It was a crisp, sunny December Friday morning. A morning like any other. Children were excitedly looking forward to Christmas or were already celebrating Hanukkah. Mothers and fathers, husbands and wives kissed each other goodbye and wished each other a good day.
Then they went into Sandy Hook Elementary, and into a horror beyond all imagination…and then into eternity.
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hocksprung, 47
Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
One of them was going to portray an angel in a Christmas play on Saturday, Instead, she became one.
Children whose biggest life trauma should be learning Santa Claus is really their mom or dad, are now dealing with the deaths of their friend, their teacher, their principal, their brother or their sister.
We all know the facts by now….as the endless lunatic newsreel has gone on for the last 72 hours non-stop on every news channel, every TV station, every radio station tells us over and over and over again.
What we seem to lack are the reasons why, and how to feel and react. The reason why may take a long time to figure out.
I know one way that we have to react. As a nation, we have to demand that President Obama and the US Congress enact gun control legislation. Mr. President, no more press statements, no more visits in front of a grieving town.
Here. Now. Today.
For those of you who will scream about the Second Amendment, their right to own a gun, and who want to obstruct gun control legislation: I say this to you: you are as guilty as those who murder our children, our parents, our friends, our sons and our daughters. You are part of the problem, not the solution. You will be judged at the end of your days in the judgment we all face for what you have done and what you have failed to do.
No one wants to take away the rights of legitimate, law abiding citizens to possess a handgun or rifle for legitimate law abiding purposes.
But no civilian needs to own an semi-automatic weapon or assault rifle. Period.
It is very telling that even Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the ultra-conservative Fox News, said that the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut this week made it clear that it is time to ban automatic weapons in the United States. Murdoch wrote on his own Twitter:“Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz (Australia) after similar tragedy.”
When even Rupert Murdoch supports this form of gun control…that should tell you all you need to know.
Here are other things that are equally clear:
There is no reason to prevent mental health checks before the purchase of a rifle or handgun.
There is no reason to prevent a criminal background check before the purchase of a rifle or handgun.
There is no reason to prevent a 24 hour waiting period prior to the purchase of a rifle or a handgun or rifle.
There is no reason to prevent the completion of a mandatory safety course before the purchase of a rifle or handgun.
There is no reason not to reinstate the assult weapons ban the United States once had in place, and failed to renew.
We need to demand that President Obama and the US Congress introduce legislation to enact laws like these now. Today.
For those who have the gall to suggest that gun control is not the answer, but that God is somehow punishing us for “taking God out of the schools”….may God have mercy on your souls. You will need it badly.
Well, I was always taught that God helps those who help themselves. It’s time for us to help ourselves, our children, and each other…to use the political process so many of us recently used.
This tragedy was even more painful to witness during the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays. There are countless ads with holiday themes, selling this or that that featured children. They were especially hard to watch this weekend.
There are presents that will sit unopened under Christmas trees this year. Because the children and the adults who would have opened their presents are instead being buried; along with the innocence of thousands of others.
Take a minute to hug your kids and tell them you love them. Even if you do, give them another hug and “I love you”. Then take action with your own Senators, Representatives, and the President to show them that you do.
Until next time….
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