Please bear with me as I try to make sense of this senseless tragedy.
On Friday December 14, 2012, the lives of twenty children and 6 adults brutally ended when a shooter armed with an assault rifle entered the Sandy Hook
Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Among those killed was a 6-year old angel, Ana – the daughter of Nelba and Jimmy Greene.
I’m sure that Friday morning started out like most other school days. Parents lovingly deposited their children on school buses or dropped them off at the front door of the school in what they considered a safe, secure environment.
But, by mid-morning, the scene was anything but idyllic.
No bright yellow school buses stood waiting.
No throng of smiling faces met these parents.
Instead, parents were met by an untold number of police cars, swat teams, ambulances, confusion and tears. And in the case of Nelba and
Jimmy Green and the other parents-
they received the unthinkable news…
their child was dead.
I’m sure it’s heartbreaking to lose a child under any circumstances but especially so when it’s a senseless act of violence.
When I did consulting work for city schools, I had to ring a buzzer and put my name on a visitor list to gain entrance to the building housing precious children.
Before the Sandy Hook massacre, I hadn’t given much thought to this “security measure”. Like most of us, I thought this was enough. However, upon reflection, I now see it wasn’t enough. I don’t recall ever being questioned about the purpose of my visit before being admitted.
Someone simply buzzed me in.
I now wonder if such a step as asking the nature of one’s visit to Sandy Hook Elementary School would have given pause to the shooter.
Of course, we have no way of knowing if that measure would have changed the course of events. But in the aftermath of such a tragic event, one can’t help but “wonder”…
Is better security needed in our schools?
Could improved security prevented the tragedy at Sandy Hook?
What about our gun control laws?
How can we ensure that no one else has access to an assault rifle using it to murder innocent children?
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, between 2006 and 2010, 47,856 people were murdered in the U.S. by firearms, more than twice as many as were killed by all other means combined.
Right now if you don’t have a criminal record and you have not been judged as mentally incompetent, you can buy guns.
Although a background check is required, each check doesn’t accurately represent a single gun purchase or the mental state of the purchaser.
For example, if one were to purchase two or three guns at one time, there would be only one background check. And, if there is no documented history of mental illness or violence, a permit is issued.
I don’t know why a person would commit such horrible acts as the ones in Newtown,CT, Aurora, Arizona, or Virginia Tech or how easy it is for guns to get into the hands of unstable people who mean to hurt or kill.
I do think the answer to this problem lies with our elected officials. This country needs to look seriously at way the licensing
and registration processes are handled for gun ownership.
Stricter licensing and registration, more vigorous background checks and definitely a ban on assault weapons would be a great start toward preventing tragedies such as the one in Newtown, CT.
My heartfelt condolences and prayers go to Nelba and Jimmy Green and to all the other families affected by this senseless tragedy.
And, as a reminder for the rest of us…
- Take time to let your children, family, and friends know that you love them.
- Never part company with your love ones on an angry note.
- Make each moment memorable…every day!
- Create lasting memories with pictures, videos and letter writing.
- Push away petty grievances and accept your love ones (especially difficult family members) for who they are.
Doing just one of the above could make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Now is not the time to sit idly by and stay mired in “what if’s” or “why’s”. It’s time to take action. If nothing else, we must decide whether or not we are part of the problem (remaining silent on gun reform) or part of the solution (contact your elected officials).
Let’s all do something NOW!