I agree: My Response to the Sandy Hook Tragedy

A week ago something horrible happened.

I wasn’t going to write about this. I told myself that there doesn’t need to be another opinion on this matter. We need to get it off the television, the internet, the radio, the newspapers, and let these families grieve in peace. Let us all heal as a nation.

Then, laying in bed each night this week dreading drop off at school the next morning, all these questions came into my head: Is no one safe? Should I consider homeschooling? Why do we as a society have more gun violence than any other country? What contributed to this? Will it happen again?

Then I would tip toe out of bed, and look at my kids little faces sleeping sweetly… a privilege that I still, so thankfully have. A privilege that 20 families (and many others) do not have anymore because of a horrible acts of unspeakable violence.

After all that thinking I decided I have to get something off my chest.

I agree.

I agree that there is no need for the average Joe to have access to a weapon which its sole purpose is to shoot as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time.

I agree that there ARE responsible gun owners.

I agree that there too many families that suffer from gun violence even outside of the Sandy Hook Tragedy.

I agree there is a lack of medical care for those with mental illness.

I agree that waiting for someone with mental illness to commit a crime so we can lock them in jail is not the way to go.

I agree that people who have mental illness should have NO access to any kind of weapon.

I agree that there is a lack of spirituality in school.

I agree something needs to be done before we forget.

I agree. You agree. We agree.

Now what?

When you break it down so simply, we know what we need to do. So let’s just do it.

People who use and have military style guns for a hobby or simply because it is our second amendment “right” I think it is time to find a new hobby. I’m so sorry, but if my scrapbooking, sewing, painting, drawing, cooking, baking could in any way be in association with killing people (let alone its sole purpose) I would gladly give it up. Responsible gun owners know that anything can change at any moment. That mental illness can happen to anyone. Let’s help EVERYONE to be responsible, and have some real regulation.

People who know someone who is mentally ill. Parents, educators, family members, friends, and neighbors it is time to speak up. It is time to demand treatment. It is time to do everything you can with the little bit we do have. EVERYTHING! Not just sit idly by and hope that “They will grow out of this phase.” Enough with the social stigma that getting help is weak. Enough with these types of treatments not being covered. (Do you hear that insurance companies?)

People who want spirituality in school. I agree that if a child wants to bow their head and say a prayer of Thanksgiving to God, Jesus, or Allah before lunch then let them. If the Chicago Bears can say a prayer for a safe game, then certainly a child should be able to talk about Christmas, Yom Kippur, or Ramadan in a place where they feel safe. For some kids, school is their only sense of security and this security should include all aspects of a child’s life.

I’m going to get ripped to shreds for these thoughts. I know it.

However, just for a moment, put yourself any parents shoes who has lost a child to gun violence. The thoughts night after night… of what could have been… should have been. The choices that could have been made differently. The access to healthcare that could have been. The ease of getting weapons. The evil and sickness that exists.

Every. Single. Night. For the rest of your life.

Drop your guns. Lend a helping hand. Say a prayer. Call someone. Sign something. Give a dollar.

If not for your neighbor then for your child or any child you know.

A cure for cancer, life on Mars, another Nobel Peace prize are all possible. In fact, the inventors of these things could be sitting in your house watching Sesame Street right now. Let’s do all we can to help them do all that and more.

Agreed?

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