On Friday morning, my husband and I were stressed. He needed to catch his train. The kids were playing, instead of brushing their teeth, throwing on jackets and heading out the door. The cars were in the wrong place. I needed to take the Jeep. It was blocked by the minivan.
We were short with each other. We were frustrated.
Within a few hours, Newtown had happened. Everything else faded away.
20 children murdered. Probably about the same age as my daughters.
We will soon see the innocent faces of these young victims. And the grief will be overwhelming. Heroic teachers undoubtedly saved lives in Newtown. But so many grieving families. Lives completely shattered. For no reason at all.
And it happened at a school that has more security than the elementary school where I send my children.
By chance, my elementary school had a test of their emergency evacuation procedures today. As all of our kids filed out of the school, there was an eerie quiet. I’m sure very few if any of the children knew about what had happened. But the adults knew and you could feel it.
We took our children home. Yes, we had the privilege of taking our children home.
I kept it together all day. Until I heard about a little boy in Newtown who had to be told that his sister had died. “Now I will have no one to play with,” he reportedly said. And my tears began to fall. And they kept pouring down.
We will remember these beautiful children. We will remember the principal and other adults who left families behind. But nothing we can do will bring them back. And that is agonizing.
And yes, it is time to talk about gun control. We live in an incredibly violent society where more than 30,000 people are killed each year in the U.S. because of gun violence. Among 23, high-income countries, 80% of all firearm deaths occur in the United States. Guns can be sold in the U.S. without a background check to screen out criminals or the mentally ill. Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths.
We only have to look at other countries to see that gun control works.
The violence in the U.S. won’t stop until we demand it.
I demand it.
I feel so lucky tonight. Lucky to tuck four children into bed. To feel like I could protect them. Even if I know in my heart, I really can’t.
Source of gun statistics: Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence