They experienced similar losses when their children, Daniel Barden, 7, and Dylan Hockley, 6, were killed in a school shooting massacre along with 24 others at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December. 14, 2012.
“When it hits me, especially in an unexpected way, it just completely knocks me over”, Hockley said. If defined as an event at which four or more people were shot, it’s the 294th. When communities of color have fought for strict gun control laws, as they did in Chicago, they are undermined by lax gun control laws in bordering cities and states. And later that day, there was a mass shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. The reporting is routine.
Instead of waiting for the nation to be shocked into action on gun control, we should look to other moments in USA history where what had once seemed normal, though deadly, became seen as aberrant and intolerable. The debate goes on, but our children need us now.
What are lawmakers waiting for, a gun-related disaster that’s so big, so gruesome, so horrifying that the NRA and its enablers won’t say, “How dare you politicize these deaths while the bodies are still warm”, and “What we need to prevent gun violence is more guns”? So the notion that gun laws don’t work, or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens and criminals will still get their guns is not borne out by the evidence. “Our thoughts remain with them, the loved ones killed, those injured, and the countless traumatized”.
So, tonight, as those of us who are lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer are thinking about the families who aren’t so fortunate, I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save lives, and to let young people grow up. Pew reported in August the results of a bipartisan survey on gun rights versus gun control, showing support for gun control was down to about 50 per cent of Americans, while support for the rights of gun owners was at 47 per cent. In 1993, that gap between the two views was much greater: 57 per cent in favour of gun control versus 35 per cent support for gun ownership rights. “When it happens in your backyard, people start reassessing”. “What saddens us is that we also know that, as usual, facts will come to light about the warning signs and signals the shooter gave to others, who then took no action to intervene”.