1. It’s Wednesday, December 14, 2016.
2. On this day four years ago, a sick guy with a semi-automatic rifle walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
He killed 20 children, all between the ages of six and seven, as well as six adults trying to protect them.
It makes me sick to my stomach to write that last sentence.
And yet there are things that make me sicker.
It makes me sick that 20 children – children! – could be massacred in a freaking American classroom. And the United States of America, through its elected representatives, did absolutely nothing to make as certain as possible this could never happen again.
That despite the exhortation of the President of the United States, Congress shrugged this atrocity off. And we, the American people, didn’t storm the offices of these clowns and demand they do what’s right.
Instead, these people listened to a goddamn jackass representing the nation’s seemingly insatiable lust for things that go bang.
He stood before cameras and – in response to the idea that maybe some weapons are unsuitable for civilian life or that some people aren’t psychologically capable of operating these weapons – said the following:
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
The idea being that these kids – everybody’s kids – would have been safer if there had been more guns. Not fewer. That there wasn’t one gun too many at Sandy Hook Elementary School eleven days before Christmas.
You know, in retrospect, the election of Trump shouldn’t have surprised us. We did nothing about this. Why wouldn’t someone try to find out to what depths we’d sink as a nation?
To their credit, the governors of New York and Connecticut, and the legislatures of both states, did respond. They enacted more restrictive gun legislation. With 48 other states complicit in shoot-a-mania, it’ll be hard for the legislation to have the full effect it should.
And, of course, the people who feel incomplete without lethal force at their disposal remain bothered by even the simple actions those states took.
In New York, where I live, I’ve seen yard signs demanding the repeal of the SAFE Act, which is the law passed in the wake of Sandy Hook. I’ve driven behind pickups with bumper stickers reading “Fuck Cuomo,” the F being in the shape of an automatic weapon, and Andrew Cuomo being our governor.
Now, with the election to a White House of a stooge who once said the “Second Amendment people” might have something influence on a Hillary Clinton presidency, the odds are the overarming of the United States will continue unabated.
And that’s especially true given that instead of throwing the mental midget from the roof of one of his gaudy buildings, the president-elect has embraced a guy who says what happened at Sandy Hook is a hoax.
A mental defective who has the gall to say that what happened didn’t. That it’s a tall tale aimed at taking away Americans’ right to shoot things – animate or otherwise – at will.
I feel sick writing that sentence. But I had to get it out of my system before I finish.
3. And here’s how I want to finish.
I can’t imagine being a parent of one of those 20 children. I can’t imagine the pain – especially when the holidays, the supposed happiest time of the year, roll around.
I don’t know what I would say if I met one of them. “I’m sorry” seems small. “Your child is an angel” seems cruel.
All I know is that there was a wrong committed on this day four years ago. It has never been righted. Maybe it never can be.
But forgetting is not an option. So I won’t, and I hope you’ll think of those kids and adults, and strive for something better than an armed-to-the-teeth society.