Three years ago today: Sandy Hook

Crayons-large

Gamma Acosta. Photo: Gamma Gallery

This 6′ × 24′ graffiti mural was the work of Gamma Acosta, Longmont, Colo. “Crayons” was his statement about the Sandy Hook school massacre, done a day later. For the story of the mural and what happened to it, see “Acosta’s ‘Crayons’ mural recalls Sandy Hook.

I repost this photo today because it embodies all the emotion and tragedy of the terrible Sandy Hook shooting that happened three years ago today. We need to be reminded that it happened, that it was horrendous, and yet three years later, not a finger has been lifted to ensure it never happens again. Mass shootings continue in this country at a horrible, unconscionable rate. And each time we all wring our hands and say, “Somebody needs to do something.” Each time we say, “This must stop!” Each time we send empty prayers and platitudes to the survivors and their loved ones. Yet each time we know what must be done.

It doesn’t really matter who does the shooting. Or why. Terrorists. Lone wolves. Gun nuts. Mentally ill. High on drugs. Fired employees. Religious fanatics. It doesn’t matter. The victims are still dead. And all were killed by the same thing.

Is nothing going to change? Is this the way life in America is going to be? I very much fear it will be, at least for the remainder of my years. Perhaps the younger generation will be wiser, or the generation after that, or the one after that.

I’d like to think I’ll live long enough to see the change, to see a return to sanity, safety, and peace in our communities. But I’m not optimistic.



Categories: guns, Law, Society

Tags:

20 replies

  1. I think the change people want to see is the total ban of private gun ownership,which our government could mandate. It will NEVER work! Prohibition did not work,the ban of illegal drugs did not work. Would you trust a government local or national when they are the only ones who have guns? I certainly wouldn’t! When will people understand…”guns do not kill people,people kill people.” Forks and spoons and free food do not make people fat,personal choices make people fat. It is a moral problem. THOUSANDS of people are killed on our highways and streets every year by careless drivers. Where is the public out cry for a ban on cars and trucks?

    • Well, that’s one of our differences. I would trust a government if they were the only ones with guns.

      And by definition, you can’t have a mass shooting without one or more guns.

    • If I understand you correctly, you’d be in favor of licensing, through testing, handgun ownership just like we do automobile driving? They take away driving licenses from people who drive in a manner inconsistent with social safety, you know, so I guess you’d support that for people who shoot themselves (and others) through carelessness as well as on purpose?

  2. If you want something done, do it yourself: People in 41 states came to their senses and passed gun laws since Sandy Hook. I’ll take that as progress. True some states still need to tweak and add some backbone: ALL gun purchases including the ones at gun shows and online must have background checks ( they do here). Gun owners should also purchase gun locks – especially those in homes with children (the law here). Guns must be secured.
    Here and in CA it is illegal to be a straw buyer and purchase a gun for someone else. (CA Murderers/terrorists did) It’s against the law in CA to modify the firing mechanisms of guns you own. (But the CA murderers/terrorists did)

    People need to hit the streets and push high profile “role models”, schools, and parents to constantly shout “Murder is against the law.”

    Laws must be strictly enforced. (Gun laws aren’t in Chicago as directed by DOJ/Holder)

    The problem is criminals do not follow the law. And they far too many time they know to work the system and escape punishment. Juveniles have no fear of the law as they know they just get sent to juvie for a bit – and pick up trade secrets and street cred

    Here’s a great one to read. One way criminals get guns(gun laws would not help here):…http://abc13.com/news/weapons-stolen-from-sheriffs-vehicle-along-katy-freeway/1113836/

    I’m angry, too. No one wants to live this way.

    Mass shootings are occurring in soft targets – not where people are able to defend themselves. Paris has some of the most strict gun laws in the world. Mexico (that drug cartel run country that is unsafe to travel in) has extremely strict gun laws. Australia did have a gun buy back program, but gun ownership has quietly crept back up to higher levels than before the buy back – because of huge crime increase.

    And then there’s the baseball bats, fists, glass shards, high heels…
    It has to stop.
    Murder – no matter the weapon is wrong and against the law.

    120 people a day die from drug overdoses in the US.
    Over 33,073 people have died in car accidents in our state so far this year. One state.
    Ugly stats could go on forever.

    I know what you are saying, but reality is harsh. The only hope is the states stepping up with common sense gun laws. And forcing criminals to obey the laws. The first one that must be enforced? Murder is against the law.

    Need to get back to basics. Fast.

    • While everything you say is true, you’re cherry picking the facts. For example, you state that hard gun laws didn’t keep the mass shooting from happening in Paris as if to prove that strong laws don’t do any good. But you ignore the fact that this is the only mass killing (defined by Congress as three or more deaths from a single incident) in Paris since WWII, while we in America have one almost every month. Personally, I’d back a law that reduced deaths by that much…

      • True. (Chicago also has very tough gun laws…unenforced ones.There seems to be some issue about laws not being enforced in the US or selectively enforced.) The laws being suggested to Congress would not have stopped these fanatics, crazies, or criminals who do not follow the laws. (I’ve found those who have been victims of violent crimes/violent individuals and experienced the inability/lack of will by law enforcement and the failures of the justice system have different view than those who live in safe places and have never be faced with n individual determined to do harm. Perfectly normal to have differing views based on actual experiences)
        Still if people would be kind and good, don’t hit, don’t steal, and remember murder is against the law it would help, too.
        Best plan/fastest result is to work at the state level to toughen laws and make sure they are enforced. Feds/both political parties are a clown show.

        • Again, I agree with your basic tenent: if people where nice to each other we wouldn’t need any laws at all. And, obviously, if local/state laws were properly enforced, we wouldn’t need feds to come in and do their jobs for them. Unfortunately, both statements are wishes that are not likely to ever come true. People are basically too self-centered to do the first, and local power (think of the mayors of Chicago and Detroit) will always get things their own way because they are…well, locally powerful. That’s why the federal laws have to be there: so locally powerful people can’t ride roughshod over everyone else.

          If you honestly think that state laws can do the work and we don’t need federal laws (which you imply), tell that to Gregory Butler. He’s going away for 25 years for punching a hole in a fire hose during a riot (a federal crime). The riot was over the fact that the cops who killed Freddie Gray while in custody (a state crime) are still walking around free, and most likely will continue in their jobs.

          While I certainly condone neither riots nor hindering firemen, the difference between state laws and federal laws in this case is obvious. Often Federal laws are used to catch criminals when state laws are either ineffectual (as you admit the Chicago gun laws are) or non-existent.

          Remember what happened to Capone? He shot people all over, but it took a federal law to bring him down…something that might have happened sooner if there had been federal gun laws in effect.

          • We need a combo of fed and state laws – and all of them enforced. Not selectively enforced, but enforced.What good is a law if not enforced?
            Civilization only works when people agree to follow the laws.
            Two steps forward, one back. But gotta keep trudging. And holding elected officials, judges, and law enforcement’s feet to the fire – and make them do their jobs.(Walk into elected officials offices. Call. Email. And take others long with you. It does make a difference.)
            Murder is against the law…all sorts of laws. At multiple levels: city, county, state, federal. Demand the laws are enforced.If everyone stepped up in their own area, it would make a difference. Time to take a stand. Time to stop waiting for someone else to do it.

            • Take a stand…how? There is simply no way to “enforce” local laws without utilizing the local authority. And if that’s corrupt, then you have no way to “fix” the problem legally.

              Remember hearing about the Boston Tea Party? Fixing a corrupt system was what it was all about, but it was still against the laws at that time.
              Oh, and BTW, that’s what Gregory Butler and the other rioters claim THEY were doing, since the local authorities had obviously ignored their “wishes” that the laws actually be applied equally.

            • Local enforcement can be such a joke. You may recall Colorado passed a couple of gun control laws a few years ago. Most of the sheriffs in the state promptly and publicly declared they would not enforce those laws. So much for those sworn to uphold the law.

            • If only people would get together and try! Beaming positive warming thoughts. Truth would win and rainbow would come out. (You did get the satire/sarcasm up there…I should use happy and frownie faces…maybe that teary one, but those are so annoying)
              People are flawed.It is what it is.
              If an answer can’t be found, then a lawyer hasn’t been consulted.(and paid…and paid…and paid)
              Murder is wrong and against the law. Everyone is sick of individual’s explosive anger and gun violence. People disagree on the solution depending on their location, economic level (A gun ban means high dollar body guards could have swords/bats and not guns, right?), and life experiences.
              Laws are followed by law abiding people – and they aren’t the ones doing the killing.
              Criminals, fanatics, and the crazies will always be the loose marbles.
              (Organized crime and the Drug Cartels are gleeful over possible gun bans…with profits down as drug laws ease, they are looking for another money source…besides human trafficking which is really popular alternative right now.)
              Sorry, no rainbows. And life ain’t fair.

    • People are killed in a lot of different ways and I’m not going to be deflected by car accidents or drug overdoses, or the baseball bat argument. I’m talking about mass shootings. With guns. Usually with automatic or semiautomatic weapons that are, because of their rapid fire capabilities, weapons of mass destruction. All guns need to be licensed and registered and the owners need to carry liability insurance. Background checks should be required for every gun sale — those you mention as well as private transactions between neighbors, relatives, colleagues. All sales. No exceptions. Every gun tracked. Every owner liable for his or her purchase and what becomes it.

      I was so angry after the Planned Parenthood shooting that I couldn’t compose myself. Then San Bernardino happened. And those followed an incident in Colorado Springs on October 31 where a woman saw a neighbor walking down the street carrying a gun. She was alarmed by it and his demeanor and called 9-1-1. The dispatcher essentially blew her off and reminded her that Colorado is an open carry state!! When she called back a few minutes later, it was to report that the man was shooting innocent bystanders. He killed three people. But hey, it’s an open carry state. Until you actually pull the trigger and someone falls, you’re legal!!

      I haven’t words for my outrage. For my frustration and despair and hopelessness.

      • That Co Planned Parenthood shooting was disturbing. One of my nieces is a nurse in Co and is always talking about the serious backwoods mountain men who live on the edge of society/reality and when they do decide to come in to get medical help, they are in such bad shape and so odd. Apparently there are a lot of fringe people on the streets, abandoned buildings, and in the woods/mountains. He’s under psyche hold and evaluation. (Duh) But he was under the radar as many unstable people are. Scary thought.
        You are talking about common sense gun laws. Many of those are actually in effect in many states.
        CO is open carry? (I’m not supporting that one.) So much for that “if you see something, say something” idea working. What about the other laws there?
        It is faster to work at the state level to toughen gun laws. Surely you are not the only one concerned. Not going to be an easy task, but enough already with the killing. It’s wrong to kill. Murder is against the law. Back to basics- gotta start somewhere.

        • See my reply above about CO gun laws and the sheriffs who refused to enforce them. Further, the legislators who got them passed were recalled and replaced by referendum in the next election. And yes, this is an open carry state. The Wild West is alive and well.

          • Annie Oakley lives, then. Another tourist draw!
            Perhaps not such a bad idea to legalize weed so people smile, munch, and sleep more? (More tourists!)
            Change takes time. Only humans think they can smack things around instantly. Guns are secretly Mother’s Nature’s plan to speed human extinction. (Hear Denver’s broken a snow record from the 1800’s. …oh, more tourists – the Eastern slopes are warm and bare grounded)

      • Background checks aren’t cutting it. The mass shootings are increasingly carried out by legally purchased weapons. I believe certain classifications of weapons belong only in the hands of military and the police. The ownership of weapons should be strictly regulated and based on need, not “want” like “collecting” or “gun enthusiasm.” The average citizen does not need AR-15s and such. A normal person doesn’t want one. I think the gun-humpers in this country are sick individuals and entirely out of control. But then again, I feel that way about much of the right wing.

  3. So……common sense gun laws will help ! Some one should have to told the German civilians and the Jewish people before WW II. The problem does not go away just because you mask the symptom. If I punctured your tire with a screwdriver would you blame me or the screwdriver. Get a clue people….,laws that govern people will not fix a problem. There must be over a thousand laws on the books,yet hundreds of people die every day in America because THEY choose to break those very laws meant to protect them.

  4. PiedType,I am not talking about regulating screwdrivers and I knew you were not either…It’s the PEOPLE! People are the problem. Name one law…gun or otherwise that has stopped crime. We can slow down the people,but we can’t stop them. Then there is one word that describes what is wrong with humanity…SIN…and the common reply or response is shut up,you don’t know what you are talking about!.I (we) do not want to hear it!

    • Sin is as old as humanity itself and will always be with us. It’s one of many human shortcomings that we’ll never eliminate. But we can and should make guns a lot harder to get, especially those guns typically used in mass shootings, and make gun owners more accountable for their weapons.

"Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance." ~ Plato

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: