It’s one year since the terrible tragedy at Newtown and although many of us thought it would provoke changes in our gun laws, it hasn’t. The lobbies are seemingly too powerful, and the sight and memories of children and teachers dying are not in the forefront anymore. They are yesterday’s news as we march onward with more recent headlines.
Astonishingly we heard the sentiment of a segment of the public and media that encouraged more guns and armed guards in schools as the answer to future violence. The emphasis on identifying those potentially disturbed enough to resort to massacre isn’t talked about much anymore.
Proudly, our outgoing mayor, Mr. Bloomberg, has put his money where his heart and intelligence are and has provided funds for candidates across the nation, who favor restrictions on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons. He is funding the “other side”, the mothers and fathers of Newtown who have in spite of their grief been pleading for reason on the issues of guns and mental health.
I think about those children, teachers, and the parents and families who in a few short minutes lost their lives and their loved ones. I can’t imagine it happening to a child of mine. I can’t imagine I would ever get over my grief; that I could ever go on again with a smile on my face. But people do. We do.
I don’t want to forget these children, or the children in Columbine, or in Oklahoma City. I want us all to remember the unnecessary loss and insanity of these shoot-ups and bombings, and I want us to be on alert for the next time. I want us to do something.
I want people everywhere to give peace a chance by believing that we can accomplish this. I want us as a society to believe that it’s not the norm for people to periodically go berserk and kill other children and that we must find the mentality and the determination to stop it.
A strange way to begin my column for the New Year? No, because I want this year to be free of such tragedies and all the years to come. I want this year and all the years to bring guaranteed safety to our children everywhere. Yes, you can say I’m a dreamer, but as John Lennon said, “I’m not the only one.”
Happy New Year.