It was just a scant five years ago when a young man named Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in the worst mass school shooting in US history. On December 14, it happened again. This time it was Adam Lanza shooting elementary school students, but the result was the same: A country goes into mourning and many changes are discussed and then, in the case of Virginia Tech, nothing changes.
Let's not let that happen again. This week Virginia Tech football players will honor Sandy Hook with decals on their helmets that read “Prevail,” a tribute from the scene of one mass shooting to another. But God. Doesn't it seem wrong that they have to?
Shouldn't something have been done about this already?
There have been 31 school shootings in the US since gun toting teenagers opened fire on Columbine High School in Colorado. How do we accept this as the norm and do nothing about it?
It's beautiful and lovely that the people of Virginia Tech want to honor the people of Sandy Hook. After all, no one could possibly understand what it's like to go through something like this, other than someone who has been through it. I am sure Sandy Hook will prevail. I am sure they will band together and support one another and come out strong. But there are other changes we could make as a country to avoid anything like this happening again.
Will we "prevail" as a country? Will we do the right thing? It's unclear right now. The two main issues that need to be addressed are gun control and access to mental health care. It's clear. It's obvious. But for some reason, we've been slow to do anything about it. It makes no sense.
The tribute to Sandy Hook, while lovely and meaningful, is really just a reminder of our country's immense failure to make any real change in regards to guns.
So while we all grieve and hope that Sandy Hook will, indeed, "prevail," let's also hope that no one in Sandy Hook ever has to tell yet another mass shooting victim to do the same. Let's hope we can actually make some real changes to prevent -- or at least lessen -- future tragedies like this.
Does this break your heart, too?
Image via nightthree/Flickr