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.
This past weekend marked the 2 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre. Two years ago this nation mourned the loss of twenty children who would never have the opportunity to grow up.
There was tragedy in Pakistan today. The Pakistani arm of the Taliban forced themselves in a school, armed and ready to kill. As of tonight, 141 were killed, 90% of the victims were children.
There is a famous saying from the Talmud:
Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if they destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if they saved an entire world.
I would like to add to that. Whoever destroys the soul of a child, it is as if they have destroyed ten worlds. Whoever saves the life of a child, it is as if they have saved one hundred worlds.
While I have no children of my own, my heart and my prayers go out to the families of those murdered.
I would say RIP normally, but RIP is not enough.