Soon after the horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, it became my fervent hope that family members of those that were slain would unite to promote a balanced, sensible approach to limit the number of similarly grieving individuals that are created in the future, and lo and behold, “Sandy Hook Promise” has been formed.
This organization of parents of the murdered children seeks a sensible, balanced approach to address: the proliferation of the type of guns which enable massacres of innocents to be completed within seconds, mental health, and school security, all of which are areas which we must tackle.
The inauguration of Sandy Hook Promise occurred with a gathering of parents clutching photographs of their precious and beloved children. That evening, a network newscast aired a moving and poignant story featuring the family of victim Daniel Barden, the little boy with missing front teeth who aspired to become a firefighter. Despite the palpable agony which Daniel’s survivors endure, they have been brave and courageous enough to discuss their plight with the media on multiple occasions. In the latest interview, Mrs. Barden states her disbelief that it could be only one month since the slaughter, and wonders how she will be able to live with this sorrow for the rest of her life. She was asked whether she reflects upon that fateful day, an unfortunate question. She stated that she tries not to, as it is too painful. As she had difficulty maintaining her composure, her 10-year-old daughter Natalie sought to comfort her. I would challenge anyone to watch this story without being overcome with emotion.
I want the family members of the deceased children to testify before Congress, look our Representatives and Senators in the eye, show them photographs of their once-happy and carefree boys and girls, tell them of the unimaginable emptiness and pain that they feel and shall endure for the rest of their lives, and insist that doing nothing is not an option now.
I do not believe that 20 first graders and the six heroic adults that died along with them should be considered collateral damage in the fight for an absolute, unlimited, Second Amendment. For individuals like U.S. Representative Tim Murphy to classify as a “distraction” legislation which would seek to keep high-powered weaponry and ammunition out of the hands of the homicidal is an insult and affront to his constituents.