2013.01.30 Cheryl Bristol: Seek the roots of violence

Written by David Green.

I can’t relate to what children are going through when they hear of repeated massacres of school children. When I went to school in the 1950s I had fears. I was worried about doing my assignments correctly and about children liking me. I remember hoping like everything I wouldn’t be chosen last for the kickball team. It never crossed my mind that I could be murdered at school.

Later it was different. Remember the threats of homemade bombs?

When I was a teenager my mother had me assist in balancing the family checkbook. She taught me that if it is not balancing, to go back to the month before when it was balanced. Our present school safety procedures are not working. We need to go back to a time before mass murders of school children and examine what was working.

We need to proceed thoughtfully and avoid unjust backlash against the mentally ill, the vast majority of whom are not violent.

We need to proceed thoroughly. I recently read an insightful book (“While They Slept: an inquiry into the murder of a family” by Kathryn Harrison) about a boy who killed his family—he used a baseball bat. We need to seek the roots of violence.

We need to proceed sensibly. Who really needs an assault rifle? Would it violate the Constitution to require a conflict management program as prerequisite to handing any person a gun?

We need to proceed caringly. The droning chant of guns, guns, guns in recent news is drowning out a deeper cry. In our community and in our family we need to attend to a quieter, weaker voice and a silent anguish: that of our children.

– Cheryl Bristol

Gorham St., Morenci

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