Not deferential enough: Thou little tiny child

Posted Thursday, December 5, 2013 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: Thou little tiny child

by Gina Hamilton

Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child, bye, bye, lully, lullay...

Coventry Carol

Listen to it if you can.  It's a lullaby ... a lullaby for the dead.

The Coventry Carol will never be the same.  Instead of representing a long-ago horror, it now represents a still fresh one.

Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012.

And the most horrific thing is that we learned nothing from it.  So much sorrow, so much grief, so much soul-numbing pain for everyone involved.  And nothing changed.

School shootings still happen with the same dreary regularity as they did last year.  There were 21 school shootings in the US in 2013.  In addition, there were another 21 mass shootings in which four or more people were killed that weren't school-related.  These shootings don't always even make the paper or the evening news; they've become all too commonplace, occurring every other week, on average.

Oh, sisters, too, how may we do, for to preserve this day?

When the mothers of the dead ... or the still living ... protest, their sorrow and anger and desire to change the world for their children or others' children is slammed down by people - mostly men - who believe their wish to own killing machines outweighs the right of small children to see their next birthdays.

We are told that the only hope to prevent such senseless carnage is to put more killing machines in the hands of "good guys" who will take out the "bad guys".  But recent evidence, at the Navy Yard in Washington, proved that didn't work out too well.

When the good guys were slaughtered, even holding their own killing machines, the "bad guy" just scooped them up and used them to kill more "good guys".  Twelve people killed in less than an hour, many of them armed.

Herod the King, in his raging ...

We don't have a sensitive and sensible plan for dealing with mental illness in this country.  What we know is that a gun in the hands of a mentally ill young man ... and again, mostly young men ... leads inexorably to violence, against others or against himself.  We don't have a way to keep these young men from getting these killing machines.  We don't even have a way to identify these young men and get them the help they desperately need before the silicon chips inside their heads get switched to overload.

his men of might, in his own sight, all young children to slay ...

We don't have a sensible plan for dealing with family violence, not even after all these years.  Many of the mass shootings that killed four or more people were murders of family groups, perpetrated by men ... again, mostly men ... who were jealous, angry, and had no skills to address their anger, pain, and feelings of powerlessness except to pick up a murder machine and end the lives of people they claimed to love.

Then woe is me, poor child, for thee, and ever mourn and say ...

The Newtown children, and the hundreds more who followed them to the grave this year alone, must not have died in vain. 

for thy parting, neither say, nor sing, bye, bye, lully, lullay ...

We must, absolutely must, deal with this issue.  The second amendment does, after all, stipulate a well-regulated militia, not anarchy.  And we must deal with the equally important issue of dealing with mental illness.  Mental illness isn't just any other condition.  Mentally ill people take their own and other people's lives, sometimes.  It's a hard, difficult, and perhaps unAmerican concept, but mental illness must be treated, sometimes forcefully.  And people who want a gun should have to prove that they are at least minimally competent to have one.  They shouldn't have a criminal record, shouldn't have had the police called for a domestic dispute, should have passed a basic gun safety course, and should keep their gun locked up.

Since Newtown, more than 270 kids have died from "accidental" shootings, at least 100 of those in cases where children shot one another because a gun was left out and accessible. That's two American children dying every three days.

this poor youngling, for whom we do sing, bye, bye, lully, lullay ...

Surely our children are worth more than bits of metal and wood that projects small bits of lead with deadly force?

bye, bye, lully, lullay.




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