I have been meaning to write a reflective post in regards to the recent Newtown, CT mass school shooting. At 9:30am this last Friday morning, as I was eating my cereal breakfast at home, I watched CNN as the news anchors got the first pieces of information on a supposed school shooting in this sleepy New England town. I carried on about my day after hearing the news; at that time there were no details to report on numbers, fatalities, etc. Coming home for lunch in between moving out of Aphi and back home for winter break, I turned CNN back on around 2pm. The reports by this time were different, disturbing you could say. At this point, news outlets were reporting between 20 and 30 fatalities from an ELEMENTARY school, Sandy Hook to be exact, due to a mentally ill young man who entered the school with multiple fire arms, including a Glock and an assault rifle. Tears filled my eyes as images flashed on the screen of moms, dads, and families congregating in the streets near this elementary school in Newtown. As one anchor said that afternoon, “this will definitely be a day we will always remember.” Indeed, that it is.
Today the U.S. has the highest rate of fatalities due to gun violence out of all the developed nations. That is simply ridiculous! What’s more, is that there are still organizations like the NRA, and many individual advocates, who claim the obivous solution moving forward from the Newtown tragedy is to arm public school officials. Oh why didn’t I think of that? Let’s just arm everyone in this country, that will definitely solve the problem. ……People come on! As a country we can’t honestly be that ignorant, right? It is shocking that many Americans continue to believe that adding more guns to the mix would help rather than hurt. Does no one remember “An eye for an eye leaves the world blind?” What we need are less guns, stricter access to guns, especially assault rifles, and easier access and more affordable mental long term mental health care and support. A lesser amount of guns in this country will not mean that another horrific school shooting will never happen again, but it does help move us in the right direction. In summary, violence is never the answer and we would do well to remember that moving forward from the tragedy in Newtown.