The tragedy that is the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut is one of the most shocking and heinous acts committed in recent memory. The fact that, as of right now, 18 children and 8 adults were killed is beyond comprehension. Before I discuss the political or legislative side of the story; I must tell you all this.
It could happen to anyone. If it could happen to children, who might be as young as 4 or 5, the personification of innocence; then it can happen to anybody. Often times in tragedy, I hear people say “well, it couldn’t happen here….”; please don’t fall into that trap.
Right now children have heard and may have even saw something that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Take a trip into the wayback machine and sitting through an ordinary fire drill or maybe a rehearsed lockdown. The lights are off, the alarm is going off, and you are all crowded in a tight space.
Then you hear gunshots, one after another, in quick succession.
Imagine being a teacher, maybe fresh out of college or in their thirtieth year of being in their profession. How do you keep kids calmed in that setting? How do you keep calm? You are hearing children screaming, out of sheer terror, and for the teachers that guided their students to safety? True heroes.
But the family members of the deceased, of the murdered, heard the worst and most unfathomable news a parent could hear. I can’t even imagine how they feel right now and one thing I must tell all of you right now is to keep those people in your thoughts, prayers, well-wishes, etc. As a person that is unfortunately all we can do, but as a society we can do so much more.
Yet the topic turns to guns. The Second Amendment is a lightning rod for controversy and dialogue. But it’s perhaps one of the few constitutional amendments that has probably been emboldened over time as opposed to prodded at. The First Amendment has been contorted at times, the Fourth Amendment has as well; but the Second, continues to give us an excuse to pack heat without fear.
But all it does is create fear. The only regulation that has occurred in our history over the discussion of guns is when we can discuss the issue. The answer to that of course is to always push it back until the “time has come”.
But when will the time be? I understand that at this very moment, it feels a bit sad to have to discuss legislation when 18 children are dead and a nation rocked. I can see that argument, though I may disagree with it, and people do tend to use that excuse as a reason to mourn for the families as opposed to advocate for laws.
However, the time might be now. How else can we make sure this doesn’t happen?
We shouldn’t stop at guns either. The shooter, who will remain nameless by this blog and Twitter (and I encourage all commenters to do the same), was still able to stroll into a school and open fire. We also have to take a look at how we protect our nation’s children. School is supposed to be a sanctuary, not a site of tragedy. What can we do to strengthen our security at our nation’s schools?
Now is the time to figure that out.