I just came back inside from lowering the flag to half staff at the place at which I work. It seems to be a more and more recurring task over the past 10 years that I’ve been here. I shouldn’t be having to do that, at any time of year, especially at this time of year.
My plan for this month’s columns was to write about the joys of the season and to relate some of the past events that made this a fun time of the year for kids and adults alike. These columns float into my head easily, but this week I find it tough to feel the spirit that lifts us all at holiday time. I don’t think I’m alone feeling as I do.
The event that transpired out in Connecticut was and is sorrowful. It brings us all to our collective knees when something this tragic happens anywhere and especially when it involves little kids and their teachers.
We all ask ourselves, “What is wrong with this place and why do things like this seem to be happening on a more and more regular basis and what makes humans act out in this manner?”
There will be dozens of theories and hundreds of investigations, as always is the case, but the questions will remain.
Lowering the flag to half staff occurred rarely during my growing up years. Usually that symbol was reserved for presidents or war heroes who had passed on. My most vivid and saddest recollection was when President Kennedy was assassinated. Before that, as a kid, there weren’t many times when flags were lowered. Since that time, it seems that we are having to do that task at an increasingly rapid rate.
Once again the gun control controversy will rise in the national discussion. I surely don’t have the answer to that. I have been around guns all my life, used them for hunting and for sport shooting. I never had the urge to use one against another human being, but I was raised in a different time than today.
My parents and many others had gone through a world war and they knew the devastation that a gun could wield. They passed on that responsible feeling to their kids. I grew up knowing that a gun used in the wrong way was a dangerous thing. I respected that.
Over the years, it seems to me that we have grown more and more unfeeling toward our fellow man. We see nightly television shows that to me seem to glorify or desensitize killing. We go to movies that glamorize the taking of other lives and walking away with no afterthought. We have games where killing some cartoon character is the goal and then we go and eat a hardy dinner after doing away with our foes.
It could be just me, but I think we somehow are creating or have created this unfeeling attitude and it makes me nervous.
The saying, “Guns don’t kill people, people do,” is correct, but a gun in the hand of someone who is not thinking in a rational manner can be a terrible thing. We saw that last week and in previous weeks and years.
How that gets corrected or if it can be corrected is beyond my scope, but I think we better start thinking about that.
I’m getting depressed lowering our flag to half staff. I think most people in this country would feel the same way.
During this holiday season when the phrase “Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men” is spoken or sung so many times, I think we humans should really start listening to the words, no matter what our creed.
See you next time. Okay?