This past week another mass murder occurred. It went almost unnoticed in the press. I guess we have set a new bar — 26 people have to be killed, I suppose — before the story can make it past a sound bite at the end of the telling of the news cycle for that day. Is this the America we want to be?
When Sandy Hook occurred, people rose up. The gun lobby rose up as well. Our Congress caved. They caved — let’s face it. They looked out for themselves, they took the easy path.
Sandy Hook was the 9/11 for any parent in America. It was the moment when all of our hearts were collectively broken, and the shame we felt as a nation at the fact that something like this could happen so easily here was universal.
Universal shame is important to not forget. The lessons of history are important to keep alive.
It’s summer now. Folks are weary of fighting and working to no avail on this issue. They need time at the barbecue and visiting family and taking hikes or escaping into their gardens for some R&R. This is natural, this is necessary. But we must keep in mind the following. This fall a new generation of parents will drop their 5-year-olds off at kindergarten each day, and we need to make sure they are safe. This fall our representatives will return from time off, and we need to be there to greet them saying: We have not forgotten, and if you don’t act with courage this time around and face down the gun lobbies, we will put you out of office.
For the parents and loved ones, and the community of Sandy Hook, there is no forgetting, no comfortable distance that can come with time, no sound bite or news cycle that can ever, ever take away the moment-to-moment pain and heartbreak of having had their most precious loved ones gunned down at the end of an assault weapon, their bodies splattered, ripped apart and destroyed forever.
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