The greatest debate that has sparked from Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut is that of gun laws. A lot of the talk has been about reform and tightening of legislation in order to prevent such tragedies and that conversation is important, but it seems to be taking into account only the legal views — how about looking at it from perspective of the rest of the community at Sandy Hook Elementary?
What Newtown really needs is a social perspective — especially at Sandy Hook Elementary. The small town that used to feel comfortable and secure because of its connectedness has just received a rude awakening. If there’s anything that can truly remedy this situation, it sure isn’t national legal reform.
What is needed is compassion. To counter the inhumanity of the tragedy, the community needs to fill itself up with selfless caring. By building back the bonds between each other, the community gain regain its collective security. Once again, this is especially important at Sandy Hook.
In order for those students to be able to overcome that day, they need to relearn a lesson in security: it’s not the material things that will keep you safe, it’s your community. The worst possibility of a tragedy is not physical loss — humans can overcome that. The worst possibility is the loss of security.
The lessons of trust and community are taught to and accepted by children at a young age. From this they build all their relationships: friends, family, teachers, and more. This lesson is an organic one and innocently manifests itself in most children. The problem comes in when there is an opposition to this, such as cynicism, arrogance, or even trauma. When the natural conflicts with the unnatural children can lose the most basic, and most taken for granted, lessons.
This incident is considered a tragedy not because it was an abuse of the second amendment; it’s considered a tragedy because it was an attack on the innocent. Sure, we can push for gun reform but at the moment that’s not the most pressing issue. Those children need their security back; those teachers need their security back; that community needs its security back.
Jake Frackson December 21, 2012