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AndyS

(14,559 posts)
Thu Dec 16, 2021, 11:12 AM Dec 2021

A special note to those who hijacked my Sandy Hook thread.

======

It was December 12, 2014.

Friday morning I spent with my 2 year old granddaughter, her sitting on my lap watching the talking heads on TV. This little girl will be the most politically savvy woman in the world when she grows up. Mom drops her off around 8:30 on her way to work after leaving her two sons, 5 and 10, at school.

Shortly after 9:30 AM the Sandy Hook reporting began.

OK, I thought, another mentally deranged guy going off after being fired, taking it out on the admins who did the deed to him. All the while the kids are safe, after all what kind of monster would hurt little kids?

There are scenes of teachers leading children single file at a dead run from the building.

About noon, my baby girl still on my lap, I learn that there are children among the casualties. Jesus! They must be collateral injuries. Nobody could possibly intentionally hurt innocent little kids, right?

The police have set up a reunion site at a nearby fire station for parents to pick up their children. Panicked parents are arriving and milling about looking for their children. Police surround the school and search the nearby wooded area.

I put Kate down for a nap about 2:30. It’s hard to let her go although she fell asleep in my arms an hour ago and my arms are cramping from the awkward way she lay on my chest. I go back to CNN and MSNBC.

The coroner is speaking to the press. There are 26 casualties. Six faculty and 20 students. The students are between 6 and 7 years of age. Multiple gunshot wounds to all victims. The bodies are being prepared for identification by photograph. “My forensic photographers are very good . . .” A journalist asks, “How can you be so detached?” Not the most professional question ever asked but by now the entire press corps are bawling their eyes out, professionalism has long since left the scene. The coroner answers, “I have work to do. There will be time for the other later . . .”

I sob for the next hour.

3:35 the boys walk home from school. By now I know that most of the casualties are students between 5 and 10 years old. I try not to over-react to the boys. Don’t want to freak them out, don’t want to interrupt the daily routine. We have snacks, they do homework and I check it.

Homework done we have root beer floats and as always I have to wash Kate’s face, hands and everything within reach. Still trying not to let on anything is wrong I send them up to the “kid’s room” to watch Cartoon Network.

Now that I’m alone I break down again. I cry, sob, boohoo uncontrollably in the privacy of my bedroom away from the kids for an hour or so. I gotta’ pull myself together ‘cause there are more snacks to disperse and stories to be heard about the school day.

7:30 Mom gets home to collect her kids. Her eyes are red. Mine too. We talk briefly and she hugs the little ones hard enough to elicit grunts. Thank God it’s the weekend and she can keep them close.

Shortly after they leave my wife comes home. I tell her of the day’s events. We order Chinese delivery because I’m not able to prepare a meal. I don’t have much of an appetite, stirring the broccoli and beef with my chopsticks. Watch some fluff on TV until 11:00 and go to bed. About 1:00 AM I wake, stare at the darkness for awhile and again break down sobbing out loud waking Lynn. She holds me, trying to comfort me until I finally cry myself to sleep. I wake again around 5:00 and give up on sleep. Make coffee. Sit in the dark. Don’t want to watch TV, can’t deal with what I’ll see.

About 8:30 Lynn comes out all dressed. She has to go to the office to meet deadlines. I have a shopping list so we kiss and go our different ways.

I shop at small ethnic groceries. You can buy 12 oz. of spice for less than the .3 oz. jar at the megamart and it’s an excuse to ride my motorcycle. I ride across town, select some fresh vegetables and the spices I need and check out. On the way out I see a beautiful 4 year old girl; little round face, flawless ebony skin, huge bright eyes and pigtails. The kind of innocent beauty that makes me wish I had a studio again. I break down. People stare as I leave, tears streaming as I pull my helmet on. Half blind I ride the 6 or so miles back to the house and hunker down to pull myself together. I so much want my babies close to me.

Saturday night is a repeat of Friday night. Left over Chinese uneaten. No sleep. Sunday is a repeat of Saturday with wife pulling overtime and me looking at a shopping list that includes necessities for dealing with a two year old. Fruit juice, peanut butter and jelly. I drag myself to the nearest megamart. See a mother and ‘tween daughter. She says something to her mother, they laugh and Mom pulls her close. I leave my half filled cart and going home.

I take over-the-counter drugs to sleep. They work until about 4:00 AM.

Monday morning my daughter drops the boys at school and Kate with me. She’s wearing reflective aviator sunglasses. Kate squeals and lunges into my arms. Mom takes the sunglasses off showing red raw eyes and says, “I have this information but I don’t know how to process it. Why must I be afraid to take my kids to school?” I can’t answer. “There’s a cop at the school house door. Is this what it comes to? Armed guards for kids? I don’t want my kids in an armed camp, it just isn’t right.” I can’t answer. We hug, peck-on-the-cheek and she goes off to work. I hug my grandbaby for the next few hours until she’s sick of Granddad and goes off to watch Elmo. The boys come home, there’s ice cream floats, homework and then the 5 year old hands me note from the school. There’s been a threat taped to the front door of his school. Police are investigating, we’ll be informed and bla bla bla. He asks what it’s about. I tell him somebody said they would do bad things and that’s why the policeman was at his school to keep him safe. He’s okay with that.

Tuesday morning is routine except I take inventory of my life. I collect curio and relic firearms. I have a number of long guns designed in the 19th century and two semi automatic pistols. When I say long guns I mean so long you have to hold them vertically to make a u-turn in the average hallway. They are historic artifacts. I bought the short guns because each has a unique design characteristic, each unique in history, design and function. I’m there. I don’t need the semi auto pistols. I don’t feel the need for self defense. I don’t even enjoy shooting them the few times a year they come out of the locked gun safe. Up until now I’ve seen them only as curiosities, an abstract part of history. I can’t look at them like that anymore.

I call the BATF&E and ask how to dispose of them because I have a federal firearms license and am liable to scrutiny of every gun I have by serial number. I don’t want to give them away, I want them destroyed. The agent informs me that the guns must be cut in pieces through the receiver. What if I field strip them and smash each piece with my sledge hammer? No, that isn’t acceptable. Someone might find the parts and re-assemble them. I said, “Hon, you haven’t seen me and my hammer.” She chucked and said she was sorry, the law is the law. I should contact local law enforcement and turn them over to them, get a receipt. Better yet call Navarro county sheriff’s department, they have a program that melts the guns down into paperweights.

======================
At this point I stopped writing. I had finally run out of emotion, the gaping wound in my soul was beginning to crust over.

As an end note, I had become a FFL so I could buy the antiques for my grandchildren. One for each of them, a piece of history. Now that they are turning 18 and can legally own one they seem to have no interest. I guess the endless active shooter drills have had an affect. I'll have them destroyed.

I'll not be responding to any replies.

14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies

Response to AndyS (Original post)

TygrBright

(20,843 posts)
3. There is no need to reply to this.
Thu Dec 16, 2021, 12:44 PM
Dec 2021

But I thank you for sharing your experience. It's very human.

It helps me understand human stuff better.

And that is very worthwhile.

We're a weird species. No instruction manual included. We have to figure stuff out with each others' help.

So thank you.

appreciatively,
Bright

demmiblue

(37,263 posts)
4. I don't know the backstory, but what kind of asshole would hijack a Sandy Hook thread?!
Thu Dec 16, 2021, 12:47 PM
Dec 2021

Thank you for sharing.

Hekate

(92,422 posts)
11. Same here. This was in the front page.
Thu Dec 16, 2021, 02:24 PM
Dec 2021

On the anniversary of Sandy Hook I skipped everything about it. I have become numbed and — well, I’ve become numbed.

After reading this, though, I am reassessing my daughter’s fierce determination to homeschool her kids. Yes, I still disagree with so much of what drives her. But now I can see the source of the bone-deep fear of what this society has become regarding guns and schools.



CaliforniaPeggy

(150,674 posts)
6. Thank you, Andy, for your heart-wrenching account of that day, and following days.
Thu Dec 16, 2021, 12:58 PM
Dec 2021

It's beautifully written. I feel your grief in every line. Grief ruled your days and even so, your humanity shines through.

2Gingersnaps

(1,000 posts)
8. It gives me hope for humanity that you took it that badly.
Thu Dec 16, 2021, 01:16 PM
Dec 2021

I worked in the office of a third party medical biller. I was a Part B care coordination...forget the title, I was one of those people between your physician and your insurance company. Because we aren't evolved enough for Universal Healthcare. I was surrounded by nurses in my cubicle, we "case managed."

In particular a male ex vet nurse who despised Hillary and loved Alex Jones. He had pictures all over his cubicle of various conspiracy theories. I had native art and kept my political opinions to myself because I live in red Ohio. My supervisor cracked jokes about the varying nasty things she did to "own libs."

The male nurse's wife and six year old daughter frequently stopped by the office to visit and chat a bit. Until Sandy Hook I thought "OK he's a jerk but he is a good husband and Daddy, live and let live. Here is a man who had been in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he is a nurse. He knew damn good and well that an exit wound of that type was as big as a grapefruit. Alex Jones called the six year olds, one in particular had six such exit wounds, "crisis actors." His grieving parents had to leave their home because of the hate and vitriol directed at them. And it came from men like this. I listened to this daily, he sat right across from me. My son died of gunshot. I quit. People can talk about rights and laws, in theory it sounds great. In practice, I have peace, thank God I could afford it.

You are a good husband, a good father, a good grampy. I am at once sorry for your grief, and grateful too.

Pepsidog

(6,285 posts)
10. A psychiatrist friend confided in me that Sandy Hook and other school shootings were all actors and
Thu Dec 16, 2021, 02:10 PM
Dec 2021

never really happened. He then opened his laptop and started pulling up pictures of people outside the crime scene who were supposedly actors and at multiple tragedies as proof. The people looked nothing like each other but in his eyes they were identical twins. He was hesitant to tell me at first but couldn’t resist. My jaw hit the floor. This was years ago when the conspiracy nuts were afraid to reveal themselves.

Hekate

(92,422 posts)
12. Andy, I have no words. I saw this OP on the front page & came to read it not knowing where it was
Thu Dec 16, 2021, 02:34 PM
Dec 2021

That you felt such pain, that you can still feel such pain, shows your humanity.

May all beings be peaceful, may all beings be happy, may all beings be safe. May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature. May all beings be free from suffering.



 

old as dirt

(1,972 posts)
13. Christmas, 2012.
Tue Dec 21, 2021, 08:39 AM
Dec 2021


"Let the little children come to me", Jesus said, "and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven"

President Barack Obama - December, 2012

 

old as dirt

(1,972 posts)
14. The Hammer Has To Fall
Tue Dec 21, 2021, 09:06 AM
Dec 2021
I call the BATF&E and ask how to dispose of them because I have a federal firearms license and am liable to scrutiny of every gun I have by serial number. I don’t want to give them away, I want them destroyed. The agent informs me that the guns must be cut in pieces through the receiver. What if I field strip them and smash each piece with my sledge hammer? No, that isn’t acceptable. Someone might find the parts and re-assemble them. I said, “Hon, you haven’t seen me and my hammer.” She chucked and said she was sorry, the law is the law. I should contact local law enforcement and turn them over to them, get a receipt. Better yet call Navarro county sheriff’s department, they have a program that melts the guns down into paperweights.


The Hammer Has To Fall - Charlie King





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