I have no connection to anyone involved, but my heart still breaks the same. The young people whose lives were taken had nothing but a bright future and limitless possibilities in front of them. The adults who were also taken were just doing what they loved: teaching. The only reason that they are not among the land of the living is that some within the United States care more about their firearms than keeping their fellow Americans alive.
Later this year is the 10th anniversary of Sandy Hook. Had this tragic event not happened, the children who were slaughtered would be teenagers. The company that manufactured the weapon that killed the students and their teachers, Remington Arms, will be paying $73 million dollars to nine families of the victims.
We know that this money will not bring back those who were killed or take away the trauma of those who were left behind. If nothing else, it sends a message to gun manufacturers and distributors. If one of your products was used to kill by someone who should not have had access to it in the first place, you will not get off scot-free. You will pay, one way or another.
We cannot go back in time and undo what has been done. But we can honor their memory by preventing another massacre with nationwide and airtight gun laws. Only then, will we be able to allow them to rest in peace and us to finally breathe.
20 years ago today, millions of high school students around the country (myself included) walked through the front doors of their high school as they did every school day. By the time the school day ended, 12 students and one teacher were dead in Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
It was America’s first school shooting in what was then recent memory. Sadly, as we all know, it would not be the last.
Looking back, I can’t help but feel anger. One mass school shooting should have been enough to galvanize the nation and our leadership to change our gun laws. If New Zealand can change their gun laws after the Mosque shooting last month, why can’t America do the same? If we had, we might have prevented the shootings at Sandy Hook and Parkland.
May the memories of the students and the teacher killed be a blessing and may we finally learn from the past.
When it comes to war, many generals and high-ranking officers make decisions by the following statement:
The best defense is a good offense.
America is at war. We are at war with the fact that since the Sandy Hook shooting five years ago tomorrow, mass shooting of innocent civilians have become everyday news. After every shooting, we say that things have to change. We have to tighten our gun control laws, we have to ensure that those with mental health issues are receiving the care they need, etc. And then, as it has become par for the course, the outrage and anger slowly begins to fade, that is, until the next massacre of innocent civilians.
Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit that sprung out of the tragedy of the Sandy Hook massacre. The goal of the organization is to prevent gun violence and to educate everyday citizens on how to prevent gun violence. Their new PSA, called Tomorrow’s News hits home the need for prevention of such acts and learning what the signs are before it is too late.
While we cannot go back in time, we can always move forward. We can find a way to learn from the lessons of our past, if we are willing to do what is necessary.