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

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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