action is now .Let the seasons and state of anomie end NOW. May all those who have lost their loved ones be blessed with the courage to bear their loss with fortitude .May God bless the dead and grant them peace.

Written by
Olaewe Ewegbemi
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1 comment
  • Where I live asking sneoome if they own a gun would get a "yes" about as often as asking them if they owned a car. The truth that when secnds count the police are ony minutes away is quite obviouis in rural America.I bought my first pistol a few weeks ago, primarily for home protection and to carry on walks and bicycle rides. You never know what kind of animals my pop out of the woods. Bears and mountain lions have been reported in my county. I've seen a bobcat on my back porch and in my front yard. Plus a wild dog or coyote is always a possibilty.As for doctors, my doctor made enough mistakes in my treatment for me to go elsewhere. Simple stuff like incorrectly running glucose test and such. We could save a lot of lives if doctors policed themselves better.I think I'll use Trey's response if asked. I keep my gun unloaded but the clip and gun within reach of each other.