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Enough is enough: the gun laws have to change

When a child dies, we all grieve. It’s not just their parents, teachers, friends, and family that have been trespassed upon emotionally; we all hurt.

As a society, we sigh deeply, and ache somewhere deep inside because we know that the natural order has been broken. Parents aren’t supposed to outlive their children. Children aren’t supposed to be slaughtered. Innocence and such egregious violence shouldn’t mix. There should be no little coffins.

I know that the massacre in Connecticut has many of us reeling and we simply don’t know where to land our emotions. We want to blame someone.

Some blame the shooter; for obvious reasons. Some blame his parents, teachers, and doctors for not heading this tragedy off at the pass.

Then there are those hoping to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. Some blame the school for not having sufficient security measures in place.

Mostly, I hear people blaming the state and federal governments for their current stances on gun control.

How often do you hear of killings of this nature in other countries? For interest sake I searched “school shootings” on Wikipedia and was shocked to see that the USA gets its own page to list all of their massacres. When you think about it, off the top of your head, how many school shootings can you name? For me, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and now the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacres are right there.

Why does this keep happening? When will people stop saying “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people,” so that they can actually address the situation?

In the UK, the Dublane School Massacre resulted in new firearm legislation that made the private ownership of handguns illegal. (Luckily, the perpetrator did not have access to assault weapons or the death toll could have been staggering.)

I was living in Ottawa when the movie “Bowling for Columbine” came out. I found most of the content shockingly hard to believe. Would a bank really give away guns for opening new accounts? Isn’t that like handing out Krispy Kreme doughnuts at a Weight Watchers meeting with the achievement of certain weight loss goals, only way more dangerous?

When I moved to the Sault, I heard my first ad on the radio offering just that, a free gun with the opening of certain bank accounts in Michigan. I really didn’t believe what I was hearing. I must have told everyone I ran into at work the next day, and they just looked at me rather blankly and said: “Yeah, it’s a bit messed up.”

We get immune, desensitized even, to violence and the prevalence of guns in our society. This has to stop.

I’m encouraged that a couple of U.S. Senators are now calling for bans on assault weapons. I really hope that they look into Dublane and find a way to make a positive out of the horrifying loss at Sandy Hook Elementary.

The Bill of Rights may give Americans the right to bear arms, but at one point Americans also had the right to own slaves. Sometimes common practice is not common sense, and it’s time for a change now!

I’m tired of hearing about these horrible massacres, and of feeling so lost, hurt, and saddened. I almost have to push the reality of it away from me because the senselessness is overwhelming. As a parent I can’t imagine receiving that telephone call.

I have a boy in grade one, and to think he might not be here celebrating Christmas with us this year (had we lived there) is beyond horrifying.

There are no words — but there have to be words, or else nothing will change.

People have to use their words to say enough is enough; the guns laws must change. People also have to make sure not to downplay what has happened.

We need to call this what it is — a massacre. It is not just a shooting; that makes it sound trivial, and it is most certainly not trivial when 20 small coffins are involved.

Finally, another set of words we need to focus on is “I love you.” Hug your children, tight, for you never know what tomorrow will bring.

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