A lot has happened since my last entry and it's taken me some time to get my thoughts on this particular topic in order. The trouble is; I'm caught in the middle of both sides of the so-called gun issue. On the one side, I'm all about not allowing my nation's government to curb, abridge or even remove any of my civil liberties nor my inalienable rights. I also work for a law enforcement agency and was even taught some basic hand gun safety growing up. I know full-well guns in the hands of responsible people are safe.
But also, the tragedy of December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, while geographically close to my home is also emotionally close to my home as well. In addition to an old school mate of mine's friends losing their beloved daughter, the son of a fellow train club member of mine lost three of his friends (the son is a student at a different Newtown elementary school and was not in physical danger that day). Additionally, another friend of mine, from when I used to be a railroad brakeman, lives within walking distance of Sandy Hook Elementary. So you see it's been rough for me to find my perspective and even as I write this, I don't have my thoughts firmed up, I'm certain I never will. It's a heartbreak and in my experience, heartbreak doesn't heal well -- it may never.
The tragic part of it is not being able to punish the wrong doer. He not only stole 26 lives, 20 of which never got the chance to experience the wonderament of life -- those little moments of awe one notices as they mature and progress through adulthood. They're denied the splendor of a rainbow, the unspoken bond between scion and parent over hunting or fishing or hiking, etc., and we're denied a culpable fall guy to avenge their lives.
But what's sadder is the lobbying that swelled out of control with the aim (no pun intended) to tighten gun control laws to be even stricter. The tragic fact of nearly every school and workplace shooting is the killer finds his or her way around the laws.
Lastly, Newtown affects me one other way:
Here's some of my favorite things in this image:
- a train (one I handled when it was being loaded at the stone quarry earlier that day)
- the red building is the former Newtown, CT, passenger station, now home to Cave Comics and Burgerittoville. At New York Comic Con in 2012 the person sitting next to me during the Marvel X-Men panel said it best "there's nothing better than going to Cave Comics and reading your new issues while eating a Burgeritto."
What's Burgerittoville? It's a restaurant that specializes in hamburgers wrapped in a soft tortilla shell instead of on a bun. A hamburger buritto if you will. (I'm overdue for another visit myself)
And finally, what you don't see in this picture are the seven friends also photographing this rare event of a train on this stretch of railroad in daylight.
Newtown, CT, is one of those quiet, unassuming stereotypical small towns everyone experiences nostalgia over, not to mention everything it holds dear for me.