Wordlessness. Def: When you have no words. When something is so shocking, heartbreaking, and horrific that you are compelled to create a new language to describe it. In Act 3 of Hamlet, Shakespeare advises:
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.
But I have no words to describe what happened last Friday in the bucolic little town of Sandy Hook—certainly no words to fit my feelings to the awful action. No words of comfort to those devastated parents and families. No words to try and process the snuffing out of those 20 bright lights…those beautiful, wondrous children. And so I invent a new word. And because I’m still numb, my emotions still so raw, I am dedicating this space on my blog today to the words of others. I want you to read them. Please. And then find the action to suit the word.
And yet I have managed to find some words, haven’t I? The very act of writing this appeal to you has allowed language to do something, even if that something doesn’t feel like all that much right now.
I’m sure I’m not the first one to note that Adam Lanza’s monstrous act is a tipping point for our country—not just with respect to the conversations we need to have about gun legislation, but also with respect to the honest dialogue we must engage in with respect to mental health care. But conversation and dialogue cannot simply be words strung together into sound bytes and position papers. They must—finally, now, at long last—result in action.
We need to suit the action to the word. But what action? My personal goal: an action that will halt the chaotic orbit our society’s been traveling—a galaxy with constellations named Columbine; Aurora; Tucson; Virginia Tech; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Fort Hood; and Sandy Hook. And so many more.
Here are the thoughts of some GenFab bloggers. Sharon Greenthal, for example, whom I admire and respect, wrote a useful post filled with resources about what you can do to become part of the change we want to see in the world. I encourage you to read these posts. You might not agree with some of them. I don’t necessarily agree with those who say one societal problem is more poisonous than another; I think that both prongs of the devil’s pitchfork need to be blunted. I do, however, want to present you with the various sides and nuances of this issue.
If you are on Twitter, please follow the hashtag #stopitnow. And please add your voice to the collective.
By Sharon Greenthal
“The Sandy Hook Massacre and Gun Control: What You Can Do to Help”
By Darryle Pollack
“Newtown, Old News”
By Lisa Belkin in the Huffington Post:
“Gun Control is a Parenting Issue”
By Lois Alter Mark
“Guns Do Kill People”
“Monday Morning After Connecticut”
By After the Kids Leave
“Thoughts on Yet Another Senseless Tragedy”
By Connie MacLeod
“Ten Small Things I Can Do”
By The Fur Files
“Hope for Humanity Rests with the Individual”
By Daily Plate of Crazy
“On Love, On Silence, On Speaking Our Minds”
By Yvonne Condes
“Parents, It’s Up to Us to Stop Gun Violence”
By SoCal Mom
“After Newtown, Holding Them Close”
By Mindy Klapper Trotta
“Searching for a Child, Searching for an Answer”
By Ronna Benjamin of Better After 50
“Countdown to the End of the World”
By Kathy Thompson Combs
“A Call for Action”
By Jo Heroux
“AND NOW WHAT”
By Janie Emaus
“What They Should Have”
By Florinda Lantos Pendley Vasquez
“#stopitnow: Bullet Points—or, Me and a Gun, Revisited
By Ambling and Rambling
“Solve for X”
By Lori Lavender Luz
By Donna Highfill
“Why I Believe We Are Bigger Than Our Weapons”
By Melissa Lawler
“A Broken Heart”
By Felice Shapiro of Better After 50
“Stop the Killing Now! Click Here”
By Helene Bludman
“When Evil Shadows Good”
By Jane Gassner
“Knowing that No Sense Can Be Made of the Newtown Tragedy”
By Barbara Albright
“At the Park”
By Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post
“Newtown Massacre: What We Don’t Need Is a ‘National Conversation’–We Need Action”
Finally, please contact your congressman. Here’s a link with information on how to do so.