Today, Dec. 14 may not be as memorable as 9/11 mostly because one political party decided a long time ago not to make much mention of it. And yet, they’ve been exploiting the deaths of 9/11 for political gane since day one. If you don’t know, it was on Dec. 14, 2012, some worthless piece of shit named Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. with a Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle and killed six faculty and staff members and 20 first-graders, most of them only 6. Lanza had also killed his own mother, Nancy, at their home earlier that day.
I was working at the Wagoner Tribune paper at the time, a subsidy of the now defunct Community Publishers, Inc. We were having our annual Christmas holiday luncheon for all Oklahoma papers at the regional office in Broken Arrow, outside of Tulsa. Our luncheon turned grim as word of the massacre was just a click away on how smart phones. It seemed odd that we were celebrating and having a great time while many, many miles away, so many people were having the worst day of their lives.
Lanza took his own life and then it came time for authorities to wrap their heads around how the hell this happened. Reports came out that not only did Lanza shoot young frightened children, he also walked around and entered a round into their heads to make sure they were dead. Lanza knew he was dead meat. If he gave up, there’s no telling what would’ve happened to him in jail if word got out he had murdered 20 kids. It’s very likely he wouldn’t have lived through the night. He definitely wouldn’t have received Burger King like that psycho son of a bitch Dylann Roof but maybe would’ve have a night stick rammed down his throat or a whole cannister of pepper spray emptied. I don’t condone police brutality one bit but I wouldn’t doubt one officer would have risked it all for five minutes alone with Lanza who looked like he didn’t even weigh a buck-o-five.
What was worse than Lanza committing such horrible acts was how the Republican Party, Fox News and other talk-radio assholes including that fat slob of a pig-fucker Alex Jones were quick to call it a hoax. There were no people killed, they said. It was all an act as different reports were coming in. The nerve of so many people in this country to tell the parents of the murdered and other people they knew that it was all fake. One fucking asshole I went to school posted on Facebook how disrespectful it was for President Barack Obama to call it “Newton” instead of Newtown. I don’t think Obama misspoke. This guy was such asshole motherfucker he had to find some reason to turn this political and against Obama. I mean, I don’t think he ever smiled in any photo just had that same angry look and balded head that has become synonymous with right-wing bastard douchebags.
I unfriended his worthless ass that day. Fuck him and his family and friends. You know goddamn good and well if something bad happened to his family, no one would say something like that. But, many other people in America were so quick to turn this into a political spin. They were so mad that Obama had been re-elected a month earlier, they had to vent their frustration. And they figured the No. 1 way to do it was to call the massacre of over two-dozen people a hoax.
Conservatives and the Republican Party have turned into the party of savages. A side note, I was sitting in a doctor’s office about a week or so after the 2012 as the people in New Jersey, New York and other states were recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Some skank-ho Okie woman had the nerve to say out loud in a room of about 20 people that they deserved what happened for the way they voted.
Hurricane Sandy caused 233 fatalities and $68.7 billion in damages. It is one of the most costliest hurricanes in U.S. history. To say that this is karma or even God’s revenge for the re-election of a President is sickening. But it’s an insight to how some people think. And even more, it’s another reason not to believe in God or follow any Christian doctrine in this country. How may of those 233 people voted for Mitt Romeny? We don’t know. How many of those who lost everything didn’t care for Obama? Hurricanes don’t hit based on whose campaign sign is in a yard.
The massacre happened 11 days before Christmas. I wonder how many parents had stuff on order for their children that they had to return. How many gifts were up in the attic or hidden in the basement that their children would never get the joy of seeing? How many people had made holiday plans and then have to turn around and plan funerals? How much money that was supposed to be spent on a holiday dinner or trip went to pay for funeral directors?
While we live in a society where it’s expected to lose a parent or a grandparent, the harder moments are when you lose a child or a spouse/partner. If a parent or grandparent dies in their 60s, 70s, or 80s, you can say they lived a long life and now it’s time for them to move on. These young people had their whole lives ahead of them. The thought of death probably never crossed their minds and why should it.
Victoria Leigh Soto, a teacher, was only 27 when she hid students and tried to shield the children from Lanza who shot her four times. She had so much to live for as did so many other people there. And what did we do? Not a goddamn thing.
The National Rifle Association and other rght-wing organizations decided the best course of action was to make this a “Fuck you!” to Obama, Democrats, leftist and liberals. Ten years later, you can purchase a Bushmaster just as easily as Nancy Lanza did. Even worse, social media exploded with people brandishing their similar rifles and firearms. You know the fake story that was past around in emails about people from the Middle-East at some convenience store celebrating 9/11? Well, Republicans and conservatives did exactly that in the wake of Sandy Hook.
If anything else, Sandy Hook was the litmus test of how we as a society will do anything but what needs to be done to address a certain problem. It was more than 13 years since the Columbine High School massacre and almost twice as many were killed. What’s sad is in the last few decades, Columbine doesn’t even register as one of the most deadliest mass shootings and neither does Sandy Hook. At the Las Vegas shootings on Oct. 1, 2017, 60 people were killed and more than 400 wounded. Even though school districts formed their own police departments (which seems like an outrageous concept in a pre-Columbine world) it still didn’t prevent another massacre like the one at Uvalde, Texas.
And while Jones has been hit financially in lawsuits as he more or less egged on this notion of Sandy Hook being a hoax, it’s sickening that there were so many people who believed him and others. The slaughter of 20 young kids didn’t matter. If they were alive today, they’d be in 11th grade, taking the ACT and SAT, looking at college and vo-tech education. It would be a different time, but we’ll never know what they could have done with their lives. Lanza took that from them.
And as we still listen to the conservatives and Republicans say that it’s wrong for Jones to be hit so hard financially, he deserves it. We can’t continue on as a society if we are going to avoid the facts. That’s why so many people want Dr. Andrew Fauci prosecuted. They can distort things to fit their narrative, the way they have done with historical figures and sections of the Bible. As a former journalist, I know it can be hard to get information out as soon as possible. Sometimes, law enforcement don’t have a firm grasp on what happenes.
When I was working in Americus, Ga., trying to get anything out of the jerkwater backwoods Good Ole Boys of southern Georgia was like pulling teeth off a gator with a pair of tweezers. The Georgia State Patrol just flat out refused to give us any written documents and most of what was relayed was through a public information officer or as supervisor. The Americus Police Department and Sumter County Sheriff’s Office did the same thing about releasing information through proper channels and almost never through a written incident report or probable cause affadavit. Even the Georgia Southwestern State University police gave us erroneous information on a reported “gay bashing” incident.
During a crisis like Sandy Hook, you can’t expect authorities to make sure all the information is accurate especially if they are a little shaken up over seeing the mutilated bodies of people they knew. People are still trying to deny what happened during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection coup attempt. This is a result of the lying of the George W. Bush Adminstration that was dialed up to 11 during the Donald Trump Administration. But all this started when the Republicans regained control of the House in 1994 and under the savagery of Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist ripped America apart when it should’ve been rebuilt following the failures of the Reagan/Bush Administrations.
If there’s any comfort, it’s knowing that many students of Sandy Hook are now or voting age or will be in 2024. It’ll be five years in two months when another young psychopath killed 17 people and wounded 17 other at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. They’re all voting age now. Do you think they’ve had some changes in the last three elections? I think they do.
What world do these younger people want to live in as adults and what world do they want to raise their own kids in? For the last 10 years, we haven’t done jack shit. From 1994 to 2004, firearms like AR-15 and AK-47s were mostly illegal to purchase. Now, people are using them as accessories. We would even get Letters to Santa in which kids were asking for them. One thing I was taught as a young person was to treat all firearms as they are dangerous. A lot of other people didn’t get that message.
But since we’re living in a world where elementary school kids are being taught how to successfully hide during an active shooter incident, maybe we’ll get some people elected who will want full change. Jones is just a start. There is a big difference between saying something that is reported, then correcting yourself when it’s proven not true, and to constantly lie about something while encouraging others to do your dirty work. Family of Sandy Hook have been repeatedly victimized by those saying it’s a hoax and have received death threats.
Think about that for a moment.
I want to live in a world where if a young child dies or a favorite teacher is killed, the community turns out and supports the family and friends. We hold benefit dinners. People go to the local blood banks to donate. Instead, a big percentage of this country decided to make it about themselves and their beliefs.
And at the same time, we want to call ourselves a “Christian nation.” I haven’t been to church in a while but I know that Jesus cared more about other people than he did about Himself. But that’s a radical idea for many of the Christian right.
Sadly, I don’t think we haven’t seen the worst of it yet. I’m sure there’ll be another school shooting and it very likely can be worse than Sandy Hook, Stoneman Douglas or Robb Elementary in Uvalde. In a tasteless display, the Prairie Grove, Ark. school district made instructional videos using pics of children taken off faculty’s social media pages indicated they had died on this date, Dec. 14 because of an active shooter. This was done a few weeks ago much to everyone’s horror and anger. Reba Holmes, superintendent of the district, has announced a leave of absence with an intention to retire in June of 2023, basically meaning she’s going to sit around at home for the remainder of her contract. The school district still has to pay her salary while hiring an interim superintendent. Another school administrator has also done the same thing.
Some people have suggested the parents take legal action and I would agree. But I don’t know if the prosecution will move forward. I definitely think there is some civil legal action that must be taken. School shootings are serious. Mass shootings are serious. We shouldn’t make light of them. We haven’t learned anything since so it’s time for us to take a remedial crash course and change things for the better.
We never know who’s going to be next, but we can do what we can to prevent it.
What do you think? Please comment.