In Remembrance…


I know I’m supposed to talk about celiac disease and the evils of gluten.

All of the so-called blogging experts say don’t talk about things outside your niche.

But I’m just not there yet. I will be soon. I want to tell you all about my gluten-free vacation.

But today, I just don’t feel it.

You see…I lived my early years in Newtown, Connecticut.

My three brothers and I all attended Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Words simply cannot express my sadness over the events of last Friday.

Innocent lives ended.

Heroes trying to protect their children methodically gunned down.

All because an unstable person was able to get his hands on assault weapons whose sole purpose is to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.

The madness must stop.

Common sense must prevail.


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39 thoughts on “In Remembrance…”

  1. You must be devasted Dude to have such a close connection to this tragedy. I’m sorry for the loss you must be feeling.

    I’m all for gun control, we have it here in Canada, and removing guns from homes and easy access to guns will go a long way in preventing many needless deaths, but I must add that another issue that must be addressed is mental health support for youth and their families.

    Clearly any youth who would take such action has mental health issues and I am guessing they were undiagnosed, or at the very least unsupported. I know in Canada support for youth with mental health and addiction problems and their families is almost impossible to get. Diagnosis take years, support is difficult to access, costly and there is so little research into the issue that the treatments and supports are often ineffective.

    I am devasted by this tragedy as I know so many others are. I pray for your president, senate and congress to collectively agree to take swift and decisive measures to prevent any further massacres of innocents.

    1. It is indeed a combination of many factors Tracey and it’s not a quick easy fix. But the days of doing nothing about it have got to end now!

  2. The other major problem is the mental health professionals do very little to actually help the mentally ill. You walk into the office and get 5 words out about your child’s behavior and they quickly scribble on a pad, hand you a script while speaking so fast with an accent you can’t understand and send you out the door. There is little help out there for the mentally ill. I know it first hand as I have a son who I am going through hell with…..and the help is not there.

  3. GD-Thoughts and prayers to you and the communinity of Newtown.

    It was hard sending my little girl to school today. I am feeling sick and scared of what she might hear. I am sad i am not by her side.

    Today, i am mad.

    Jersey Girl

  4. GD, It must be especially difficult for you since this is your hometown. I’m so sorry, my friend. ๐Ÿ™
    I am so sick to my stomach over this horror.

    Obviously, this guy was mentally unstable, but why his mother had to have so many guns in the house with easy access to them is most troubling. Some say she was a “survivalist” who was preparing for the worst. (no comment . )

    Surely, she saw signs of this instability in him?!!!
    Rarely does anyone “just snap” without provocation. There is always a build up to these episodes and people who say they just did not see it in someone close to them are only kidding themselves and making excuses. And I know many people who suffer from mental illness and depression, but they do not go around shooting people. This is not “why” he did it.

    Even if the investigators do figure out the WHY of it all, it cannot be undone.

    As an educator, I view schools as a safe place for learning and growing.I still recall the first time someone walked into a school and killed people with no thought about the devastation he was causing.
    It broke me a little bit —and I never felt truly safe again.

    My heart just aches for those families. To lose a child, at any age, is a tragedy. To have it happen this way, is a nightmare they may never get past. You are never the same after you lose a child.

    We have a .22 in our house, but purely for protection from rabid animals ( we live in the remote countryside). My husband has also been required to humanely shoot an animal who was gravely injured. (But, we do not have children in our home who may get their hands on it.)

    And I would never aim it another human being —unless of course, my husband’s life was in imminent danger.

    Why does anyone need a rapid fire assault weapon anyway? I have some neighbors who use these things on deer and other small animals. Who says this is “sporting”? What about when they get pissed off and use it on their family members–which happens often, I’m afraid. This is how people “problem solve” these days: ” You pissed me off, so I’m gonna kill you”. Makes me weep for our world.

    No moral compass anymore.

    We could all debate the gun control issue all day long (and the bloggers and the media are hashing it out –blaming everything from the liberals to the lack of prayer in schools to the president to school administrators who “should be carrying weapons themselves” ) but in the end it comes down to the deranged thinking of the perpetrator, not necessarily the weapon he used. (you could mow down a lot of people with a car if you’re sick enough in your brain)
    It the end, it’s really not about the gun, it’s about who is holding it.

    Prayers for the victims. Prayers for us all.
    I fear it will only get worse.

    1. Beautifully said Irish. I want one person, just one, to explain to me why we need assault weapons that can shoot multiple rounds per second in our society.

      1. Beats me, kid. I just don’t get it either. ๐Ÿ™

        Some say for “protection”…but from what?

        5 year olds? deer? rabbits? the coming of Armageddon?

        Just. Plain. Wrong.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I live in Tucson, AZ. This tragic event has revived so many deep feelings and memories for all of us here. Our hearts and prayers are with everyone connected to Newton.

  6. I hate guns. Hate Hate hate them. I see no reason for assault rifles. It’s heart breaking to live in a society where we are afraid to send our children to school in a small town or to a park in a small town. There is no question in my mind that woman should not have owned weapons like that. I can’t imagine the feeling you must have from growing up there GD. I am sorry for your pain that is connected to the town. I see the images of those beautiful children and my heart aches for them in their final moments and my heart aches for their families. This tragedy has touched the Nation and it is time for change. Taking your children to a shooting range and teaching them to fire weapons is appalling. In Cedar Falls Ia, just recently, a child shot another child while a parent was teaching them to shoot. The only toy guns I ever allowed in my home were nerf.

  7. I don’t believe gun violence is the only the result of the person holding the gun, not the gun. If they did not have access to a gun then it wouldn’t happen. Children are killed in gun accidents. Sometimes guns are not believed to be loaded and pointed in fun. In this case, guns got into the hands of a mentally unstable person. Times have changed since the days of the 2nd amendment. They had one shot muskets. I hate guns – the use of them should be severely limited. Multiple shot guns should be outlawed for citizens with harsh penalties for having one. Buying a gun should be a difficult transaction. This insanity must end.

  8. Would it not be better instead of allowing all citizens to be armed unless there is a compelling reason not to; to have a system where no-one is armed, unless there is a compelling reason they should have a gun?
    I live in a country where the police are usually unarmed; where guns are normally confined to gun-clubs. And as a consequence, I feel no real need to arm myself to protect myself from any lunatics with guns.
    I know the argument: guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But guns make it much more likely that someone with a mental health issue will hurt someone.
    God bless everyone who is injured or has lost someone. Or is touched by this in any way. My thoughts are with you.

  9. My condolences Gluten Dude….your childhood home looks and sounds like it’s an amazing community. I have had nothing else infilitrate my brain since Friday. I just keep thinking that if I feel this bad, how do those families feel? It’s disgusting. I saw an interesting thought from someone regarding gun control….

    One individual tried to hurt airline passengers with something in his shoe, and it single handedly changed airport security and now we all have to take our shoes off. Hundreds of people have been massacred by these mass shootings and one thing has changed on that front.

    My heart breaks for the families, friends, classmates, neighbors and first responders in Newtown, CT. Some positive action needs to come out of this.

  10. It’s not for lack of trying.

    Magazines that fed the bullets into the primary firearm used to kill these 26 children and adults would have been banned last year –had state legislation been passed.

    BUT the National Rifle Association and gun makers successfully fought it!.

    “He used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle with magazines containing 30 rounds as his main weapon”, said Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance at a news conference yesterday.

    “A proposal in March 2011 would have made it a felony to possess magazines with more than 10 bullets and required owners to surrender them to law enforcement or remove them from the state”.

    His mother may not even have had this weapon in her home—had the law been passed.

    “Opponents sent more than 30,000 e-mails and letters to state lawmakers as part of a campaign organized by the NRA and other gun advocates”, said Robert Crook, head of the Hartford- based Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, which opposed the legislation.

    โ€œThe legislators got swamped by NRA emails,โ€ said Betty Gallo, who lobbied on behalf of the legislation for Southport- based Connecticut Against Gun Violence. โ€œThey were scared of the NRA and the political backlash.โ€

    Scared of the NRA and the backlash??? Who’s in charge here???

    โ€œItโ€™s the large capacity weaponry thatโ€™s the problem when it comes to mass murder, because of the ability to kill lots of people in a short time without even reloading,โ€ said James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston. โ€œProhibitions against assault weapons, especially high-capacity magazines, can help.โ€

    We all want to “blame someone” for this…which is normal.
    Well, we can blame the foolish mother for owning these weapons and not seeing her son had a major mental health problem.

    He shot her 4 times in the face! That’s RAGE. That’s personal —and it did not just “happen”. He did not just “snap”.

    We can blame the NRA for distorting the intentions of the 2nd amendment to fit their agenda.

    I am no gun advocate, believe me! …. but many responsible people own guns and never commit mass murders or fire on another human being. Ever.

    This kid was messed up and easy access to that major assault weapon made him a mass murderer. But even if he did not have that, I suspect he would have found some other way to kill his mother and harm others in his path.

    Time to take away some of the power from the NRA…. IMHO

    Time for some real change. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Stop the insanity. Stop the NRA and change the 2nd amendment.

  11. Those teachers and the principal deserve the Medal Of Honor for their bravery and sacrifice in the face of mortal danger protecting the kids. They weren’t trained in ambush response, cover and concealment, or hand to hand combat. But they tried, sure as hell to protect their kids.

    I’ve seen reports in the news regarding the rifle and .223 caliber bullet used as being a ‘weak round, not even enough to kill a deer with’. That particular bullet was designed to kill humans, not deer, and is what our military and paramilitary cops use to kill their fellow humans with. Violence and its depiction on prime time television is more obscene than any XXX sex act. Well, most, anyway. I’ve written my congressman and 2nd amendment gun totin’ gay hatin’ bible thumpin’ pro life pro death penalty f’in idiot senators, too, for all the good it’ll do.

    What a world, what a world………….

    1. I agree, David. The reports I saw made me weep. Imagine having to try and protect all those wee ones? ๐Ÿ™ How brave. How frightening it must have been. The horror.

      I feel like throwing up right now ( again)

  12. A law enforcement official said Lanza โ€” said to be addicted to violent video games โ€” had โ€œlots of ammoโ€ on him when he died, enough to carry out significant additional carnage.

    “Addicted to violent video games”.
    and a mother said to be obsessed with survivalist training, stockpiling weapons and teaching him to shoot.

    Anyone else find this significant?
    I sure as hell do.

  13. Maybe all we can do is focus on the survivors at this point.
    There is a lot of healing to be done.

    G Dude,
    is there a fund of some kind you may be aware of –or one that you could suggest we could donate to? I’ll do anything I can.

    Thanks, hon

      1. Thanks, GD. I’ll take a look.
        My usual response to other tragedies is food bank assistance or to shelters, Salvation Army, etc.
        but this is not the same circumstance–at all.
        I thought maybe scholarship funds for the surviving kids or something along those lines. (this is what was done when my nephew died ).
        My guess is they may build a new school even. Start fresh.

  14. Gluten Dude, my heart goes out to you. To the community and surivors of a town you are apart of.

    What I’d like the world to know about teachers…

    I’m a teacher assistant in Kindergarten and have been for years. I have the pleasure of teaching 19/ 5 and 6 year olds every weekday. One parent told me last year she wanted to work in Kindergarten! ( I had several students fighting over me at the time.) She said “you’re like a rockstar!” I laughed and said perhaps .. also teacher, nurse, mediator, “Mom”, dicisplinary, helper, listener and supporter.

    Teachers spend a lot of time with your child. We love, care for them and teach them. Laugh and joke with them . I know with one look if something is wrong. My “kids” also get a course in gluten free and allergies ๐Ÿ™‚ I have one student who gets a lunch tray and insist in asking what Ms. CK can or cannot eat and why.

    We train for the “what if” I sat crying Friday night thinking..My first thought “where could I hide my kids, what if this or that happened” This could have happened in my own classroom. I tell “my kids” part of my job is to keep them safe and I truly mean that!

    So, Friday night I looked at my very own children, and told them how much I loved them. They know if it were to happen at my school, I would do all I could to keep “my kids” safe even though I would want to return home to them.

    So, what these teachers did, does not surprise me…it makes me cry, because I understand.

    Gun control..blame???? There will be a lot of debate in the near future, let’s not forget the children, staff and families….

    Although, I do think it is time for a look into gun control..

    Hugs Gluten Dude and all…

    Hope I said it right..

  15. yes, hon….the children, staff and families are all I can think about, too.
    After the first one of these school shootings, every time I walked into a classroom, I looked for an escape route for “my kids”. Big windows.
    Hated closed lecture halls ๐Ÿ™

    Well said, C Kip! xxoo

    1. I feel the same way IrishHeart..

      Looking at “my kids” today and thinking of the others….there was a few moments. I usually think high school and worry about my own children….However, we all never know. Taking such weaponds out of the public hands would help. I know if someone wants to harm they will try to find a way, let’s not make it easy

      IrishHeart, I like your IMHO

  16. “Perhaps more significant, we are not very good at predicting who is likely to be dangerous in the future. According to Dr. Michael Stone, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia and an expert on mass murderers, โ€œMost of these killers are young men who are not floridly psychotic. They tend to be paranoid loners who hold a grudge and are full of rage.โ€

    Rage, grudge, paranoia…….. there it is.

    Maybe we cannot “predict” it, but a parent should be able see it..and certainly should not fuel the paranoia.

    As I said, not everyone with a mental health issue is a rampaging killer.

    This is all said IMHO and not meant to incite an argument, just to maybe shed some light.,

  17. No-one should be allowed to own or possess automatic or semi-automatic weapons unless they are for military use. We have that law in Australia, and people have to go through a rigorous procedure to gain a license to own a rifle, for either hunting or sporting reasons. The right to bear arms…..yeah right….

  18. A lot of people are focusing on guns, and i see why. I think we have a bigger problem in America. I think we need to examine our mental healthcare system. I wonder how many of these could be avoided through providing the proper help, care, or if necessary, institutionalization of the mentally ill. No, that man would never have been able to buy a gun and his mother should never have had guns where he could access them. (A proper safe would have prevented this.) But why was someone so ill left to the care of a mother so clearly ill equipped to deal with him? So many fall through the cracks, we say it is to protect them and we’ve swung the pendulum way too far.

    This is a really well written article on how messed up things are:

    Additionally, while suicide is always tragic, many of the people who commit these crimes may have simply committed suicide quietly. Instead, each time this happens the perpetrator’s name and picture is plastered all over the news, making them famous. If we would focus on the tragedy and ignore the person who committed it we could discourage more people from trying to go out with a bang and allow them to simply kill themselves in the basement quietly. Cruel? Yes, but far better than this.

    Especially today I have an unpopular view on gun control. The problem with outlawing guns, is that then only outlaws will have guns. Someone hellbent on committing a crime will do so, period. In China similar attacks with knifes at schools over the pasts few years have left dozens of children dead, dozens more injured. Where someone is seriously committed to being a psychotic asshole making headlines, it’ll happen one way or another.

  19. I totally agree Adalaide. Plus, If I had kids, I would home school. I swear I would. After this carnage, I could not send my kid or kids off to school.

    1. My daughters were both in preschool the year of the Columbine shooting. Their preschool was attached to an elementary school, which in turn was very near to the middle and high schools. Throughout the (blessedly short) remainder of the school year there were several times the preschool was, in tandem with the other three schools, locked down due to threats of bombings and shootings although thankfully nothing ever came of it. That was then, today the world is far different.

      I think that this tragedy will really make a lot of parents reexamine the decision to use the public education system. With all of the education choices available today, and the more we see things like this on the news, the more it just feels like sending lambs to the slaughter. While the odds of my husband and I ever having a child together are very miniscule, it is something we have discussed for years. He knows I am vehemently against sending a child into a school and this is just one more reason to add.


    I can understand how easy it is to get emotionally involved with the idea of gun control preventing school massacres. Unfortunately, this is neither a new sickness, nor a gun sickness. It is a human sickness. Taking guns away will not prevent it. As Adalaide said, in China there is incredibly strict gun control. So now people are attacking children with knives.

    I hope, with all my heart, that the people of this country will start a call to do something that will actually protect our children, rather than simply trying to remove one of many options from the people who want to hurt them.

  21. “As Adalaide said, in China there is incredibly strict gun control. So now people are attacking children with knives.”

    The only difference? Nobody died in the China attack.

    1. In the attack that happened on the same day no one died. Over the span of the past few years, dozens of children have died in what is an epidemic of knife attacks at schools in China.

      I agree that it is time for meaningful action. I just think it is time for this knee jerk reaction of taking away guns to stop. CRIMINALS are committing these crimes. Since when do they obey the laws anyway?

      Lets face it, you have to be mentally unbalanced to do what these people are doing. While we have come a long way in protecting the rights of the mentally ill, I think we have swung way to far. Since when is it in the best interest of a schizophrenic to allow them to decline medication and be homeless in the middle of winter? Really? That is insane. That is in no one’s best interest, not theirs, not their family’s, not society’s. It is nearly impossible to institutionalize people who really NEED to be. It is nearly impossible to get help for people who simply need a shrink or medication. Starting here with changes is meaningful action.

  22. I recall the shootings in Dunblane, Scotland in 1996. it was one of the first times this kind of horror happened and I wondered what I would do if it came to my school. I saw it happen a few more times since and each time I have thought: why do they select a school?
    Then, others chose movie theaters, malls and even political rallies as their battle ground.

    If someone wants to cause harm, they will find a way.
    A weapon (knives, pipe bombs, etc.) and a way.

    It is horrible, but I am fearful to think that any of this madness causes us to think we need to sequester ourselves and our children in our homes and keep them from experiencing the joy and the unparalleled benefits of socializing with others.

    The latest psychological profile of this murderer is (and I am quoting the news reports of last night) :

    Homeschooling is not necessarily the answer.
    The sheer fun of playing school sports, writing for the newspaper, going to football games, playing an instrument in the band, acting in the school play and going to the proms ,etc.—are all part of growing up in America.

    With all due respect, not everyone can afford to stay home from work and home school their kids .

    And, I am almost afraid to say this because of ramifications, but quite simply, not everyone is qualified to do so.
    There is a reason why teachers are required to obtain degrees in education, pass rigorous testing to become certified
    and perform a number of hours as student teachers. Before you can teach a single class, you often take graduate and post-graduate courses for 7 plus years.

    I am sorry to say, but some of the home- schooled children who matriculated into the college where I taught had absolutely no social skills whatsoever. They often looked for special recognition and attention —as if they were the only ones in the room.
    There are usually 24-30 students enrolled in a college course and lecture halls may have as many as 100-200.

    They were unable to accept any direction or constructive criticism and often argued with me. I never had disciplinary problems
    in my entire career ( even when I taught on the junior high level) but these kiddos felt “privileged” somehow. They were ill-equipped to deal with the rigors of college and had inadequate writing and grammar skills. Forget working on group projects! I saw a few drop out as a result.

    Were they bright? yes! very!
    But they had no ability to communicate effectively with their peers or with me.

    What happened last week was a horrible, horrible crime—yet it is not really the “norm”. We have seen a number of these incidents and it makes me cry every single time. However, I do not believe in responding to terrorism (which this may well be called) with fear and a reactive response. We cannot let these monsters win.

    If we all withdraw and isolate, we are teaching our children to live with fear, anxiety and distrust for others in our society. I see it all the time. Kids who are afraid of bullies, leery of authority figures and then, they become afraid of asserting themselves and being a part of a community. They spend too much time at home, isolating and playing video games or gossiping about others on FB. How is this teaching them to be self-reliant or a part of society? It’s not.

    …..and frankly, this feeds paranoia so, how is this any different than what this disturbed young man exhibited?

    Kids need other kids….. to play, grow, engage and learn. Get out and get some fresh air, for pete’s sake!.

    DO NOT let this kind of abhorrent behavior win.

    And as Dennis Miller used to say. “But this is just my opinion, I could be wrong.”

  23. Not once in the history of our country has making something illegal gotten it off the street. I guess I just don’t see, logically, how making guns illegal will magically get them off the street, given that it hasn’t worked on anything else so far. But like Irish said, I could be wrong.

  24. I think I’ll stick to talking about gluten from now on ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks everyone for your input and sharing in my sorrow.

  25. GD, I hope you do not think you made a mistake posting about this emotionally-charged topic.

    IMHO, it was important !
    And no one argued; rather, people expressed their sorrows and fears and it gave everyone a chance to vent anger and outrage.

    It gave us a chance to heal a little bit and to send you some warm lovins.
    And as always, talking it out—bonded us some more.

    It also gave us some “food for thought” regarding our own fears.
    And maybe some of us hugged our kids and loved ones a little tighter
    as a result. It’s a tragic part of life, but we should not avoid talking about it. It’s how people heal.

    I think you did a good thing. FWIW

    Hope you are feeling better today.xx ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. No regrets at all Irish. That’s why I gave the smiley face ๐Ÿ™‚

      I understand it’s a charged topic and I respect everyone’s views…even if they’re wrong…oh…did I just go there?? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

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I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didnโ€™t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, Iโ€™ve done my job.

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