The United States Senate's failure to pass common sense gun safety measures -- the Manchin-Toomey Amendment to expand background checks to keep guns away from underage or dangerous people, and amendments to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines designed only to kill as many human beings as possible -- is a moral failure of great magnitude. Once again the safety of children has been sacrificed by political leaders in service to the gun lobby. As Americans do we value guns more than the lives of children? Do we really want to continue to have political leaders who kowtow to the threats and money and half-truths of the gun lobby and who think their political jobs are more important than the right of children to live and learn and grow up in safety?
I spent much of Thursday night virtually holding my 21-year-old niece's hand -- and she mine. She was alone in her house in Newton, MA, across the Mass Pike from Waterbury, and she could hear the explosions and the sirens. "Is this normal?" she asked as we texted through the night. It is now. Over and over we learn -- that we can't protect our children, that we can't guarantee tomorrow, that we should treasure today because tomorrow a crazy police chase might lock down your neighborhood. That is something lost, yes, but it is also something found. This is not the first time we have been knocked off our feet, and we are not the first generation to pick ourselves back up. That is normal. It will take us a while. We'll mourn and grieve and recalibrate. And then... We'll get started.