In a year that has witnessed many tragedies, the horrific shooting that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday morning left a nation reeling. A first-grade classroom should be a safe haven for children. It is incomprehensible that the sanctity of that place could be violated with such unspeakable violence.
It has been over ten years since the federal ban on automatic weapons expired due to the influence of the National Rifle Association. A powerful and well-funded special interest group, the NRA is not going to allow even a modest gun control measure to pass. However, as we learned in the last presidential election, democracy is more powerful than money.
The truth is that with the number of high powered assault weapons floating around in America, combined with the number of people that suffer from untreated mental health issues this deadly situation can happen anywhere and at any time.
In the past when I have heard about a shooting there has been a part of me, right or wrong, that has thought, 'It couldn't happen here.' After this last incident, however, I keep thinking, 'Next time it could happen here.'
As a society we deserve better than this. Our children deserve better than this. We should all demand changes in our laws and culture so that we don't feel unsafe when we go to school.. or to the mall.. or to the movies.. or to our house of worship.