Courage + hope x community action = change & transformation. This is my mantra, my blog. But today, it doesn’t make sense to me. Nothing does.

The shootings in a small, historic town in Connecticut has frozen my internal frame. The news is devastating and getting worse. In a school and a private home, a son and local community member did this:

  • 20 children dead
  • 6 adults slain
  • in his home, killed his mother, a kindergarten teacher at the school

And caused scores of parents and family members to grieve their great loss while “we,” voyeuristic and incredulous, were instructed to start praying for the gun violence victims and their families, instinctively hugging our own kids longer and more.

On FB, a friend’s profile picture went from joyous to a frame of solid black. It seemed strange to “Like” it, but I did and, virtually, so did so many others.

It is small solace for me, now one day after yesterday and 10 days before Christmas. I’m very sad, numb really, and uneasy about digesting more details, and especially seeing more grieving families being “exploited” via a seemingly insatiable corps of news reporters and anchors who are determined to tell all.

But I will.

I imagine we all will. It helps us cope with a universal tragedy such as this and behaviors beyond our comprehension or control.

Like so many others, I need to know how this 20-year-old “nerdy” nutbag easily acquired the small arsenal of high-powered guns and ammo to plot and pull off the killing of his mother, her students and colleagues and then, predictably, himself.

So early on, I did listen to NPR, which refused to report the number of fatalities until everything was corroborated, which in a way was a comfort to me.

But then as the details of the story unfurled, the horrific in-moment imagery, I conjured in my mind similar memories of the shootings in Aurora or the shootings at the Empire State Building or the shootings at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, not to mention the random gun violence in Oregon, at Virginia Tech, and, of course, Tucson.

Who could forget any of these, and other gun violence moments that go further back.

So for a while I have been angry and so sad. But this time there’s a shift in my world view. I don’t plan to recover, or move on, from this one.

I want the feelings to linger and grow into my posit to you: courage hope x community action = positive change & transformation

Gun control. How many more innocents must die before we stand up to the NRA and do it?

Yesterday about 2:15 p.m. Central Time, President Obama said this: “As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

Yes, Mr. President, it is time to put politics aside. Take on the NRA, and its undying supporters. Cut the rhetoric. Just do it … for them, the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, and everyone who yesterday was reminded again that there is no safe place for our children — or us.

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Deb Quantock McCarey

Deb Quantock McCarey is an Illinois Press Association (IPA) award-winning freelance writer who has worked with Wednesday Journal Inc. since 1995, writing features and special sections for all its publications....

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