It isn’t lost on me that my last post before taking a hiatus was a reflection on the shooting in Aurora, Colorado. In that post, I’d asked:
What will change now? With each attack, each swing of mass violence, we lose an element of ourselves. AMC theaters say they will ban dressing up in costumes and bringing in fake weapon props. Will we move next into metal detectors and bag searches? Conveyor belt checkpoints on every entrance? Guards on the exit doors? What will be too little or too much? Where does it end?
On December 14, 2012, we saw that it doesn’t end. That the evil violence can crawl into the safe haven of a K through four school and cut down all trapped in the path. We lost 20 children and six staff in Sandy Hook Elementary School and the killer’s mother in her home. No sooner did the CNN breaking news e-mails kick out that the media spin began with listings of inaccurate facts and invasive journalists feeding on every bit. Note to reporters: Interviewing children minutes after they’ve survived a shooting is never okay. Ditto for focusing cameras on the faces and intimate moments of family members learning devastating news.
Those of us outside of the events started sharing our thoughts and emotions via social media. We prayed, cried, liked inspirational pictures on Facebook and started weighing in on the issues of gun control and mental health care. The fact that the target this time was little kids had sealed in a new level of horror and helplessness.
All week, I’ve been yearning for a way to make it all matter. To feel like there are some concrete actions we can embrace to work towards change in the face of yet another tragedy. There are no absolute answers. Just us in this moment, engulfed by the sadness with a choice to act in a new way. We can act so this isn’t a movement that ends once the cameras fade. That is the change.
Resources for Change (thanks to Connie Schultz for sharing these)
Looking to reach out and touch your friendly Congress peeps? Check out the Online Congressional Directory.
We can provide ongoing support to the community of Newtown via local organizations and relief funds.
Support the first responders through their grief and healing process with cards and letters:
Sandy Hook Vol. Fire and Rescue
18-20 Riverside Rd/Po Box 783
Sandy Hook, CT 06482
Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
77 Main Street
P.O. Box 344
Newtown, Ct. 06470
Newtown Police Department
3 Main Street
Newtown, CT 06470
Newtown Public Schools/Superintendent’s office:
3 Primrose Street
Danbury Hospital Emergency Room Staff
24 Hospital Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
I respect your struggle for answers, Barbara, and completely empathize. Thank you for being a positive light in the world. Leading by example the way you do, and helpful posts like these, can go a long way. Blessings to you!
I appreciate your sweet words, August! It is a feeling of wondering how can I do myself different in terms of energy and response. Baby steps, I guess, towards making a difference.
Wonderful way to make a difference Barbara…thanks for sharing with all of us!
Thanks, Natalie! I think action will bring many of us a sense of peace.
Yes, excellent ideas. Thank you, Barbara, for you thoughtful words.
Thanks for the support, S.J.
A fine call to action, Barb, and it’s so good to see you back!
Thanks, Patricia! Glad to be back.
Thank you, Barbara for the addresses of where to send cards and letters. That might just be the one thing I was needing and didn’t realize until just now that reaching out to the first responders is a step toward my own healing as well as theirs. It’s been a tough week for this nation, but this time I think there will be change. I’m just horrified it took little kids to be that catalyst for change.
Exactly, Tameri, on both points! I’ve been wondering what can I do as one person and realized that reaching out to others is a first step. Once the cameras are gone is sometimes when more dark moments set in. The first responders saw the aftermath of evil and I hurt for those visions. Change must spur from the death of these kids and those who tried to protect them. What is next if it doesn’t?