Sandy Hook Mom Writes Heartbreaking Letter Showing That the Shooting Tragedy Is Far From Over

heart-shaped balloonsThe Sandy Hook shooting last December changed our world forever, but the sad truth is that in ways that matter, it hasn't changed at all. Though the images have faded for many, the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School -- both those of the victims and survivors -- are living with the post-massacre trauma every day. And it's painful and frustrating that people are living it while no one has done anything to prevent it from happening again.

Mom Carrie Battaglia posted a heartfelt letter on the Newtown Action Alliance blog this week that details the nightmare her three daughters, ages 2, 6, and 8, have lived since the shooting. She describes how her 6-year-old was huddled with 14 other children just one room away from the one in which Adam Lanza carried out his sick plan. She wrote: “She heard everything. Shooting. Screaming. Pleading. She was sure she was going to die that day and did not want to die for Christmas.”

Now, she struggles with constant nightmares, has trouble sleeping, and is constantly afraid. "At school she becomes withdrawn, crying daily, covering her ears when it gets too loud, and waiting for this to happen again. She is 6."

Her third-grade daughter was evacuated to the fire house that day, but she sat not knowing if her sister was alive. Battaglia wrote: "She struggles with the concept that there is evil in the world, that something this horrific could happen to this town, to her, to her sisters, to her friends. She is 8."

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She says while she is deeply grateful that her daughters "by the grace of God" came home that day, they are also heartbroken for the many others who did not. And she is furious.

Furious that 26 families must suffer with grief so deep and so wide that it is unimaginable.
Furious that the innocence and safety of my children’s lives has been taken.
Furious that someone had access to the type of weapon used in this massacre.
Furious that this type of weapon is even legal.
Furious that gun makers make ammunition with such high rounds and our government does nothing to stop them.
Furious that the ban on assault weapons was carelessly left to expire.
Furious that lawmakers let the gun lobbyists have so much control.
Furious that somehow, someone’s right to own a gun is more important than my children’s rights to life.
Furious that common sense has gone out the window.
Furious that lawmakers are too scared to take a stand.

And we should all be this furious. There has to be a change -- a real, significant change. For starters, as she points out, "Weapons like the AR15 have no place in society." You don't have to be completely anti-gun to at least agree on that. "The second amendment is not limitless," she writes.

It's inexcusable that these innocent lives were viciously ended, and besides the shedding of tears, nothing has been done. How is that possible? Nothing is going to change what happened, but not doing everything we can to prevent it again is inexcusable.

What do you think of this mother's letter?


Image via MaretH./Flickr

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Melissa Lavallee

I agree with some guns shouldnt be legal but that doesnt mean people wont have them, but she needs to also realize a gun could save her chldrens lives also.

Melissa Lavallee

I agree with some guns shouldnt be legal but that doesnt mean people wont have them, but she needs to also realize a gun could save her chldrens lives also.

areyo... areyouatroll

I think the letter is ridiculous. There is nothing in the letter about mental health. Mentally healthy people do not commit crimes like this. Do guns kill people? Do pencils misspell words? Spoons make people fat? People do these things, not objects. People need more support and options to receive help for their mental health, not to leave US citizens completely defenseless against big government.

nonmember avatar Dawn

While I feel for this mother and would never want to even imagine myself in her position, I feel this letter is more grieving than sensical. I am sorry, but evil does exist and this person wanted to cause harm. Yes he did it with a gun, but it could have even been a knife. If someone wants to commit an act of violence they will use whatever weapon they can. Guns are not the issue, mental health is the real issue. Too many people who are seriously ill are swept under the radar. Guns will always be around and if we just take guns away, the only people who are left with them are the bad guys.

corri... corrinacs

I understand why she's furious.  I'm sure I'd hate guns too if one resulted in something like that related to my family.  But I am going to have to agree with areyouatroll.  With the global economy and governments being a little shaky, I feel compelled to be ready in case something drastic were to happen!  But I'm a mentally sane person and I'd never use a gun to kill innocent people, especially children!  I just know for a fact I'm incapable of doing that!  My husband does own guns including an AR-15.  But I also know he's a really responsible person!

I think we need to focus more on how we manage mentally unhealthy individuals.  We need to ensure that guns don't end up in the hands of these people!  We need to be sure that they are put into the care of doctors and institutions that will help them instead of sending them off into the real world and hoping for the best!!!  All of the cases of mass shootings (or bombings, or other drastic acts of voilence) you'll notice that they were commited with all sorts of weapons....but the connection is the mental health status of the perpetrator!!!

nonmember avatar TruthWins

So who was shedding tears? Not one of the parents interviewed shed a tear, not a single one. It's like they sucked so bad at acting sad they started celebrating their life the next interviews. Wake up people, the truth is there for you to see, just realize the reality you live in now is not reality at all. I did not have this view a couple months ago but something opened my eyes and I can't believe what I'm finding out. I am so glad I have been touched by the hand of love or god or whatever it was. Its something you will find on your own, I just hope it's not to late for you. The truth is there, you just have to search for it. Start with.. Bohemian Grove, Illumaniti, and MKUltra.

nonmember avatar Mae

She should be furious about the fact that no help was given to the killer or his mother,tho she sought help & treatment. Mental illness in this country doesn't exist UNTIL someone does something tragic, whether to themselves or others. Try, just try, to get help with serious depression, bipolar disease or mania through any avenues. There is NO HELP until you or the afflicted person commits a tragic act, then everyone wrings their hands and says, "If only we knew, if only there were something that could've been done" well there everyone who needs it,help them get the mental help they may need.

Until society starts demanding better treatment and ACCESS to treatment, these tragedies are likely to continue to occur, though hopefully none ever happen on the scale of Newtown.

I've struggled with severe depression for more than a few years. TRY to talk to someone, a friend, about it and watch the mocking and condenscention become evident in their eyes. TRY to talk to a doctor-they say, "you just have stress-take these pills and call 911 if you feel suicidal". TRY to get help through a government agency (HAHA)& by the time you finish the paperwork, your depression will have increased by 30% or more. People need help and there is none to be found (at least by people of my lower middle-class means). NONE. We suffer in silence and do our best to keep the demons at bay and hope like hell our children do not ever have to experience this or the lack of help available.

Amber Allen

I agree with everything that she said in her letter. It is time to make changes. I intend to fight for gun regulation.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Amber, Abra... what existing law, or one being proposed, would have stopped Adam Lanza?

The only people that ANY of these laws - either existing or proposed - will affect is those who choose to follow them. The people who are law-abiding citizens who would never dream of doing something so heinous. In fact, many of those people dream of being in a situation like this, pulling out their own weapon, and taking the shooter down, thereby saving lives.

jayha... jayhawk00

All these tragic shootings are a result of our failed mental health system.  It has nothing to do with gun control.   It doesn't matter how crazy someone is, it is impossible to permanently commit them or get them constant help and supervision.  The mental health system in the US is an utter failure.  They have to kill someone else or commit suicide before they are taken seriously.  Even Adam Lanza's dad gave up and left him.  Amber & Abra, go ahead and stay unarmed.   Do it. See how that works out for you when crazy down the street buys a gun on the black market, completely ignores the gun laws because they could care less, and goes looking for someone to kill.  

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