For days I’ve had no words. Because when something like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school happens you can only cry.
I sat at my kitchen table on Friday and cried.
I wanted to grab my napping boy from his crib and hold him tight.
And the urge to write, to spout off, to shout came and went with each round of tears.
And yet I had no words.
I thought of myself at 17 sitting in my high school library the day after the Columbine shooting and how scared and vulnerable my friends and I felt.
I thought of myself as a new mom holding a barely 2 month old baby in my arms and watching the coverage of Senator Gabriel Gifford’s and the shooting in Tucson Arizona. And I cried as I rocked my baby to sleep.
I thought of my husband and I on our date to see The Dark Knight Rises and how hard it was to get past the violence that had occurred while innocent people were just trying to enjoy a movie.
And I think it is all too much, too often and too horrifying to bear.
I do not understand guns.
My family never owned one. We did not play with guns, we did not watch overly violent movies, we did not play violent video games.
As an adult I have friends who have guns. They hunt or work in law enforcement. They are responsible, reasonable adults.
I have no problem with them or other reasonable people owning guns.
I do not understand assault weapons. Weapons of mass destruction in my opinion. Because what happened at Sandy Hook was mass destruction of life, of families, of a community and of this country.
I can’t wrap my head around the need for them.
I do not understand mental health disorders.
I don’t know what makes people tick or what effective treatment is or what should be done with the mentally insane.
I don’t know what it’s like to live with someone unpredictable.
I don’t know what sends a person off the edge causing them to do the unthinkable. I don’t know if this type of thing is something you see coming or something that just happens.
I don’t know a lot of things but I do know that the time for silence has passed.
I think as a nation we can no longer hold our collective breath until it happens again.
I think we must hug our children close not just this past weekend, but everyday and that we must not hope for better, but do better for them.
I do not want these children’s deaths to be forgotten. I do not want to watch another tragedy unfold.
I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to raise my son in a country that does nothing in the face of danger and evil. I refuse to accept this terrorism in our lives.
I have no answers. I have no solutions. But I demand that something change.
Wherever you stand on guns, mental health, school security or any issue relating to this I suggest you write your elected officials and demand better. I think we need to have this conversation.
Because if we remain silent, if we throw our hands up in grief, if we hug our children and wait in fear for what is next, then these 20 innocent souls and 6 heros will become another statistic.
We owe it to them to demand that something is done so that no more families suffer. So that other children can go to school with a little less fear.