Sandy Hook: Grieving the unthinkable

BY:Communist Party USA| December 14, 2012
Sandy Hook: Grieving the unthinkable

The Communist Party USA offers its most heartfelt condolences to the parents and families of the victims of the horrendous crime and tragedy which took place today at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut. To say that 20 young children were gunned down in their elementary school as were six adults – teachers, staff and principal – is so unspeakable and heinous it boggles the minds and hearts of our members as it does all Americans. We extend condolences to the entire community of Newtown and the state of Connecticut as all begin the terrible grieving process. Our members grieve with you and offer support today and the many hard days to come.

It should also be said that we recognize the incredible courage of teachers, staff, parents and the first responders, who held it together in order to usher the rest of the children to safety.

The ages of the overwhelming majority of the victims in this mass shooting make this crime particularly heartbreaking and tragic. Yet, too often our country has to grieve and question mass murder by a lone killer armed with guns and assault weapons – just this year in Oregon, Wisconsin and Colorado. Too often mass murder also occurs one by one, day by day on the streets of our cities and towns.  President Barack Obama told the nation today, “As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago – these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

As the country grapples with the politics and aftermath of Sandy Hook, let us not forget that there are some who profit from the manufacturing and peddling of assault weapons, dealing in fear and offering constitutional and political cover for the unthinkable. We will continue to work for bringing the necessary coalitions together that – through common sense and a common stance – work for a culture, government and country where such tragedies and crimes are indeed unthinkable and unheard of.

Photo: As hundreds stand outside St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, which was filled to capacity, a couple embrace during a healing service held in for victims of an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP/Charles Krupa)



    The Communist Party USA is a working class organization founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL.

    The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign.

    But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism.

    We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

Comments (7)

Shawn | March 09, 2013 at 4:19 PM

There are no legal automatic pistols in the US. One trigger pull = 1 bullet.

But you all know that.

Go ahead and put a poster on your front lawn ” we don’t have any guns.”

Thanks for playing.

Daniel Lee | January 31, 2013 at 1:45 AM

Sandy Hook: Diagnosing our Society’s Illness

by Daniel Lee

The tragedy at Sandy Hook last month has left a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of the working class here in Oklahoma and around the nation. The senseless killing of children and teachers by a mentally disturbed young man is yet another chapter in the increasing pattern of savage violence of the past few years. In this time of grief and sorrow, it is natural to seek to make sense of the senseless, to look for answers to the problems which are becoming endemic to our society. We, the Communist Party of Oklahoma, offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this tragedy.
The Smoking Gun
This incident, and others like it, such as the murders in Aurora Colorado, and Virginia Tech, shows us several problems, which we, as Marxist-Leninists, see to be originating from the same source. First of all, there is the fact that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes were severely mentally disturbed individuals, whose conditions went untreated for many years, despite their parents’ futile attempts to get help for their sons. Adam Lanzana’s mother fought the school district to get help for her son’s Asperger’s syndrome and other emotional issues. James Holmes’ mother told police they had the right man when he was captured and acknowledged his history of schizophrenic mental illness. Seung-Hui Cho’s parents turned to a local church for help, after unsuccessfully attempting to deal with his mental illness throughout childhood, but by the time he began attending Virginia Tech, it was too late. Each instance shows the same failure in our society – the failure to provide adequate mental healthcare for the mentally ill, just as we fail to provide adequate healthcare for much of the working class in our country.
A History of Neglect
Since the Kennedy administration, the government had mandated that mental health care be made available on par with regular health care for Federal employees in the Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963 (which became available to low-income workers through Medicare after 1965). By the Carter years, legislation was passed expanding and bringing much needed reforms to the system under the Mental Health Systems Act in 1980 which made federal funding a priority for homeless and impoverished citizens with mental illness. However, the next year, Regan rescinded the act, and slashed funding for mental health services, which continued to decline through the Bush and Clinton years. More and more mentally ill people were institutionalized in the prison system or became homeless. It was the next generation however which showed a more disturbing trend – school shootings. The late 1980’s saw a drastic rise in school shootings, but it was the Columbine massacre in Littleton Colorado in 1999 which brought the epidemic to nationwide attention. Since that time, there have been over 25 incidents in schools alone. Other shootings to grab national headlines have included the DC Beltway sniper (suffering from PTSD) and the Uni-bomber (schizophrenia).
The Real Problem: Capitalism
The root of the problem lies within the core of our society. The lack of proper physical and mental healthcare is symptomatic of a system which shows no regard for people, only placing value on property and profit. Workers in the capitalist system are made into automatons, producing endlessly without receiving the fruits of their labors. When one of them breaks or is defective, they are replaced by another, readily waiting to sell their own labors in order to survive. Our capitalist society uses up and discards working people as trash – and then is surprised when those pieces of discarded humanity fail to conform to society’s rules. This symptom is called the theory of alienation. As Marx put it,
“The propertied class and the class of the proletariat present the same human self-estrangement. But the former class feels at ease and strengthened in this self-estrangement, it recognizes estrangement as its own power, and has in it the semblance of a human existence. The class of the proletariat feels annihilated, this means that they cease to exist in estrangement; it sees in it its own powerlessness and in the reality of an inhuman existence.” – Marx, The Holy Family
Until we address the base problem of the alienation caused by Capitalism, we will continue to have shocking incidents such as occurred at Sandy Hook or Aurora. Gun control will not solve the problem – guns will continue to be available, either legally or illegally, and if a gun is not available, Oklahoma knows through painful experience how much damage household items and a Ryder truck can cause. To cure society’s illness, we must destroy the disease – Capitalism itself.

Norma J F Harrison | January 27, 2013 at 2:18 AM

Roots of a Rampage, Katherine S. Newman, December 19, 2012 , The Nation.
“…and the … complicity of grown-ups and town boosters in the reinforcement of a pecking order …”.
What are people thinking! to urge competition – as the system, the people do – !!!!, as though this will not result.

Kathryn Burnett | January 17, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Since when do you communist care about anyone? You want too take away our freedom the same way Hitler took the freedom from the Germans and executed the Jews, Christians, and the Russians. Go jump in a hole elsewhere and don’t ever come back out. We don’t need the likes of you in Our country, go away.

BrZrKr | December 31, 2012 at 9:57 AM

With tens of millions of firearms of all types currently circulating in the American public, I seriously doubt that another new law would make a meaningful difference. The laws in Connecticut regarding firearms are some of the most strict in the nation. One must have a permit just to take a firearm outside the house, onto your own private property. You must have a permit to purchase a weapon, and another to take it to the shooting range. Theft is illegal. Murder is illegal. What good is the law when a deranged person is bent on destruction? Half measures are meaningless. The only action with any hope at all to deliver meaningful change would be to cleanse the landscape of all firearms. Confiscation, and surrender of all weapons on a national scale is the only course of action with any hope at all of stopping further mass shootings on soft targets. Give that a try. ;

| December 31, 2012 at 9:42 AM
Lance Cohn | December 17, 2012 at 6:13 PM

I think that a good first step in reducing these horrendous crimes would be to ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons which include automatic rapid fire pistols.

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