Getting Loud

There’s a difference between being loud, and being noisy.

Without exception, I believe that everyone was hit, like a punch to the stomach, with the news on Friday. It is the kind of story that is too monstrous and dark to actually take in all at once. For a person to wage such violence on others is frightening. The truth that he waged it on children is even more black.

And so, after we hear this kind of story, and let it become part of the truth of our day, what then?

Most of us need to talk about it. After we have convinced our bodies to please breathe again, after we learn that this type of event is real, permanent, and unchangeable. We need to connect with our friends, and combine our outrage and sadness. We need to know that we are going to find a way to change the world, to save the world. We need to imagine that there is a cohesive universal thought happening that is preceding this change, one that locks down a much safer world for our children.

And then, the exclamation points, avatars, bar graphs and You Tube links start cascading in. As most of us log on to our Facebook or Twitter feed to get a sense of how our friends are feeling, the conversations change from expressing sadness and vulnerability to politicking and screaming at each other. It’s never helpful.

Have you, or anyone you know, ever changed their stance on a very hot-button issue because they saw a bar graph?

Have you, or anyone you know, ever clicked on a You Tube link posted on your timeline by someone who is being borderline crazy in their stance on a hot-button issue?

Have you, or anyone you know, ever read the entire comment from someone yelling at you when it is paragraph after paragraph of statistics?

There is a difference between being loud, and being noisy.

I am all for getting loud. There are things that we need to change. They’ll change when we get a collective, strong sound going, something loud, that is informed, measured, articulate and reasonable. I will absolutely be part of that change. What I will not do is be noisy. I will not add to the noise by being hateful towards those whose ideas are different than mine. I will not add to the noise by pretending I have answers when in fact I am in the infancy of searching for them. I will listen to anyone who speaks with sanity, and I will stop listening when the tone becomes antagonistic.

I will not click on your You Tube link because there is a yin for every yang in that medium and it ends up being all noise.


I grew up in a house full of guns. I have been attacked by a person who was mentally ill. From my experiences, one was scary, while the other was not. However, had I grown up in a house full of guns with a person who was mentally ill, my experience would likely be different. This doesn’t mean that I am informed on what policies would serve mankind best going forward. But it does influence the way that I live my life, and how I build my home.

What I will protect.

For now, I recognize that my most potent power resides in how I keep my home. My power is held in my ability to protect my boys in their home. While the rest of the world is unpredictable, and I cannot control what they hear or what they are exposed to, I will prepare them by building their strengths. But home will be a place where the news does not exist. For now, while they are children, I will protect them from the events in this world, and this will be their bubble. It is where I have the power to keep things quiet. Make no mistake, this home is loud (just ask our neighbors). But the noise will be locked out. That is my power.


But as they get older I will need to expand my reach, and the news on Friday made me wake up to that truth. I need to get loud in my efforts to make the world at least a little safer for my three sons. My task now is finding the way to do that. Separating what is loud and what is noise will be my approach. I would love to hear what yours will be.

9 thoughts on “Getting Loud

  1. I’ll get loud with you. I am so sick of everyone arguing on Facebook, instead of actually doing something.

  2. beautifully written , click on the link if you are interested in my POV !
    Enjoyed Fatty’s post and hope you are successful in your quest !

    THere should ALWAYS be a safe place in the lives of Children , not only their home ! Seems that Nursery school is now a questionable place ?

    Best wishes for the Festive season for You & Yours .

  3. Pingback: Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Loss

  4. I linked here from FatCyclist. Like your brother, you have a take and approach to this tragedy that gives me hope for humanity. The Facebook posts of the last three days have left me wishing for a cave to live in, with no internet and no people.

    Thus far, the only step I’ve been able to take towards separating loud from noise has been to firmly stay out of the ‘conversations’ on social networking sites. Aside from that, I can’t seem to process the reality well enough to know what else might help. I’m hoping clarity will come with time.

    Thanks for this post.

  5. I get where you’re coming from, but we need facts to back up our points of view and statistics can help with that. I am a progressive who also grew up with guns. A handgun in the house and hunting rifles at a hunting camp. I can tell you that there is practically no chance that this country will ever forbid either of those things. They may try to pass laws to make it harder to buy them and more expensive to own them, but most of us are not trying to take away every single gun in this country. Just the assault weapons. Because here is one statistic no one can dispute: the faster the weapon, the higher the body count.

    Even conservatives are now getting on board. Because there is now a gulf between regular gun owners and the freaks who want to be armed to the teeth for the coming revolution. Right there in Newton, people who owned hand guns and hunting weapons were fighting the extreme weapon owners, trying to shut down their firing ranges.

    Yes, there are those on the left calling for a ban on all weapons, but that isn’t going to happen and it only alienates the more reasonable gun owners whose support we need. I would love to live in a country with no guns whatsoever. But I would be happy to live in one that does not have 20 mass shootings in a single year, thrilled to live in one where the recent carnage would be almost impossible to achieve.

    There is no reason why a civilian needs a machine gun. None. If every gun was required to have a GPS unit on it, and this is now cheap technology, and weapons were required to be registered every year like cars, this would be a great help. But if someone like that gunman’s mother would have had to pay for liability insurance for each of those weapons, the way we insure cars, that would probably have been an even greater deterrent.

    But first, no assault weapons allowed for civilians. Just that one law will bring down the body count enormously. Now, even hunters and self defense supporters are on board with that. So let’s start there.

  6. Elden has an amazing sister! Send him an extra sweater this year for linking us today to your post.

  7. linked here from your brother, and must say excellent posts run in the family (not sure who has set the example, for you two to sort out). Thank you for sharing, your words hit home and this post could benefit from occasional revisiting!

  8. “Have you, or anyone you know, ever changed their stance on a very hot-button issue because they saw a bar graph?”

    If you can’t, won’t or refuse to be persuaded by data, then I guess everything sounds like noise.

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