It’s hard to believe that there’s a parent anywhere who was not touched by the Newtown massacre in some way, but for the moms who went through the ultimate heartbreak of losing their child so horrifically, words cannot express the void that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
The fact that some of these parents have been able to channel even a portion of their grief into action by advocating for more responsible gun laws is amazing.
On the eve of the President’s gun-control proposal that bans assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines (such as those used by Adam Lanza in the Newtown shooting), the families of 11 victims of Sandy Hook have come forward asking for a national dialogue on what they are calling “gun responsibility.”
According to CNN, recent polls suggest that more than three months after the Newtown killings, public backing for major new gun laws has dropped.
Conversely, in the last 24 hours there were not one, but two, tragic gun deaths involving small children. In New Jersey, a 4-year-old boy killed his 6-year-old neighbor by accidentally shooting him in the head. Meanwhile in Tennessee, another 4-year-old boy was accused of accidentally shooting and killing the wife a sheriff's deputy at a family cookout.
Could these two particular tragedies have been prevented by enacting stronger laws? That is no longer the point of this debate.
I believe that if stronger gun laws can prevent even one senseless death from happening — especially the death of young child — that we owe it to kids everywhere to advocate for stronger regulation.
What the powerful gun lobby may not want you to know is that most gun owners — many of them loving, responsible parents — actually welcome some types of regulation, and would be happy to debate the issue like adults, and even (dare I say it?) come to some kind of consensus.
Instead, members of fringe groups wear fully strapped holsters to protest rallies and complain vehemently that their freedoms will be violated by things like mandatory background checks. These are the people who get on the news, and they dominate the media.
Meanwhile, politicians beholden to the powerful gun lobby swear they will deadlock any legislation by filibustering it to death, which inevitably leads fair-minded, reasonable people to no longer see the point of trying.
Moms, we need to try. We owe it to our kids and to the parents of Newtown to demand the action we felt so strongly about just 100 days ago. I urge you to make the Sandy Hook Promise today. It only takes a minute, and you might literally save a child’s life.