Newtown, A Song Against the Usual Madness

The funerals of the small victims of Connecticut have just been held. Ana Grace, with dark eyes and black curls, was six years old and loved jazz. It was her father, saxophonist and composer Jimmy Greene, who gave her this passion and dedicated a song to her that bears her name. He had written and composed it thinking that in the future she herself would be able to sing it, following in his footsteps. But Ana died together with 17* other children of the same age in the terrible Newtown massacre.

It would be a good sign if the musician colleagues of Ana’s father — American and otherwise — would write and perform in their tours a song requesting a halt to the sale of arms in the U.S.: one song each or a “charity song” — a collective song along the lines of “We Are the World” or “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” — composed to sensitize governments and public opinion to social issues. And indeed the many directors who glorify the acts of Herculean exterminators in their films could for once value nonviolent models.

The day after the tragedy, many have rightly asked that the law more strictly regulate who can buy guns and rifles as easily as if they were hamburgers and T-shirts. This has been said and written by many, both progressives and conservatives (save the gun lobby, which has dishonorably replied that if the teachers had also had guns this would not have happened. …).

President Obama is in favor of a new law that bans the sale of firearms. But laws enacted on a wave of emotion, even when exemplary, are destined not to last (the one Clinton wanted fell at the end of his second term). This is an appeal to the world of culture and entertainment to do its part. Because violence can only be fought with a culture of nonviolence.

*Editor’s note: Of the 28 dead, 20 of the victims were children.

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