Emilie's birth and Mother's Day are emotionally so connected for me. They are one and the same. I was truly blessed to have been given such a sweet angel, and since her death at Sandy Hook, I have missed her every moment of every day.
As a rabbi, I am enraged not at guns but at the casual violence afflicting our country, and the way we have grown immune to it. I do not accept the NRA's claim that "guns are not the problem," but I do agree that guns are not the main problem. This is a moral crisis, and it requires a moral response.
Is it unreasonable to imagine that a child or children in one part of the world may be helped, simply because one person in another part of the world decided to run a few miles?
The members of our union will not condone officers abusing their communities' trust. But we will always stand with officers across this nation who keep us safe and who strengthen our communities. It is sickening to see law enforcement targeted with violence, as they have been nationwide in recent months.
Newtown Kindness is an organization which was was formed after 6-year-old Charlotte Bacon passed away in the Sandy Hook school shootings.
On February 26, the FCC will do something that few have ever accused the government of doing. It will recognize reality and act appropriately. That, in a nutshell, is the debate over net neutrality. Just as plain telephone service connected people and was regulated, now it's data services. Calls or video are all just megabits. Telephone companies couldn't discriminate in their traffic then, neither should they or cable companies be able to play favorites or manipulate customers now. That basic, regulated fairness is what allowed the Internet to develop, a point some current opponents seem to miss, whether blinded by ideology or money. But if you listen to the anguished cri de coeur from the loyal defenders of the big telecom companies, you would think the FCC's action was a government coup d'interconnecter -- a takeover of The Internet.
What would happen if all of us critically examined our basic story of America and see if those stories cause us to make assumptions about people in our lives? What would happen if people could meet each other and see unique individuals with unique stories rather than characters in a pre-existing, pre-scripted story?
At the start of every New Year, many make resolutions and most having every intention of keeping them. However, as the days and weeks pass they often are forgotten or set aside, replaced with the activities of everyday life!
With all this holiday festivity, it may be hard to understand how there's room for anything but Merry; yet every year I struggle with mixed emotions. As much as I want to embrace all the cheer around me, I also feel stressed by all the preparations; I miss my family and the memories of Christmases past.
This month marked the two-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school tragedy in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. In a report on State Mental Health Legislation in 2014, NAMI noted that on the first anniversary of the tragedy last year, Americans could see progress flowing from both the White House Conference on Mental Health and state legislation. This year, progress has slowed.
To all of you who, like me, struggle through this time of year: Please be gentle with yourself. If grief visits, let it. Reach out if you need help. Set clear boundaries and don't be afraid to honor them even when you're feeling pressured not to. Don't force things.
What changed for my family in the two years since Newtown? One word: treatment. Before Newtown, I was afraid to speak up and demand help for my son. After Newtown, in large part because I shared our family's private tragedy, my son, unlike Adam Lanza, got the help he needed.
It hurts. It just hurts. You suppress your feelings as much as you can because you fear if you really let it out, you would never recover. And here's the thing -- you didn't have to be that mom. For all the moms and dads reading this now -- this doesn't have to be you.
In the days and weeks following December 14, 2012 I was left reeling. I was searching for answers (that would never come), desperately trying to regain a sense of security and safety.
Today, Natalie is no longer concerned with pretend monsters because she learned -- in the worst way imaginable -- about the real threats to our families and communities.
We cannot ignore this simple truth: Too many shootings occur because improper weight is given to the risks that come with gun ownership, particularly in homes with children and teens. A gun in the home increases the risk of an unintentional shooting, suicide and homicide.