This past week has been unexpectedly hard on me personally. The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school hit closer to home for me than I would have first imagined. While I live and work no more than 19 miles away from Aurora, Colorado where 12 were killed and 58 others were injured in a mass shooting only four months ago, the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut is affecting me in ways I’d never have expected. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have school age children. Perhaps it’s the fact that a coworker of a friend of mine is the parent of one of the young victims. Perhaps it’s the fact that my mother was an elementary school teacher for her entire career. Perhaps it’s the fact that I was a student in high school myself when an individual brought a firearm into our building but fortunately was disarmed and apprehended before anyone was hurt.
Whatever the combination of reasons, I realized this morning that the pain I’ve been feeling all week is the pain of a broken heart. My heart breaks in sympathy for those directly affected by the massacre in Newtown. My heart breaks for the country I love whose collective mind is broken to such a degree that we allow conditions to persist that make mass shootings an ever more common occurrence. My heart breaks when I read posts by friends and family on social media defending the status quo on the issue of gun control.
I love my family and friends, but when they make arguments championing the proliferation of firearms throughout civilian society, I have no choice but to interpret that as a threat against my own children. I am no expert on firearms policy, but I know there is significant room for regulation (where little to none exists now) so that the chances of another Sandy Hook happening again are reduced all while still holding true to the Second Amendment. There are many opinions in this world that I will tolerate even as they differ from mine, but when you threaten my children, I have no tolerance. Because I love you and want to continue loving you, I will remove your toxic words from my view and hold on to the hope that one day the better angels of your nature will prevail and you will join me in healing our society.
On Friday, 12/21 at 9:30 AM in (your time zone), please observe a moment of silence to remember those lost last week and to contemplate how we as a society must move forward from this tragedy for the benefit of our children, our future.