“In the five years since the shooting, which transformed a fairly anonymous Connecticut town into a buzzword in the caustic national debate on gun violence, armed men have killed people at a nightclub, an outdoor music festival, a social services center, movie theaters, a church in South Carolina and a church in Texas.
The displays of grief follow a familiar routine: Candlelight vigils and makeshift memorials. National offerings of thoughts and prayers. Pleas to tighten gun laws, immediately trailed by calls to avoid politicizing a tragedy” (Rojas and Kristin Hussey).
When I think of the civil liberties that you and your family gave up to serve our country, I am indeed overwhelmed, and absolutely indebted; this all too brief thank you goes not only to you but to Michelle and Sasha and Malia too. Instead of summer holidays going from cheap motel to public beach, you, along with secret service, were in the spotlight; or in place of date night down at the local theater you were navigating normalcy with all of us peering into your dining room window. We Americans were indeed the lucky ones in this eight year scenario.
Who could forget that cold December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when a 20-year-old deranged man murdered 20 elementary children, as well as six school staff members? At the time our collective outrage was visceral and visible. The cold-blooded and senseless murders prompted an immediate demand for universal background checks, and for legislation to ban extremely dangerous semi-automatic firearms. And yet, as we face the 4th anniversary of this tragedy, and the 998 mass shootings since, there is little forward movement toward ending this violent epidemic ravaging every avenue along our collective landscape. Continue reading →
As we come upon the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, I find it unfathomable that America is still in a stalled response. In my most right-wing-NRA-toting nightmare I would never have believed that December 14, 2012 would not have been enough for Americans to demand the changes needed to halt our present school shooting epidemic.
As of 2013 there have been approximately 162 school shootings in America. School shootings. Yes, I am only discussing shootings in schools. The place where children go to learn about rivers and stars and algebra and Huck Finn. Where they and their friends eat mac and cheese in a noisy cafeteria, and still stick gum under their desks while being asked to imagine making the world a better place. Where they are encouraged to dream and explore and fail. Yes, dream and explore and even fail because it takes all three to learn sometimes. But as of late, schools are also a place where we are, “frightening our young people by planning for intentional acts of harm,” (Schlozman). A place where we practice lock-downs. Schools are now targets.
Remember where you were on December 14th 2012? Recall the grief you felt hearing that Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown Connecticut had been violently targeted by a single shooter? I can. The emotion is as overpowering and unwanted as a raging arson fire. Within seconds after the shooting we were flooded through every possible media with heartbreaking images, leaving us all to retreat into a place beyond words. December 14th is not a day we want to remember, but I will, for not only were innocent children and their brave educators gunned down that day, but something in all of us shattered.