Four times I’ve faced a gun at close range. In 1984 the trigger was pulled. I was shot in the head. The bullet is lodged in my brain. I do all I can not to remember the terror before the trigger was pulled and before, in the other instances, I escaped.
I’ve tried with all my heart and soul not to think (feel) about what those last moments were like for those innocent people (20 children!) in Newtown, Connecticut. I’ve tried and I failed. It dawned on me, as I was writing to a close friend this morning, that this may be a healthy thing. If we as people, people!, don’t really digest this horror, and decide that first and foremost we must do all we can to protect our children, nothing will happen, nothing will change, and we will all be accomplices in maintaining the heartbeat of this gun-soaked addicted-to-violence society we live in.
The lack of responsible gun control in this country plays a lead role in the 30,000 deaths a year by gun. As Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times recently pointed out, “More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”
One of the tragedies in all this is the instinct of some to protect guns before protecting children. As some have already pointed out, if members of congress and community leaders and every citizen displayed a fraction of the courage the teachers and principal and school psychologist in Newtown displayed trying to protect the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School, what a difference we could make.
Connecticut Medical Examiner Dr. Wayne Carver said every one of the seven children he examined was shot from three to 11 times, some were shot while clinging to each other! We must put children before guns. We must do something, now. If we don’t, more children will die.