Where the Wild Things are…

Pretty much every American who became a parent or a child after 1963 knows the children’s picture book of “Where the Wild Things are”. Let me give a few details for the readers of other cultures. The book, which was written by the American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, tells about the little boy Max who steps into a wild world in his imagination after being sent to his room for being a child of mischief by acting wild. In his daydream, he travels to a wild place where he becomes the king of wild things. Those wild things are weird looking big monsters with big rolling eyes and gnashy teeth by the way. They live far far away… Eventually Max feels lonely and longs for love and security. So he voluntarily decides to sail back to his home. As I was not born into the American culture, I got introduced to this book a year ago when my older son turned 4. Actually I like this book a lot in the sense that it is different than the conventional norm of children’s books. Unfortunately, in the real world we are not as lucky as little Max. We cannot leave the wild things behind us just as easily… Sadly, there have always been wild things in every part of the world since the very beginning. And now, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has collapsed into our lives as a nightmare since Friday, December the 14th. It is something impossible to leave behind. However, we need to have more in-depth legislative measures to protect the members of our society against violence. If the right to bear arms results in frequent bloodsheds in a society, maybe that right needs to be reevaluated meticulously on an individual basis at each purchase and should not be granted easily unless there is a proven need. The shooters of both Virginia Tech and Movie Theater incidents were university students. I am just wondering one thing. While purchasing the weapons to be used for the massacres, did any official authority ask them “excuse me young man, what do you do and why do you need these guns for? What threatens you this much in your environment? Why are you in need of taking such a big measure for your self-defense”? Or were they officially required to be seriously evaluated by a psychologist before those guns were surrendered to their hands? I will not go into the details of the recent mass shooting. It is far more complicated. In a couple of sources I came across with the information that there is a high likelihood the guns were introduced to the shooter, who seems to have suffered from a mental disorder, by his mother. It is not my call here to be judgmental of a deceased individual about whom I hardly know anything. But I wish her need, suitability and immediate private life conditions were deeply and mandatorily evaluated by the official authorities and psychologists before her purchases took place. She could have been sold the gun if deemed necessary but maybe an extensive training on the risks of keeping and handling them would be used to warn her against possible threats in her immediate environment. Some readers can argue that it might be the violation of privacy in one’s life. However, we all know that life is a give and take most of the time. We make a compromise from our family and work long hours only to make a better future for them. We think that another school district is better and leave the town where we spent the best times of our lives behind us. But one thing is very obvious: a gun serves the purpose of taking lives and the right to have a gun in one’s home or purse is a massive right requiring extreme responsibility. In my point of view, exercising such a right would have its own compromises such as sharing of the gun holder’s private life details with the official authorities and psychologists. As much as I wholeheartedly and deeply respect the laws and regulations of this country, I cannot help voicing my personal thought that things change over time. That law was passed in the late 1700’s, even before the American Civil War took its place in history. Not only the environment, but also the guns have changed since then. There is a very small chance that a gun manufactured in the late 18th century can cause the same detrimental effect of a gun manufactured very recently.

Having the motive to go in a public place for taking the lives of many is an extremely complicated phenomenon. Is it thoroughly or partially hidden in the genes of a person he was born with or is it mostly or somewhat in the way that person has been raised, or is it a kind of psychological disorder? Maybe all, maybe one, maybe none…Nobody knows… As long as these guns are relatively easy to access and are not closely monitored, the safety of the society is bound to be compromised. Those guns, sold for the purpose of self-defense, were pointed to defenseless little kids and that is more than our hearts and minds can digest…It is obvious that something has been missed in the whole picture for a long time. We do not know and we are all trying to figure it out. God bless and protect all the children on the face of the Earth.

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