Today marks the one-month anniversary of the murder of twenty first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. A month ago today we lost our little Noah to mindless and ugly violence. Already his twin sister Arielle is saying sadly that sometimes she can’t remember how he talked: she had never been separated from him, they were best friends. A big chunk of her, of her sister Sophia, of Noah’s teenage siblings, of my daughter Veronique, of all of us has been amputated without anesthesia. It is the worst pain we have ever experienced. Frankly I don’t think we’ll ever recover: the kids will continue to grow, the teenagers will become adults, we will do our best to adjust. But nothing will be the same. Ever. Not for us, maybe not for the nation. The Sandy Hook massacre was too horrific for life ever to resume as before.
People often comment on our strength as a family. We never knew we were strong. We were just a regular family with its ups and downs, ordinary joys and ordinary sorrows. Nothing special. Since Noah was torn away from us though, we have discovered that, in the face of evil, being ordinary isn’t enough. We have discovered the power of outrage. Noah was an amazing little fighter who loved karate and Ninja moves. He wouldn’t want us to fade into the background and meekly accept that his fate is the price to pay to live in this country.
So we have been talking among us about the best way to bring about changes and keep our kids alive. We have been looking for measures that would be both effective and uncontroversial so that the country doesn’t get bogged down in fruitless debate and we have come up with proposals.
For a summary of the initial steps we suggest, please read the following article, published today in the Hartford Courant:
Alternatively you may want to read the full-text of our memo to the White House Task Force on Gun Violence.
I know you share the outrage. Now time has come to share the strength. Speak up, bring your own ideas to the table, write to your representatives, march, do whatever needs to be done to help make sure the Newtown killing marks a new beginning for our nation. In the words of our President, “These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.”