Archived Story

Can’t we all just get along? Apparently not

Published 9:38am Monday, February 18, 2013

Column: Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf

I would love to wave a magic wand and bring the arguments about gun control to an end. I would like to wave a magic wand over the entire country and make it safer for our children. Isn’t that what they do in fairy tales? The fairy godmother waves a wand, and everyone ends happily ever after, and the kids leave the theater with dreams of Prince Charmings and Cinderellas and a story book ending to a life. I would like to let our kids be able to believe that they are safe and loved and life can be magical until they reach adulthood.

Julie Seedorf
Julie Seedorf

This past week listening to the news I was reminded there are no fairy tale endings. In a week that is supposed to be filled with love and hearts, it was filled with flashing headlines about more children being killed by gun violence. It was filled with a search for a suspect that I felt I had seen time and time again on “Criminal Minds.” It was almost as if we were watching a program in real time because we have seen the scene or ones like it re-enacted time after time on the television screen and on the movie screen.

In one TV newscast in a 30-minute period there was news of a child killed in Minneapolis, two women shot, the manhunt in California, discussion of how many murders were documented in the United States last year, how many murders were committed by assault rifles and how many murders were committed by handguns. In the same newscast was an update on a shooting at a school and someone assaulted in their home. I was left with the sinking feeling after listening to the news that we are very lost.

In the same newscast and every time I turned on the radio that day was the discussion about gun control. People are pitted one against another to keep their rights whether it be to own guns or to ban certain guns. The argument gets very heated. My thoughts that day are that the ones getting lost in the discussion are the children who have to cope with losing their friends to the violence and living with the threat of that violence every day. I can’t imagine what that fear must be like for a 10-year-old.

When I was 10, my friends and I were still dreaming of Prince Charmings and believing that the world was a great place. We were excited to experience new adventures each day when we walked out of the door of our home. We didn’t worry that we might get shot driving in the car with our parents or sitting on our front steps. It appears there are no safe places anymore, and if I feel that as an adult I can’t imagine what our children must feel.

Bad things did happen when I was a kid. The difference was that it wasn’t played out 24/7 on the news. We weren’t bombarded with bad news, our parents were able to shield us from some of it because we didn’t have all the media appliances that we have today.

As I was watching all of this I wondered what would happen if the news changed the way they reported these murders. I wondered what would happen if they were reported but were not constantly put in front of our face over and over and over again. What would happen if the people that caused the violence didn’t have their names reported over and over again. Do any of these people commit the crimes they commit so they can be in the news? Are more crimes committed because of what people are seeing reported?

What would happen if the news media refused to make those people into the celebrities they become because of their name? Whose name do you remember years down the road? The name of the criminal or the name of the victim?

What would happen if the news media played over and over and over again 24/7 only uplifting news? The bad news would be reported but just a blip like the good news is now. Would everyone quit watching or would we become a better society?

I have no answers. I only feel deep sadness that our children are paying for our inability to find the answers to the violence that we are experiencing in our country today. I feel sadness that as adults we don’t know the answers, as adults we can’t agree long enough to find middle ground to protect our children.

I want to give our children those fairy tale dreams back, but I don’t know how. Do you?

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at thecolumn@bevcomm.net.