Christmas Mourning

This week, staff writer Frank Friedlander gives his thoughts on the tragedy at Newtown, CT.


When I went downstairs Saturday morning and looked at our Christmas tree, still lit up from the night before, all I could think about was those families in Newtown, Connecticut whose lives had been drastically altered by a monster the day before. Each of the twenty murdered children more than likely had their gifts hidden away somewhere ready to be wrapped in shiny, colorful paper. Surely, they were equally as excited to rip them open on Christmas morning, as their parents were to see their eyes light up as they did so. Tragically, they will not get to do that. Why? Because some monster took it upon himself to rob them of that. Rob them of their future.  Forever.


I can’t even imagine how the families got the news, the initial shock. No doubt a mid-morning phone call. Something minor. It could have been the school calling to tell them their child was sick. Maybe they thought that it was their husband or wife calling to remind them to pick up milk after work. There’s no way that in a million years they would have remotely expected that which was really awaiting them on the other end of the line. Nor should they have. What’s worse is that the school served as a makeshift morgue that evening the bodies lying prone where they had fallen. The families were not allowed to see their loved ones until the authorities were given the opportunity to carry out their protocol. I can’t even understand those responsible for keeping them out were able to do so.


No doubt it will soon be revealed that this coward was a tragic victim of circumstance, but I don’t buy it.  Call it what you will, but somebody who would do this is nothing short of pure evil. I could care less who touched him, where, or how often. Maybe he was beaten. Maybe he should have sought therapy. Maybe he should have just shot mom and dad, turned the gun on himself and called it a day. It would have been a tragic end, no doubt, but better be it for his family alone than an entire community, an entire country. A question often asked is what separates us from the animals, well the answer is simple; we have the ability to feel for not just ourselves, but for others. It’s a weakness really. Most of us would rather have watched that news story, thought “wow, that’s awful,” and went on with our day, but the fact of the matter is that even the most self-absorbed of us simply cannot.


Fuck, in the cases of most mass murderers, at least in their twisted brains, there was a reason. Whether they thought they were eliminating the week for the good of their country, making a religious statement, or simply getting revenge on the bullies that had tormented them, at least their sick little minds had motivation. However, there’s nothing that a school full of 8-10 year old children could have possibly done to this twenty year old, no matter how sad and pathetic the voices in his head told him he was. I don’t necessarily believe in heaven or hell, but at times like this, I certainly hope that there is a Hell. I hope that it’s everything that Dante Alighieri made it out to be in his fourteenth century epic-poem and then some. The suffering that he’ll spend eternity suffering will be immeasurable. I can’t imagine even the devil himself being able to tolerate a sickening little coward like him.

And who was he? Who was the gunman? It doesn’t matter. Granted, his name has been released but it does not deserve repeating. He does not deserve recognition. He does not deserve to be remembered. There’s little benefit to awarding him the attention in death, which he likely sought in life. What is important is that his brain is excised and given to our nation’s top scientists for research. No name need be attached. The rest of the body should be disposed of using the least ceremonial method possible. Use it to feed livestock, or simply stuff it in a landfill with the rest of the refuse. That should be where his existence and very essence ends. Anybody who knew him should erase him from memory. Anyone who has pictures of him should burn or discard them so to never have t lay eyes on him again. He never should have existed, but it’s far too late for that. The next best ting is for every should that he ever came in contact with him let him quietly fade from memory. There are 26 lives taken on the dark morning of December 13, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Each of them deserves to be remembered. One however does not.

What is important is that today, you spend some extra time with your children. Thank them for being there. Maybe even take that extra $50-100 that you’d planned to use toward the Visa bill you’d racked up over the past month and buy them a bit something extra for Chanukah or Christmas.  They may not understand why, and they don’t need to, not yet, anyway. More importantly, whatever it is that you thought that you had to do this afternoon can wait. Nothing is granted. Nothing is guaranteed.

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