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?
Sandy Hook Promise is bringing families to the table, and inviting everyone to take part in a nonpartisan conversation.
It wasn't a simple call-out. It had a special importance in that it came from Rabbi Andy Bachman of Brooklyn's Congregation Beth Elohim and it came during the Jewish festival of Sukkot.
Insurrectionist rhetoric might work well in marketing firearms to civilians on the far right wing of American politics. But with police chiefs and generals? Not so much.
I miss Em a lot lately. I miss everything about her sweet, beautiful face smiling up at me. There are days when my face, I am sure, looks a lot like Emilie's did the day we let her butterflies go.
How many families have to be devastated by the impact of this disease before we make mental illness a priority in this country? One in four is sick. If it were influenza, it would be an epidemic.