I was at the airport on the way to visit a couple of friends for the weekend when I heard the news. The impossible to believe news. The horrific news that a gunman had entered an elementary school and opened fire. All I wanted was to turn around, leave the airport, go home and hug my baby girl close and never let go.
Twenty children's parents will not be able to do that. TWENTY 6 and 7 year olds slain. Forty parents with heartbreakingly empty arms this Christmas. Twenty seven slain in all.
This is what the gunman used (I refuse to use his name) to open fire on rooms of first graders. Each victim had 3-7 gunshots. Yes, the TWENTY 6-7 year olds were shot at least 3 times each. With this. A legal and well priced rifle.
People will say not to politicize such a tragedy, and I'm not politicizing it. I'm asking that we honor the horrific, unimaginable loss these parents have experienced by making sure it NEVER. HAPPENS. AGAIN.
In 2010 (the most recent year with comprehensive data from the FBI), the US had 12,996 murders, 8,775 of which were caused by firearms. No other industrialized nation has these horrific statistics.
We MUST do something about this. A Congresswoman was shot in the head and a 9 year old girl who went to hear her speak was killed (among others) and we did absolutely nothing. A college was ravaged by a gunman and students jumped from windows to get to safety. And we did nothing. People peacefully at worship in Wisconsin were shot and women and children hid in closets. And we did nothing.
And now 27 people have been killed, shot multiple times each, twenty of whom were 6 and 7 year old children. We can't sit by and do nothing. We MUST change our policies and our sickening gun culture.
After one man tried to blow up his shoes in an airport, every single American from then on had to take off their shoes to board an airplane. How many children have to die before we affect change in gun regulation?
When thinking of places to give this holiday season, think of those 20 children who won't be with their families on Christmas and give to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
And when you're sitting around playing on your computer, take a minute and email your congressman to ask him or her to DO SOMETHING to stop the violence. Find your representative by zip code here: http://www.house.gov/
And if you have another minute, take note of these congressmen who took money from the NRA this year.
There are no words to express the sadness over this horrible tragedy, just none. My heart aches for those lost and their families. My body wracks with ugly sobs each day and I've hugged my little girl a little closer and a little longer.
But there are words for what our country must do next. Please contact your congressman, please donate to the Brady Campaign. Please DO SOMETHING. We can't let mass murders like this continue in our country.