Newtown, Connecticut’s School Shooting—and the Lesson We May Never Learn
Even as the bloody details are emerging from suburban Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, we know the entire story. The number of killed in this eruption may be higher than ever before in American history, and the median ages of the dead may be the youngest yet. Both the statistics and the personal stories of anguish and loss are staggering, unthinkable and horrifying.
The fact is, it's December 14, 2012, and none of us can be sure that the lone-gunman massacre of children in Connecticut will not be replicated or surpassed by the time the 2013 New Year rolls around.
It might seem trite to say that the holiday season is ruined—this year, and every year going forward—for scores of families in Connecticut. A shattered Christmas may seem like the least of the damage done. But the premature, senseless (you will read this word everywhere) death of any human being destroys entire universes of loving, interconnected relationships. The ripples of loss extend from primary families to cousins and in-laws, to neighbors and coworkers of those cousins and in-laws, to schoolchildren throughout the country and to every parent or friend of a parent who has a child in a school.
That we need to address and stop gun violence is the only lesson to be learned from this morning’s shooting in Connecticut—the very same lesson that was there to be learned from each of this year’s many mass shootings, from every domestic dispute solved by gunfire, every accidental gun death, every drive-by killing, every suicide by gunshot.
Gun violence is a major issue of our time and place.
Once again, now is the time to urge your government and civic leaders to step forward and solve our nation’s horrific plague of gun violence.
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