“… Sources across the nation shook their heads, stifled a sob in their voices, and reported fuck everything. Just fuck it all to hell.
“All of it, sources added.”
Too soon, some might say, for a parody news site like The Onion to make light of the deaths of 20 children and 8 adults in a mad, meaningless, bullshit shooting spree in Connecticut.
But I think they said it pretty well.
“ ‘I …’ said Tom Miller, 27, after reading an article about the tragedy online. ‘I just …’
“ ‘…’ he added.”
Unfortunately there will be many more who won’t be speechless. Will the same tired debate achieve anything new this time around? Will anybody think of or say anything better than The Onion?
‘Forward’ he cried from the rear
And the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map
Moved from side to side.
Damn if the next few days of commentary from the NRA, from the Brady Centers, from the gun control advocates and the gun nuts won’t sound awfully familiar – like a lot of braying donkeys.
One voice that always drowns quickly is the question of how we can help people who might end up homi-suicidal before it gets to the point where we argue about whether they should be able to buy guns.
How about we stop pretending like mental health is a problem that only the well-off should get treated? What if somebody besides the profit-driven employers and health care providers had a say in whether people with emotional and psychological issues had access to treatment?
Why, in this age and in this country, when we aren’t afraid of bears, invading armies, warlords or other serious physical dangers, are we not considering helping people out who might just need some counseling or medication to get through life without thinking seriously about killing the hell out of a bunch of small children or random, unarmed strangers?
God bless you if you have good health coverage with a mental health package. You’re one of the few. For the rest of you, you’ll probably still see mental health issues stigmatized and your prospects of a prosperous future harmed if you step out and get treatment.
Meanwhile you can sit back, watch the talking heads push the lines back and forth on the political map, shake your head, hug your kids. Whatever it takes to get you through the next day. After all, maybe you’ve got it all together. Maybe you don’t need counseling.
After all, nobody strong, composed and with-it ever breaks under strain or pressure, right?
Karl Hille lived and breathed local news beat reporting in Greenbelt and the Baltimore/Washington region for more than 12 years until the 2007 recession. While learning and improving the online side of the Baltimore Examiner operations, his platform dropped out from under his feet, then his rebound job at a regional business news magazine downsized him three months later. Now, working for the “dark side” – public communications work by day for the awesome government agency – he is going back to school to find the critical intersection of news, investigation, and the Internet – and re-learning how to be a student while he’s the only guy on campus sporting a fedora.