UPDATE: Readers Oppose "Lights Out" To Support Shooting Victims and Families

A "lights out" campaign to support the victims and families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting falls flat to Healdsburg Patch readers.

UPDATE, Sunday 4 p.m.

Readers on Healdsburg Patch and on Facebook say they don't think turning out Christmas lights as an expression of condolences to the Connecticut shooting victims is appropriate.

"I understand and respect this gesture but personally, I feel we need more light, especially at times like this!," said Liz Emmons on Healdsburg Patch's Facebook page.

Patch commenter Shelley Williams agreed.

"I actually think of Christmas lights as a sign of hope so would encourage more lights than less," she posted in the comments below.

Others said the plan didn't make sense because, if the lights were out, how would anyone know if that home had had lights on before or if it never had lights?

"Nice, thoughtful gesture, but I don't get it...," said Sophiell. "If the lights you have are off/out, how does any one know that you are really exhibiting this gesture..? I don't have lights, so I'm going to honor this gesture by...turning my lights...?"

One reader, jmsstuff, said the whole thing "seems rather silly."

"I do not understand the need for ostentatiously public displays of sympathy," jmsstuff said. "It smacks of exhibitionism and narcissism.

"If you truly want to do something for the people involved, and if this is not about getting the attention to YOU, then wait for the inevitable calls to contribute to some fund for them and send some money -- anonymously," jmsstuff added.

There was no immediate word on San Carlos Patch, which started the idea, if the campaign had caught on in other cities. According to a story on San Carlos Patch, candlelight vigils were taking place in various locations over this weekend.

It is clear that the nation continues to grieve -- in whatever form that grieving takes place.

On Saturday, officials in Newtown, Conn. released gruesome details about what took place in the elementary school during the shooting. To see the story on Newtown Patch, click here.

ORIGINAL STORY, Friday, 4:34 p.m.

It started with a Patch reader's humble suggestion: turn out your Christmas lights tonight to mourn the loss of children and adults in today's tragic shooting in .

Wrote Sharron on the San Carlos Patch Facebook page: "A nationwide blackout of all Christmas lights tonight to show sympathy for those in CT whose holidays & lives have been shattered. Would you be willing to post this idea? So many families in San Carlos have small children. I think a lot of people would be willing to do this. I thought it was a lovely idea and the least we could do."

Now, in the face of shock and overwhelming grief, elected officials are echoing the call.

"I think it’s a very appropriate and honorable gesture during these very challenging times for the families at Sandy Hook Elementary School," said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), noting that he has two young daughters. He will spend tonight "mourning the loss of our young children."

“The holidays are a time when we hold our families closest and it is impossible to understand the acts that have taken place today in Connecticut," said Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay). "My thoughts and compassion go out to the victims and their families, and I ask that we all take this time remember those who are important to us.” 

Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) and Belmont City Councilmember Coralin Feierbach have also endorsed the call to put out the lights tonight.

Will you put out your Christmas lights tonight? Tell us in the comments. To spread the word, share this story on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #lightsout.

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jmsstuff December 15, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I think the whole thing is rather silly. I do not understand the need for ostentatiously public displays of sympathy. It smacks of exhibitionism and narcissism. If you truly want to do something for the people involved, and if this is not about getting the attention to YOU, then wait for the inevitable calls to contribute to some fund for them and send some money -- anonymously.
Elizabeth Hanson December 17, 2012 at 12:58 AM
People don't want anything to interfere with their usual routine. God forbid they might be pressured to turn off their Christmas lights for a night, while these babies are lying in the morgue. Sad.
Elizabeth Hanson December 17, 2012 at 01:11 AM
By the way--we all know that it won't change anything. But it is a gesture of respect and remembrance for the victims. But it's too much to ask from some people.
SophieII December 17, 2012 at 02:03 AM
I can appreciate all of the respect, remembrance and Presidential "tear-wiping" speeches, but if all of the "lights-out(ers)" were to be truly grieving...there would be no lights this Holiday Season...for the whole season...! There are that many kids dying, at our hands, our drones, our money, every day over in Gaza and Afghanistan. I suggest you pull the plug on all of your Christmas lights and Manger scenes until they put prayer and God back into our schools. I suggest you pull the plug on your Santa's and Reindeers until our government stops pumping billions o' dollars into other countries that would rather see us and our kids dead. I suggest you pull the plug on your own cities' downtown tree lights until Obama realizes that its not too expensive to arm and securitize our schools. Yes, one little 'ol night w/o lights ain't diddly for respect. We needn't pull the plugs out, we need to pull our heads out of our a____ and focus on the bigger picture...!
Andrea December 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM
I have been having a hard time getting into Christmas this year because all of the things going on. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. This is just making it worse. My neighbor's husband is in the hospital dying and she says it makes her happy when she comes home at night and sees our lights on. I would think it would have the same effect on other families that are at a loss. And I would imagine if the kids that were lost were looking down from heaven, they would be happier seeing a lot of lights then no lights at all. Just my opinion.


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