Entries in newtown (8)

Wednesday
Dec022015

Thinking about Obama in Newtown

One of the most powerful paragraphs in anything he's ever said? Twenty first names of little children.

The context, according to the transcript from December 16, 2012:

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

Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Benjamin. Avielle. Allison.

God has called them all home. For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory.

Read it. Better yet: Watch it. This part starts around 16:20.

Wednesday
May282014

Why can't we identify killers?

Clinical psychiatry professor Richard A. Friedman in today's New York Times:

We have always had — and always will have — Adam Lanzas and Elliot Rodgers. The sobering fact is that there is little we can do to predict or change human behavior, particularly violence; it is a lot easier to control its expression, and to limit deadly means of self-expression. In every state, we should prevent individuals with a known history of serious psychiatric illness or substance abuse, both of which predict increased risk of violence, from owning or purchasing guns.

But until we make changes like that, the tragedy of mass killings will remain a part of American life.

Saturday
Mar152014

The New Yorker's Peter Lanza piece

A sentence I underlined in the much-shared story on the father of the Sandy Hook killer: All parenting involves choosing between the day (why have another argument at dinner?) and the years (the child must learn to eat vegetables).

Tuesday
Dec312013

Work I did in 2013

1. Daughter of Joy.

Joy Hunley crossed her arms and stood still. She watched her attorney walk up to the clerk in the courthouse in Clearwater to ask for the adoption records a judge finally had said she could see. She breathed in. She breathed out.

2. The Avett Brothers.

Before they went and got big, before the late-night talk shows, before Bonnaroo and Coachella and Red Rocks and the Gorge, before the major label, before they shared a stage at the Grammys with Bob Dylan, the Avett Brothers were the Avett brothers ...

3. Python hunt.

The crowd gathered on the grass around the man with the bag. In the bag was a 13-foot Burmese python. This was last month, a hot, sunny Saturday morning, in Davie at a University of Florida research center, the official start of the state-sanctioned snake hunt in the Everglades called the Python Challenge.

4. Remembering the Davidson basketball moment.

They talk about all of it, or almost all of it, even still, and they always will, because together they did something remarkable, the members of that 2008 Davidson College men’s basketball team.

5. The sentencing of Jim Greer.

ORLANDO — Jim Greer, hand shaker, party thrower, power seeker, former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, was sentenced on Wednesday to 18 months in state prison plus one year of probation.

6. Generator Society.

One of the southernmost parts of the Old North State, one of the northernmost points of this country’s subtropics, hard where the warmer, calmer waters of the Cape Fear River clash with the colder, roiling currents of the Atlantic Ocean, Bald Head Island juts into the sea toward the treacherous Frying Pan Shoals.

7. Nik Wallenda.

SARASOTA — One afternoon earlier this month, Tropical Storm Andrea's blustery back end toppled potted plants, tugged at the tops of palms and yanked people's umbrellas inside out. Nik Wallenda, meanwhile, climbed into the basket of a hydraulic lift, which took him 20 feet above the ground, where he removed his running shoes and stepped with his balance pole and plain white socks onto a taut, two-inch-thick wire that stretched 900 feet from one crane to another.

8. Bounty.

In the dark, in the wet, whirling roar of Hurricane Sandy, on a ship tipping so badly the deck felt like a steep, slick roof, the desperate, damaged sailor searched for a spot from which to jump. Close to the stern, he gripped the helm, now all but touching the water's high black churn. He let go and paddled and kicked in the buoyant but clumsy blood-orange suit he had wiggled into not long before. The ship spat up a heavy wooden grating, and it landed on his head. Crack. His adrenaline surged. He thrashed, straining to get away from the heaving ship, her three masts of tree trunk heft rearing up and slamming down like lethal mallets, her thinner, sharper spars piercing the surface like darts, the ropes of the rigging like tentacles, grabbing, yanking. Pfffffft. The tip of a spar sliced down, catching the sailor, pushing him below. He gasped, choking on water, struggling back to where there was air.

9. Jameis Winston.

TALLAHASSEE — Fans of the football team here at Florida State University last week called the woman who says the star quarterback raped her a liar and a whore.

10. Since Newtown.

A year ago, skinny, lonely, antisocial Adam Lanza woke up in the Newtown, Conn., house he shared with his mother and shot her in her head in her bed. He then drove his Honda Civic to Sandy Hook Elementary School and used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle to shoot and kill the principal, shoot and kill the school psychologist, shoot and kill two behavioral therapists, shoot and kill two teachers and shoot and kill 20 children in two first-grade classrooms.

Monday
Dec162013

Three Newtown emails in my inbox

Since the piece in Saturday's paper:

1. Thank you for telling it like it is. This article was not sugarcoated and not detached. The plain, common sense tone was refreshing. And it mirrors my anger and disgust at the government and our society for allowing this to happen in the first place and then not doing much about it. Well done. Thank you.

And kudos to the editors for putting it on the front page.

This is why I love the Times.

2. Thank you for giving a voice to me as a citizen. For articulately expressing the frustration (and rage) at watching our children die, then watching our politicians express their fervent desire to make change, and finally watching nothing being done. This is the first time I've sent a letter to a newspaper writer.

3. I really appreciate good writing in the newspaper, and the language, cadence and imagery you used in today's story was one fine example.

It's a pleasure for readers like me to have a local daily that provides such worthy journalism, meaningful reminders of dramatic and profoundly sad events and the policies that underlie them. It's easy for a metro paper to provide the perfunctory anniversary piece, but yours is particularly well told and displayed with compelling prominence.

Saturday
Dec142013

Since Newtown

Today on 1A:

A year ago, skinny, lonely, antisocial Adam Lanza woke up in the Newtown, Conn., house he shared with his mother and shot her in her head in her bed. He then drove his Honda Civic to Sandy Hook Elementary School and used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle to shoot and kill the principal, shoot and kill the school psychologist, shoot and kill two behavioral therapists, shoot and kill two teachers and shoot and kill 20 children in two first-grade classrooms.

Two days later, President Barack Obama said, "This is our first task, caring for our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right."

Friday
Jun142013

Six months since Newtown

The peerless Charlie Pierce: It is now a full half-year since Adam Lanza arrived at Sandy Hook Elementary School and determined to spend the morning exercising his Second Amendment rights as he saw them in the dark canyons of his mind.

Tuesday
Dec182012

Tears this morning at the kitchen counter

Reading the last three paragraphs of this story by Dan Barry:

The service ended. A police officer stepped out into Main Street, raised a hand, and stopped a Ford Focus station wagon. A black hearse and a long trail of cars pulled out.

Past the old town hall. Past the Cyrenius H. Booth Library. Past the American flag at half-staff, and the soaring white spire of the Newtown Meetinghouse, and New England houses with candles in the windows.

Past the “Pray for Newtown” signs and the makeshift memorials, to the Newtown Village Cemetery, and thoughts of tombstones with a birth year that seems like yesterday: 2006.