Sandy Hook: When Are We Going to Protect Our Children and Act on Gun Control?

Sandy Hook: When Are We Going to Protect Our Children and Act on Gun Control?

I’m going to talk about the epidemic of gun violence in this country and my outrage as a parent. So if you're going to protest "it's too soon" or "it's inappropriate now" or that it's "offensive," you can just move on. If you’re going to tell me that semi-automatic rifles and Glocks are not the problem, that guns don’t kill people, people do, save your breath.

Or as Scott Ostrosky, owner of a gun range in Newton where he and his friends regularly shoot automatic weapons, put it after the massacre at Sandy Hook:

"Guns are why we’re free in this country, and people lose sight of that when tragedies like this happen,” Ostrosky told the NY Times. “A gun didn’t kill all those children, a disturbed man killed all those children.”

Tell that to Emilie Parker’s dad, Robbie, who bravely faced the cameras to eulogize his sweet little girl. Or to to Noah Pozner’s mom. She buried her son Monday afternoon. Or to any of the other 18 parents whose children were slaughtered with weapons more commonly used in war.

memorial to emilie

Credit Image: © Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal/ZUMAPRESS.com)/

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday was the second-worst school shooting in American history. This time they were babies, six- and seven-year-olds who were wiggling in their classrooms on a bright winter morning before Christmas when a shooter in combat mode and armed to the teeth burst in and slaughtered them. (A word here: I’m not going to mention the shooter’s name.)

We know now, among other horrifying details, that some children were shot point-blank, some as many as 11 times. That one six-year-old girl had the staggering presence of mind in the face of such terror to play dead. When it was over she ran from her classroom covered in blood. My friends are all dead, she said.

My friends are all dead. What that little girl saw and heard as she lay among her little classmates we will never know. Will she ever be OK?

Another random fact from the Newton shooting: The AR-15 used by the killer is apparently so popular it is called the “barbie doll of firearms." It was also the weapon the shooter used in Aurora. And it was also the weapon used by the "nice" young Oregon man who yelled "I am the shooter" as people were Christmas shopping at Clackamas Town Center in Portland, before he killed two people, including a hospice nurse.

Some idiot in Congress actually suggested that if only principal Dawn Hochsprung had had an AK-47 she could have taken the shooter out. She could have saved all those children. She’d probably be alive now herself. Instead, she tried to stop the killer with only the force of her body and a ferocious instinct to protect the children in her school.

She paid with her life.

So now Dawn Hochsprung is to blame for Sandy Hook. That is obscene.

What happened on Friday morning in Sandy Hook is not a national nightmare. It is not an outlier, as much as we’d like to tell ourselves. What it is is a national horror and a disgrace. Never again, we said after the slaughter at a movie theater in Aurora. Or did we?

Sandy Phillips, whose 24-year-old daughter Jessica Ghawi was slain that night in the movie theater, who had narrowly escaped another shooting in Toronto only weeks before, follows me on Twitter. Today she and her husband are on their way to Washington to deliver a petition to Congress and the NRA demanding stricter gun control laws. Last night she was on Piers Morgan on CNN talking with other Aurora families whose loved ones were killed about Sandy Hook.

When I realized Sandy followed me a few days ago, I sent her a question. Here's our exchange:

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