I sat at my desk on Friday and wiped away tears and tried (unsuccessfully) to keep snot at bay as the stories from Newtown started to colonize my social media spaces. It was really hard then, and is really hard now, to not feel overcome thinking about how scared and frightened those little tykes were and the school teachers and administrators and the people in the town. Exhortations to hug your kids and loved ones ran rampant, and even I, staunch resister of all clichés that I am, came home and revelled in the fact that the Big Yam was there and safe and happy and unwilling to be hugged because he wanted to look at pictures of the moon on the iPad. Even the antidote memes that have floated around in the wake of Newtown (like this one about 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity This Year, or photos of the first same-sex marriages performed in Washington state), have made me cry.
You have to believe that humanity is good. At the end of the day, I do (although reading the Huffington Post crime section challenges this belief). I think the coverage of these events and the rapaciousness of the 24-hour news cycle is disgusting and an enabler of this type of sociopathic behaviour, and yet, I couldn't stay away from the New York Times live updates.
I'm conflicted by my own degree of complicity with many facets of this problem and my sensitivity to the urban-rural divide that exists in gun discourse in Canada. However, I do not believe that gun control is a political issue, or should be. Technically, a lot of issues that shouldn't be political issues have become politicized because people are dummies, but still. Regulation is just that - regulation and I think the idea of stricter controls on guns should be something that is supported by gun enthusiasts and pacifists in equal measure. The idea of having a constitutionally protected right to own "arms" is one of the most asinine things I've ever heard of, and makes me grateful for the the relative youth of our Charter here in Canada.
In the meantime, I'm channelling all my inner rage and feelings of powerlessness towards a renewed hatred of the Westboro Baptist Church. On the topic of complicity though, do I contribute to the societal conditions that allow for sociopathic behaviour when I say that I wish members of the Westboro Baptist Church would be cursed with adult hand, foot, and mouth disease? Does that make me a bad person? A really bad person? Or an awful person? I don't know. I have a feeling it does.
I ended up cancelling my plans to have the gals from Canoe over on Friday night because I was so depressed about what had happened that day in the news. I really just wanted to be with the Dotytron and the Big Yam and to sit with them on the couch and feel warm and secure in Lil' Ugmo and feeling very, very lucky for the opportunity to do so.