Their Safe Place.

 

Of course I envisioned my first post following our family move as a long, profanity laden rant describing all the crap that went wrong during the relocation and what complete hell I’ve been through over the last few weeks. Then, this past Friday morning, on December 14, 2012, as I was just waking The Beans, urging them to roll out of bed and get ready for school, tragedy struck at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

And the lives of 20 mamas exactly like me…..who had, just a few hours earlier, done precisely what I was doing at that moment…became an unimaginable Hell.

All of a sudden, my reality paled in comparison, and turned into an idyllic picnic in the park stacked up against what they were experiencing. A cowardly monster armed himself with several guns and walked into the one place we as parents trust, without question, to be safest for our children when they cannot be in our arms. Then he opened fire in 2 classrooms full of 6 and 7 year-olds. In a flash, those mamas lost their innocent, precious angels as Heaven gained them. Thinking about it takes my breath and replaces it with tears all over again. You see, my Sweet Pea is a bright-eyed, 6 year-old First Grader this year. If not for geography, it could have been her classroom. Two years ago, it could have been my Butter Bean, and although it’s been 6 years since Sugar Bean started her school journey, I still shudder at the thought of how little she was, and how naive I was, as a young mother, to the evils threatening this world.  Excuse me while my mind races, and I throw up, rethinking every decision I’ve ever made as a parent.

As a Christian, I have been told that God has a plan, and I shouldn’t question it. However, as a mother, I am screaming to the top of my lungs “WHY, GOD, WHY??!!” No matter the answer, it will not satisfy the question. There is no acceptable response, no silver lining, no lesson that needed to be taught by such a horrific example.

Or is there?

Honestly, until Friday, I firmly believed in the Second Amendment of Our Constitution, which states that we as citizens have the right to keep and bear arms, and therefore was on the fence with regards to gun control. Well, I’m here to say, I am no longer a fence-rider. The first time a school/mall/theatre shooting happened was one too many. Something must be done to make it impossible for this to ever happen again. Period.

Ironically, this amendment was adopted on December 15, 1791, which means this deadly attack on the students and faculty of Sandy Hook Elementary School took place just one day shy of the 221st birthday of the Amendment. A glaring coincidence? Probably not, if you are looking for some rhyme or reason to the incident. What more could this be, than a loud wake-up call for America to take a long, harsh look at our gun control laws….or better yet, the apparent lack of them. It’s obvious the weapon wielding asshole whose name I refuse to write reveled in his Second Amendment rights. His mother staunchly believed in hers too, for that matter. Although she was his first victim of the day, I can’t ignore that the four guns he carried with him to execute the massacre were purchased by, and registered to her. Or that, reportedly, she took her son to the shooting range at least once in his lifetime. This begs the question:

WHAT PRIVATE CITIZEN NEEDS FOUR WEAPONS TO PROTECT THEM? 

The answer, is none. That’s why we have policemen. To serve and protect us. Yes, I am aware of a thing called ‘response time’. Fine. If you must own a gun in order to feel like an American, then you can have ONE…a double-barrel shotgun. It’s intimidating enough to defend your property and family without allowing the power of semi-automatic and automatic weapons representative of a military presence into the hands of individuals who likely shouldn’t have it. Plus, you can hunt with it, so you won’t starve if it comes to that. There must be rules though. Let’s start by only allowing you to purchase one after an extensive background check and psychological evaluation, accompanied by mandatory classes on gun safety and proper handling/storage of weapons. Oh, and you may only buy enough ammunition as is reasonable. No need for a stockpile. The police will be on their way to protect you from harm before you could aim, shoot, fire and reload more than once. I believe this is more than fair. You can own your gun, thereby preserving your Constitutional right to bear arms, while I feel confident knowing it’s okay to send my babies to their safe place day after day and know they will return home, as alive, full of energy and excited as they were when I dropped them off that morning. Deal?

Because let’s face it…there is nothing more precious than the life of a child, and no Constitutional right worth the loss of it. 

If you are beyond livid about gun control or mental health care, please contact your state or local representatives and elected officials, who may have the influence to make a difference and prevent further tragedies from happening.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you would like to provide financial support to the families who were affected, you may do so through the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. If you have questions regarding the fund,  you may call 800-461-0672.

Otherwise, check donations may be mailed to:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund

c/o Newtown Savings Bank

39 Main Street, Newtown CT  06470

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also, a former Sandy Hook Elementary School student named Ryan Kraft, posted a Local Voices blog on Newtown Patch saying he set up a fund to help heal his community. According to Kraft, the funds are directed to the school’s PTSA organization. Please help in any way you can.  Here is the link to the fund site: crowdrise.com/SHSRelief

  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you are unable to contribute financially, but still desire to help or show support in other ways, you may send a card or letter to students or staff at the school. Here is the address:

Sandy Hook Elementary School

12 Dickenson Drive

Sandy Hook, CT, 06482

If your child wants to help, the school is requesting that they make snowflakes. You can learn more from the Connecticut PTSA.

 

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Comments

  1. I agree, sort of. I think it’s a fair deal you are offering, but laws are easily broken by those disturbed enough to shoot up a Kindergarten class.

    What was seriously lacking here was the awareness of and proper treatment for the mental health problems the shooter clearly suffered.

    As a Hokie I feel like screaming “Did April 16, 2007 teach NOTHING??” You couldn’t turn on the news or read an article without someone pointing out how the mental health system had failed. The shooter at Virginia Tech went to the University Health Services MULTIPLE times and to a State facility at least once. And he clearly did not get any sort of help there at all.

    Totally agree that he shouldn’t have been able to purchase the guns in the first place.

    But as you pointed out, the shooter in CT wasn’t the one to have purchased the guns in the first place. Maybe if he had gotten proper care, he wouldn’t have wanted or “needed” to seek this kind of destruction in the first place.

    • calibamamom says:

      While it is very clear that only a mentally ill, deranged person could do such a thing, I haven’t read anything confirming he had been diagnosed or treated for mental illness. Only comments from people stating he was a ‘weird kid from the start’ or ‘a brainiac computer nerd’. Although, I believe I read that his mother believed he could have ‘been on the spectrum’, and withdrew him from the Newtown Public School System early on, after experiencing difficulties with the district’s plans for her son’s academic future. So he was home schooled instead, and taught to use guns, apparently. And I agree that awareness for the recognition and treatment of mental illness needs to be raised, I believe the bigger focus needs to be on gun control right now. But I am only one person, and that’s just my opinion.

  2. Nancy, I could not agree more with you!y only addition would be that we ALSO need to look at mental illness and update those laws to protect yourselves. Thank you for writing this blog. XO

  3. So perhaps cops should be limited to one shotgun too?

    • calibamamom says:

      Thanks for your comment, however I believe you missed the point of the post entirely. I have no problem whatsoever with policemen, firemen, active military personnel, and other civil servants possessing weapons. They are the ones who should. However, in my opinion, private citizens have no business owning an arsenal of semi-automatic and automatic weapons for the sake of ‘protecting their home’. More room for error than good there.

  4. I loved this post, and I agree with your take on gun control.

    I think a lot of people have been focused on the fact that these things happen because there are very limited treatment options for the mentally ill. I agree wholeheartedly with this, but if there were stricter gun laws in America, those children would still be alive. Regardless of how mentally ill Adam Lanza may or may not have been, the fact that he had access to an arsenal of guns (and his mother taught him how to SHOOT the damn things) is the reason those children are no longer with us.

    I feel very strongly on this, too.

    This doesn’t mean I’m downplaying the issue on mental illness. I’m not. I’m just saying that the ease with which people can access guns in America is the reason so many innocent people are taken from this world too soon.

    Kelly Oxford retweeted something by Mike Byhoff that really struck me on Friday:

    31 U.S. school shootings since Columbine. School shootings in every other country in the world combined since that time: 14.

    Makes you stop and think…

    Awesome post, my friend!

    xo

  5. You did a beautiful job with this post. It was heartfelt, honest, and well thought -out, when it so easily could have been an angry rant. With so much justifiable sadness and anger, you still managed to present your point of view, which is a brilliant one in my opinion, in a calm, coherent voice. Props to you mama.

    • calibamamom says:

      Thank you Stephanie. It took me several days to actually get it out. Each time I sat down to write, I was overcome with emotion, anger, frustration, etc. Finally, today, it sprang forth. I just hope it reaches a wide audience, makes people take pause, and compels them to take action to prevent any further tragedies.

  6. findingninee says:

    I agree and think you stated your opinion perfectly. This is a really well-written and great post!

Give it to me straight. I can take it :-)

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