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.