That’s the best I can explain it.
I say I’m an idiot because I have no idea what the hell is going on anymore. Granted, it’s not like I was a genius previously, but Friday helped me realize that I have no idea how certain things happen.
I don’t mean physics. I get that.
I don’t mean computers. I get those.
I don’t mean how to survive (and be happy) with two crazy little girls under three years old. Because believe it or not, I get that.
What I don’t get is how someone can do such ultimate horror that happened in Connecticut. I have a few questions, but I don’t think any of us have answers.
Here’s what I do know though:
1. Today’s journalists (in general) suck.
“THIS HAPPENED AND I TOLD YOU FIRST! HAHAHAHAH! I WIN!!”
No no. That’s not how it should work. I agree with a good Op-Ed piece at Mashable posted yesterday night: http://mashable.com/2012/12/14/ct-shootings-media-judgement-and-the-public-trust/ Instead of news, we get showboats who want to be on TV, but have to find something to talk about. Too much time is spent with hair and makeup, and not enough on ethics and, you know, reporting.
As some of you know though, you can call bullshit on me. I haven’t had TV service for about two years – maybe things have changed in that time. Maybe. Plus, I don’t know anything about journalism. My B.A. from the U of M came from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Totally different.
Television, and some online journalism has failed us as of late. Sensationalism breeds more thoughts about how to be sensational, but we’re focusing on the wrong end of the spectrum. There need to be more shows like Extreme Makeover Home Edition (save some of the sponsors), and less variations of CSI Nowhereville.
2. Healthcare in America needs reform.
I don’t mean about how batshit crazy everything costs (although, that’s a different conversation). What I mean is how we have historically seen mental healthcare and counseling. Seriously people, you need help. Not just a few of you. Every one of you. We all do. There should be no reason why we can’t all be OK with getting some help, guidance, and counseling. We look to professionals about law, physical medicine, technology, our hair style, damn near everything. Why are we so scared to get help for the most important part of our life- our Self?
Again, feel free to call bullshit. But alas, I have gotten help, and I’m 100% ok talking about it. As Zoey Bartlett once said, “The help helps”.
3. Education needs a much bigger investment.
If for one second you read that as “we need to buy our teachers Kevlar and outfit the schools with metal detectors”, then you are missing my point. What I’m talking about isn’t investing in our schools – but Education. We need to spend more time being smarter, and making our kids smarter than us. My biggest accomplishment in life will be the moment (and I know there will be two) where my girls look at me, and I realize that they’re smarter than I am. I’m sure they’ll be stronger, faster, and better at sports, too (not a big challenge on that front), but I am looking forward to them being smarter. That starts with what we teach them – in school, and at home.
4. Guns are neither an answer, or a question.
And if anyone says they’re the solution, I disagree.
Personally, I’d like to take half of our defense spending budget and move it to healthcare and education. Take half our troops, or the National Guard or Reserves, and make them more akin to civil servants than weekend warriors. Take their immense talent and let them build things. They become some of the best potential employees, but often aren’t given the chance due to lacking equivalent civil schooling. Someone can be an Army medic, but upon return, they are qualified on paper to be a school nurse, or if they’re lucky, an EMT. These people do amazing things, and the systems in place prove to be hindering transitions. By altering their duties to be more balanced with more civilian jobs, hopefully we’ll not only gain their talents at home, but also help them transition if their tours end.
So yes. Cut the military in half. All of it. It will save (and cost) us greatly. But we need change. WHAT ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY? What about it? We should be a nation that other nations love, not others fear. Take those jobs “lost”, and build a government-sponsored set of programs to actually DO things. Build better roads, parks, arts programs, medical practices and….schools. If we get attacked by another country, well, I guarantee we’ll have an Army of volunteers the next day.
But think of this: What if we were the nation that did not NEED a military?
As for the wonderful little Second Amendment, I’ll say something that hopefully others feel, but don’t necessarily want to say. I really don’t care about it. I think the founding fathers were geniuses of their time. I’m tired of people being more concerned with being popular politicians, always eying the next chair, instead of doing their job – being geniuses. Figure it out. That’s why you got the job. I think private citizens owning guns isn’t a big deal. But I’ll tell you this. I never want one. I want the protection that it instills, but fuck if I ever have to fire one. My closest encounter was paintball, and as fun as it was, it was a game. I’m not a hunter, but I can understand why people do it. I’m not a range-shooter, but I understand why people do it. I am not trained for it, and I firmly believe that there are very few people who should own guns. If someone does, then it’s training – both physical, and emotional. I may be physically capable of firing a gun, but I am not emotionally able to take someones life – even in defense. Even in defense of my two girls. I would beg, and plead, that it be me instead of them, but even if I killed someone defending my angels, I’m not sure how I’d be able to live with myself.
5. Stop hurrying.
Everything I’ve talked about above takes time. Answers take time to get to the public about what happened. Healthcare is (almost) worse than taxes when it comes to full-fledged reform, but the mindset of being help-able will take even longer. The investment we make in education won’t be seen by our kids, but maybe our grandkids. But in turn, maybe those grandkids will be the ones big enough to stand up and say that we don’t need a military, we need a country.
We all want things to change rapidly. I’d love it if that were possible, but this is a long game, and we’re merely pawns moving one tile our entire life. Make it a good move, but set up the next player.
Maybe someday I’ll stop being an idiot, but honestly, I just hope my kids are smarter.