As the events at Sandy Hook Elementary unfolded last year, I and the other mothers of America were given an ultimatum: Act now to reduce gun violence in America or sit by as these senseless tragedies continue to occur in our communities. We chose to act.
It does take courage to live with faith and conviction in a society where children lose their lives, where young people go hungry and live in poverty, where senseless violence plagues us. But it's the only answer. Our actions and our words are the only way to push back.
The day had gone from being a routine December Friday in a historic and ornamented slice of CT, to a frenzy of standstill traffic, hovering helicopters palatable anxiety, and a swarm of media lining the narrow Sandy Hook sidewalks; the glow of holiday decorations all but obliterated by the harsh glare of their television lights.
The public is owed more information. We all want to know if there were opportunities to forestall such a gruesome tragedy. At the same time, we need to ensure that his story does not provide an insupportable platform for demonizing those with a mental illness.
A larger question that the release of the tapes raises -- given that their exposure clearly comes with a price -- indeed any coverage of such incidents does -- is what ultimately can and should come of it.
On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012 inside the walls of Sandy Hook Elementary, our school endured a tragedy beyond comprehension. 26 lives were taken far too soon, senselessly and brutally. In the midst of such unimaginable loss, loss that could have very well been the loss of my own life, I had to find meaning again.
As a society we do not emphasize enough the important role that parents play in the lives of children. Let's get back to basics: parents.
This week we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as we prepare to mark the one-year anniversary of the massacre of school children in Sandy Hook.
By targeting and stigmatizing the mentally ill, especially in the absence of a coherent risk-identification strategy, the effect may be to discourage people who need help from seeking it, while also stripping away the rights of a huge group of people who will likely never commit a violent act.
It's obvious at this point that the gun lobby is doing everything in its ability to kick the can down the road. But as we have seen, time and time again, the issue is not going anywhere.
Viewing the "monsters" in our midst not by what they do but rather by what they suffer, is less a challenge of empathy than it is of imagination. Empathy, particularly selective empathy is simple.
Perhaps we vindicate Job by refusing to blame the poor for their poverty, by proclaiming the story of a mother who lost her child to a random act of gun violence, or by listening to the suffering of refugees in war-torn countries such as Syria.
Websites must stop enabling the sale of guns without background checks. Doing so, they can and will save countless lives and prevent more tragedies from happening.
On December 14, I sat in a firehouse surrounded by large group of concerned parents all wanting to know where our missing children were. I didn't know any of them. I didn't know that I would form a bond with this group of strangers that would forever connect us through tragedy.
There will come a day, probably sooner rather than later, when events like "Guns Save Lives Day" will no longer be viable fundraisers, when changing demographics will result in an American public that is totally offended and alienated by such antics.
In the wake of Sandy Hook, the nation was confronted with the long overdue question of gun safety and individual liberty. But there is another long overdue question. Why are there no medals for teachers?