The nation reacted to Newtown with an instinctual primal disgust and horror that connects to evolutionary roots grounded in an imperative to preserve life. As individuals we unconsciously repress and consciously suppress the image of Newtown. We need to let it painfully linger unattended in our minds and, in so doing be the existential rupture — the catalyst for change.
Our national consciousness is stuck in Newtown and that’s as it should be and needs to be if we are ever to extricate ourselves from the paralysis of inaction the gun makers and their marketing arm — the NRA — exploits. We can’t simply absorb a tragedy like Newtown and keep moving. The deaths of children — of pure innocence — is different. It can’t simply be another incidence of gun violence that fades and vanishes on the horizon along with our national resolve to do something. It is a measure of our humanity that we hold on to the image and allow the deaths of innocents to take us to a better place. If this moment in time is not seized, the NRA will allow its passing, as it always has, to erode our national will for meaningful gun control.
Jim Cain writes from North Andover.