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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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