My heart broke on December 14, 2012. Many of us are still in shock. How could something like this happen in Newtown? How could the shooter be from my neighborhood? My shock immediately turned into anger at the politicians who failed to protect our children and our teachers because they consistently align with the gun lobby to further their political careers rather than passing sensible laws to prevent gun violence.
I am also angry with myself for not doing anything after a decade of news of other mass shootings in schools, malls and movie theaters and senseless gun deaths in our cities. I am culpable for the escalation of gun violence and for proliferation of guns in our society with my silence. I did not pay attention. I never looked at the NRA ratings. I never sent a letter or an e-mail or made a phone call to our elected representatives to ask them to do something about the escalation of gun violence in our country. I am forever changed by what happened on December 14th. I promised to get engaged to honor the 26 lives lost by doing everything I can to create the change that is necessary for our children to grow up feeling safe in schools and other public places.
I worked with 16 other co-founders to launch the Sandy Hook Promise and I fully support their long term mission to reduce the culture of violence in our nation. The state and federal lawmakers are moving fast in response to one of the most horrific events our country has seen and I feel compelled to work to ensure that our lawmakers strengthen the laws to protect our children from gun violence.
I have made a decision to work with Newtown Action Alliance (NAA), a grass roots organization being formed by a group of Newtown residents who traveled down to march in Washington DC on January 26th. The NAA will be fighting to strengthen the gun laws for marked reduction in gun violence and death in our town, our state and our country. The Connecticut General Assembly’s Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety is expected to present a bill by February 15th and the General Assembly is expected to vote on a bill by the end of this month.
I encourage anyone who is interested in helping the NAA to sign up for the e-mail alerts: https://tinyletter.com/NewtownAction and “LIKE” NAA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NewtownActionAlliance . Please attend the NAA Action meeting on Thursday, February 7th at 7pm in the Alexandria Room at Edmond Town Hall on 45 Main Street in Newtown.
The NAA sent its first “Newtown Action Alliance Action Alert” on Saturday encouraging Connecticut residents to make phone calls and to send letters/e-mails to some lawmakers that need our special attention. I believe it is critical for Connecticut to pass the most comprehensive gun safety legislation that this country has ever seen. The State of New York passed its bold legislation last month. The world is watching Newtown and Connecticut! Please join me and take action!