Sandy Hook was tragic and horrific.
I watched the news reports with my then infant daughter laying on a blanket on the floor next to me. I couldn’t help but feel the horror of what those parents must have been feeling, not knowing if their small child was alive or dead. Then I couldn’t help but imagine how it would feel to know and not like the answer.
Anyone who wasn’t horrified by what happened that day is someone without a soul.
The problem, though, is that some people expect that horror to only translate into support for gun control. Any refusal to support anti-gun measures is taken to mean you’re a soulless monster.
Which is why they have no problem turning what’s supposed to be a memorial for Sandy Hook into an anti-gun rally.
The Tri-Cities chapter of Moms Demand Action will gather Thursday to honor and mourn the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dec. 14 marks the sixth anniversary since the mass shooting, which took the lives of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut.
The service, which is one of about 200 held annually across the country commemorating the massacre, will be held at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church at 7 p.m.
“We are holding this remembrance service to honor the 26 innocent lives affected by gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary, as well as within our own community this past year,” co-organizer Jessica Joyner said Tuesday.
Joyner said the event was also organized to continue encouraging lawmakers to do more to end gun violence and institute “common-sense gun laws” in the wake of shootings that have happened since then, including the February mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead; the October massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, which left 11 dead; and the November mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, which left more than a dozen dead after a gunman opened fire in the Borderline Bar and Grille.
It’s not a memorial. It’s not to honor those innocent lives lost.
It’s an excuse. It’s a pressure-point, an attempt to twist arms behind the backs of lawmakers to enact gun control regardless of any evidence proving it doesn’t work.
It’s an anti-gun rally wearing a memorial skinsuit.
Meanwhile, let’s also remember that any effort by the National Rifle Association (NRA) or another pro-gun group to hold a similar event, only pointing out that gun control failed in the case of Sandy Hook or advocating for armed teachers, would be held up as “insensitive” and monstrous. It would be lambasted in the media, both traditional and social, and would be argued to be a sign that pro-gun groups are out of touch.
The thing is, it would be right.
The killer in Sandy Hook murdered his mother in an attempt to get his hands on a firearm. How do you stop something like that? You don’t. You can’t prevent that kind of evil.
But you can empower people to meet that kind of evil and put it down like a rabid dog.