The 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 "At school she becomes withdrawn, crying daily, covering her ears when it gets too loud, and waiting for this to happen again.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