Ken Tingley

I will warn you right now, you do not want to read this.

It will disturb you.

You will have nightmares, if you can sleep at all.

You will be angry at me for giving you the front seat to unspeakable carnage, for providing images no human should ever conjure up.

You will blame me for sensationalizing the bloodlust and having a liberal agenda.

I will be called a “twinkie,” a “lib-tard,” and accused of coming for your guns, because I have the gall of speaking of humanity and demanding that this end.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I have given up.

Further gun control is impossible.

I now believe it is not in our nature to be peaceful.

I now believe the monsters in our midst are looking back at us in the mirror.

Consider what happened last Sunday:

“Kelly went aisle by aisle through the pews and shot dying children at point blank range.”

That’s what a witness who lived told The Associated Press.

Consider those words, and then the image.

We are all culpable.

You should be forced to look at the crime scene photos.

You should be forced to see what an AR-15 will do to the head of a crying baby.

But that won’t be allowed.

That would be inhumane, inappropriate for a culture that spills buckets of blood playing authentic-looking video games.

After 20 babies were killed in Newtown, the state of Connecticut passed a law that prohibits the release of photographs, film, video and other visual images showing homicide victims if they can “reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of the victim’s surviving family members.”

It’s to protect the family.

It’s not.

It’s to protect the gun lobby.

So I offer up these words from one officer who first arrived at the Newtown shooting. I doubt you have heard it before.

“At first glance it did not appear that there were any casualties. To the left of the room as you walk in there was a bathroom in the corner. There was a massive pile of bodies in this room. At the time I did not know that it was a bathroom and wondered how the suspect had the time to kill that many people and stack them in the corner of the room. There appeared to be about 15 bodies in the small room and several bodies, including two adults near the entrance to the room.”

Imagine that scene.

Since the killings in Sandy Hook, 49 were killed in a nightclub shooting in Orlando, 58 attending a concert in Las Vegas and another 20 at that church in Texas, and the assailants all used AR-15 weapons.

We have accepted it.

We have condoned it.

So gun manufacturers can make a buck.

Earlier this month, SUNY Adirondack officials armed their security officers to make everyone feel safe.

Police were on the scene during the attack in Las Vegas.

Police arrived at Sandy Hook within minutes.

And even the heroic efforts of an AR-15-toting neighbor near the church in Texas were too late to save those crying babies from execution.

No one is safe.

“All the other bodies were inside the bathroom or in the entrance to the bathroom. An adult victim was lying across the mass of bodies inside the bathroom. … Sgt. Carrio began to lift bodies off of the top of the pile (redacted) and many of the bodies had injuries that were obviously fatal. As. Sgt. Carrio began to empty out the bathroom, it became apparent what had occurred due to how efficiently packed in the bathroom the children were. It appeared as if the teachers in the room immediately upon hearing the gun shots began to pack children into the bathroom. The children that were sitting on the floor of the bathroom were packed in like sardines. One little girl was sitting, crouched in between the toilet and the back corner of the room. I thought that she might have the best chance for survival. As the pile got higher it appeared that there was a mad scramble to get into the bathroom with people stepping on one another and climbing on top of each other. The teachers would not have been able to get into the room even if they wanted to. The teachers appeared to have been shepherding the children into the room and were then probably going to shut the door.”

Imagine those final seconds, because we know how this ends for the babies and the teachers entrusted to protect them.

“They did not close and lock the door to the classroom for some reason and were interrupted by the shooter as they attempted to fill the bathroom with children. The shooter then opened fire on the mass of children and adults. As Sgt. Carrio got to the last bodies, it was clear that no one had survived.”

These words should leave you shattered.

The image should stay with you, haunt you as it does me.

Maybe sleep will be difficult.

Maybe you will come to the same realization I have come to — none of us will ever be safe.

And we are the monsters because we won’t do anything about it.

Ken Tingley is the editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via email at tingley@poststar.com. You can read his blog, “The Front Page,” daily at www.poststar.com or his updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kentingley.

Ken Tingley is the editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via email at tingley@poststar.com. You can read his blog, “The Front Page,” daily at www.poststar.com or his updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kentingley.

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Editor

Ken Tingley is Editor of The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y. and writes a regular blog called "The Front Page."

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