Saturday, 15 December 2012

Massacre of the Innocents

The Massacre of the Innocents is a biblical narrative of infanticide, perpetrated by Herod the Great, appointed "King of the Jews" by the Romans. According to Matthew's gospel, Herod ordered the execution of all male babies and small children in and around the village of Bethlehem, to avoid losing his crown to a newborn Messiah. The Feast of the Holy Innocents is commemorated by most Christian churches on 28th December; many recognise these murdered babies as the first Christian martyrs.
Set in the heartland of New England, Connecticut is often called "The Constitution State"; it's colonial constitution of 1639 was the first in America, arguably the world. Yesterday, two weeks before the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and within sight of Christmas Day, twenty children between the ages of five and ten were among twenty eight people killed in the USA's most recent mass murder by an individual with firearms. The infants and their teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut, were shot by a gunman just out of his teens. He was armed with at least three guns owned legally by his mother under the state's gun laws, apparently among the tightest in the USA today. A former pupil and a familiar face, he was "buzzed in" through the school's security system. His mother was a supply teacher at the school; he had already shot her and would later turn a gun on himself.
Last night, President Obama called for "meaningful action" on gun crime. The United States has about five percent of the total world population but her citizens own more than forty percent of the world's civilian-owned firearms. Repeatedly, polling has shown that a majority of Americans believe their constitution ensures their right to own a gun. 

This will be, for me, a short post. An unloaded gun may be viewed as a collectible, a piece of craftsmanship; a loaded gun may be called a deterrent, or protection, although some will only ever see a deterrent as a challenge. Guns are seriously purpose built, to fire at a target. We may never fully know why a twenty year old guy decided to kill innocents at his local school yesterday. But we know how he did it.
May they rest in peace.

"America is a country founded on guns. It's in our DNA."
(Brad Pitt)

"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."
(Howard Zinn)

"There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."
(Kari Lynn)

"Abide With Me" Emeli Sande

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