I just allow a fragment of your life to wander free. But losing everything is like the sun going down on me.
— Elton John
As I slowly recovered from the shock of the tragic events that unfolded in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, I watched/read/listened with growing disbelief to the reaction of many Americans to the shooting of 20 children and six school officials at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Before the blood on the schoolhouse walls had even dried, a great number of ghouls who apparently bear not one thread of human decency started defending Americans’ rights to own semi-automatic weapons like the killing machine used to end the lives of the 20 innocents in Newtown.
They toted out all the tired cliches: “If we take away the Second Amendment rights of decent citizens to own guns, then only criminals will have guns. ... This just shows that we need to arm every law-abiding citizen. ... Guns don’t kill, it’s people who kill. ... You’ll take my guns when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.”
What was most disgusting about this NRA-fueled gun lovefest was that very few of the people who spoke out against any kind of legislation that would curtail the ownership of these weapons of mass destruction offered even a passing note of sympathy for the senseless loss of the lives of 20 6- and 7-year-old children, babies who were just starting to understand what life is. For them, the children were mere casualties of their ongoing self-proclaimed war.
I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, that we as American citizens — no matter how we feel personally about guns — are indeed guaranteed the right to arm ourselves. It’s right there in the Constitution. But I don’t recall any amendment guaranteeing us the right to own weapons that have the capacity for such wanton violence and destruction. And, other than a misguided lust for power that owning such weapons brings, I see no use for the weapons other than what happened in Newtown.
As the nation slowly comes to grips with the horror of the Connecticut massacre, and the call for more control over such devastating weapons has grown, the fervor of gun advocates has increased to fever pitch. Their message: We need to keep our weapons — all weapons — at any cost.
To those advocates, I’d like to present to you a list, one many of you are seeing for the very first time:
Avielle Richman, 6; Caroline Previdi, 6; Madeleine Hsu, 6; Allison Wyatt, 6; Benjamin Wheeler, 6; Dylan Hockley, 6; Noah Pozner, 6; James Mattioli, 6; Chase Kowalski, 7; Josephine Gay, 7; Daniel Barden, 7; Charlotte Bacon, 6; Ana Marquez-Greene, 6; Jessica Rekos, 6; Olivia Engel, 6; Catherine Hubbard, 6; Grace McDonnell, 7; Jesse Lewis, 6; Jack Pinto, 6; Emilie Parker, 6.
Those are the children who were slain by one person — one person!! — with a semi-automatic weapon on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn. You can add six more names to that list — Anne Marie Murphy, Rachel D’Avino, Lauren Rousseau, Victoria Soto, Dawn Hochsprung, Mary Sherlach — the adults who were also murdered by that same lone gunman.
Maybe you’re so self-absorbed, have so totally bought into the all guns, all the time ethos, that you have completely passed over the fact that of the 26 people massacred that fateful day, 20 of them were children.
If so, you should realize that while you were out championing your right to own whatever weapon you can get your hands on and oiling up those weapons for the revolution during the holidays, the families of these 20 children were left grieving ... and planning funerals.
Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.