Please bear with me as I try to make sense of this
On Friday December 14, 2012, the lives of twenty
children and 6 adults brutally ended when a
shooter armed with an assault rifle entered the Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Among those killed
was a 6-year old angel, Ana – the daughter of Nelba and Jimmy
I’m sure Friday morning was like any other school
day. Parents lovingly deposited their children in
what they thought was a safe, secure environment.
By mid morning, the scene was anything but
No bright yellow school buses stood waiting.
No throng of smiling faces met these parents.
Instead, parents were met by an untold number of
police cars, swat teams, ambulances, confusion and
tears. And in the case of my friends, Nelba and
Jimmy and other parents -
…the unthinkable news…
their child was dead.
I’m sure it’s heartbreaking to lose a child under any
circumstances but especially so when it’s a
senseless act of violence.
Was it mental illness that led the shooter to
commit such a violent act?
From all accounts so far, it seems that the
shooter indeed had a long history of mental
How could the cold-blooded murder of innocent
children been prevented?
When I did consulting work for city schools, most
of the time, I had to ring a bell or buzzer to
Before the Sandy Hook massacre, I hadn’t given
much thought to this “security measure”. Like most
of us, I thought this was enough. However, upon
reflection, I don’t recall ever being asked my name
or the purpose of my visit before being admitted.
Someone simply buzzed me in. I now wonder if such
a step as asking the nature of one’s visit, would
have given pause to the shooter at Sandy Hook
Of course, we have no way of knowing if that
measure would have changed the course of events.
But in the aftermath of such a tragic event, one
can’t help but “wonder”.
Is better security needed in the schools?
What abut our gun control laws?
How can we insure that no one else has access to
an assault rifle using it to murder innocent
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, between
2006 and 2010, 47,856 people were murdered in the
U.S. by firearms, more than twice as many as were
killed by all other means combined.
Right now if you don’t have a criminal record and
you have not been judged as mentally incompetent,
you can buy guns.
Although a background check is required, each
check doesn’t accurately represent a single gun
purchase or the mental state of the purchaser.
For example, if one were to purchase
two or three guns at one time, there would be only
one background check. And, if there is no
documented history of mental illness or violence,
a permit is issued.
I don’t know why a person would commit
such horrible acts as the ones in Newtown,
CT, Aurora, Arizona, or Virginia Tech or
how guns get into the hands of people
who are clearly unstable.
I do think the answer to this problem lies with
our elected officials. This country needs
to seriously take a look at the licensing
and registration process for gun ownership.
Stricter licensing and registration, more vigorous
background checks and definitely a ban on assault
weapons would be a great start toward preventing
tragedies such as the one in Newtown, CT.
My heartfelt condolences and prayers go to Nelba and Jimmy
and to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.
And, for the rest of us…
- Take time to let your children, family, and friends know that you love them.
- Never part company with your love ones on an angry note.
- Make each moment memorable…every day!
- Create lasting memories with pictures, videos and letter writing.
- Push away petty grievances and accept your love ones (especially difficult family members) for who they are.
- Petition the Obama administration to immediately address the issue of gun control
Now is not the time to sit idly by and stay mired in “what if’s”
or “why’s”. It’s time to take action. If
nothing else, we must decide whether or not we
are part of the problem (remaining silent
on gun reform) or part of the solution (contact
Doing just one of the above could make a huge
difference in someone’s life. Let’s all do
Until next time…