Today Charlotte Bacon should be opening gifts.
Stuffed animals surely, which she loved, her favorite being her lamb. In fact she loved anything and everything associated with animals.
After all, Charlotte was going to be Veterinarian one day...she knew this since she was two years old.
She should be getting new clothes---clothes to accommodate the evolving taste and size of a soon to be 7-year-old. One thing is for sure-they would most certainly be pink , for she was "addicted"-as her loved ones put it, to the color which matched her vibrant personality.
But for Charlotte, there will be no stuffed animals, no pink clothes, no birthday cake, no candles to blow out, no 7th Birthday.
Because she's dead.
On December 14, 2012, Charlotte was sitting in class, in a place of security, of learning, a place which symbolized for a six-year-old girl, the excitement and hope of today, and the potential and promise of tomorrow.
And then security turned into danger, hope into panic--life into death. Charlotte was shot and killed by a Bushmaster XM-15 Assault Rifle, by a round which travels at more than 3,000 feet per second.
For Charlotte, today was over-and tomorrow would never come.
Since Charlotte, and 25 others were shot and killed at Newtown 70 days ago, over 2,050 Americans have been killed by Guns. That's 513 "Benghazis"-nearly 7 a day-in America. That's nearly equal to the number of Americans killed in the over decade War in Afghanistan.
Including this ten-year-old in Minnesota, this mother and her two children in Denver , these three on the strip in Las Vegas, this teenager in Brooklyn, these two students in Maryland , this elderly man in Ohio, this mother in Detroit, this heroic Bus Driver in Alabama, this pregnant woman in Cincinnati , this woman who accidentally shot and killed herself in Florida, these four during a shooting spree in California, this toddler in South Carolina, this ex-Navy sniper in Texas, and this 15-year-old majorette in Chicago.
And for what? Why?
Why must Charlotte's parents, like the loved ones of all those killed by gun violence, suffer today, and tomorrow, and every day for the rest of their lives?
Because the sanctity of the Second Amendment trumps the sanctity of life? Because we fear our brother more than we love them-more than we love Charlotte-and all the other children and Americans killed by Guns?
Because we value the ambiguous opinions of a dozen or so men who lived over 225 years ago, more than we do the lives of 300 Million Americans today?
Understand, this is not the politicization of death, nor is it an attempt to use a tragedy to push a "liberal" or "progressive" agenda.
This is an attempt to push, to promote, to make real, a basic agenda that is inherent to all of us.
Simply, Guns are antithetical to this agenda. Their most basic function is to end life--to kill their target.
Targets like Charlotte.
Will Universal Background checks, or bans on Assault Rifles or large clips, wholly eradicate all senseless murder, or loss of life? Of course not, it will no more do that than common sense laws eliminate all traffic fatalities. But we don't therefore say -more drunk drivers are the answer, or moreover-"Driver's licences are an inherent American right which should never be regulated or infringed upon".
We take steps, as a society, to keep our roads safe, to protect our drivers, to protect the children in the backseat.
We behave in a way which is congruent with our communal agenda:
Polls show a majority of Americans recognize the need to do the same with Guns---but Washington Politicians are shackled by fear, fear of casting a controversial vote, fear of losing their next election....
Fear which pales in comparison to that felt by Charlotte in the last moments of her life.
Today we must mourn with Charlotte's family, we must imagine their pain, while also appreciating and celebrating the value of life, and identifying the steps necessary to preserve it.
Because after all, Charlotte could have been your child, and any of those 2,050 killed since her death could of been you, or your wife or husband, your mother or father.
You.. we, must demand action.
We must demand a vote.
For Charlotte, for the life and future that she, like so many others, senselessly lost, and for all the lives and futures we can save.
"The light of a distant star continues to reach the Earth long after
the star itself is gone."
Be Good Friends,