As we mark the anniversary of this tragedy, we should never forget how it made us feel
My wife and I were moving the day it happened. She was pregnant, and we needed more space. Reports appeared about Sandy Hook, although at that time, nobody knew exactly what was happening. We knew it was bad, but we had no idea how awful it would become.
As the day wore on, the gruesome details made themselves known. Another madman with guns. Children killed. Heroic educators were cut down. People screaming in horror, in grief. The ensuing cacophony set an ominous overtone to an already stressful day.
“Surely, this has got to be the breaking point,” I thought, “America has to say enough now, doesn’t it?”
We all know the answer to that question. Since Sandy Hook, at the time of this writing, there have been almost 100 school shootings. And that number will inevitably climb higher. Horrifyingly, it will climb higher very soon.
On January 15, 2013, barely a month after Sandy Hook, a 21-year-old killed three people, including a 12-year-old girl, Taylor Cornett, in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College, Kentucky.
Does it feel like it could never happen to you? Are you someone who believes the chances of a school shooting are so low that you don’t need to worry about it? Will that comfort you if it does?
On June 7, 2013, another shooter killed five people and wounded four others before being gunned down by police at Santa Monica Campus.
Our son is not yet two years old. He will be attending school soon. How long before he is subjected to his first active shooter drill? How scary will that be? Isn’t there a better way than this? Will I just accept the nightmares this gives me?
Since we have become parents, my wife and I are far more affected by current events. The news makes us cringe when it reports children being harmed. Our empathy has grown tremendously. We are now painfully aware of how others are affected by tragedy
On May 23, 2014, another killing spree, three stabbed to death, three more people shot to death, two more wounded, four more people with the killer’s car before he committed suicide, just outside the University of California, Santa Barbara.
My stomach is churning as I write this. Words don’t come easy. The horror of Sandy Hook echoes fresh when I think of my son. How can I not act? There’s no other first world nation that has to have this discussion. And the time for action is long long past.
Politicians are unwilling or unable to effect change on weapons responsibility legislation. But there is hope; the 2014 mid-terms put gun control directly on the ballot, and voters supported these measures heavily. There is a new avenue now, one that could circumvent the NRA.
Those who oppose sensible gun laws are the minority. They depend on the volume of their opinion to make up for the lack of volume in their numbers. They ride the #gunsense hashtag on twitter and attack its supporters with multiple troll accounts. They rely on cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking. They represent the worst of us all. Do not let them have their way.
Arguments of gun advocates rely on pivots, semantics, false equivalencies, and the fraudulence of charlatans like John R. Lott. Ultimately, all their words come down to is, “Nuh-UH!” That’s all. They just don’t wanna.
But we’ve been playing it their way for years now. There have been too many deaths. It’s not working. We need to change. Our children are too important for us not to.
The Second Amendment was written as being necessary to the security of the state. Today, the prevalence of easily obtainable firearms is now contrary to the security of the state.
As we mark the anniversary of Sandy Hook, we need to remember how it made us feel. The horror, shock, and grief we felt as a nation can never be forgotten. We must honor the victims of the Newtown tragedy, and work hard to change things for the better. Otherwise, this will keep happening again and again and again and again.
Children killed. Horror. Terror. Insanity. That is not acceptable. This will not do. We need to change this. You need to help.
As the holidays roll by, think on Sandy Hook. For those families, the holidays will never be the same again. Nor should they be for any of us. If we forget how that tragedy made us feel, we’ll be forced to feel that way again and again.
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” ~ Margaret Mead