Saturday, January 12, 2013

Noah Pozner: war and peace

My father survived World War II. He died peacefully in a veterans' hospital in 2005. He was 92. His great-grandson Noah didn't survive first grade. He died in a hail of gunfire in his classroom in 2012. He was 6.
These facts are indisputable. Yet my mind can't seem to hold them together in coherent thought. We are taught those who went to war fought so that we could live free. I wasn't born in this country and have only been a citizen for twenty-five years. That may be the reason why I have a hard time understanding that, to some Americans, freedom means having the right to procure, own and learn to use weapons that can obliterate classes full of children in seconds.
I have heard the old canard that guns don't kill, people do. That is certainly true. Guns cannot walk themselves into a school, a movie theater or a shopping mall and pull their own triggers. At least they can't yet. Who knows about tomorrow? If we can fly drones, is it far-fetched to imagine a world where affordable robots could be armed and programmed to go and kill?
Thousands cannot have died or nearly starved to death in prisoner camps -as my father did- to protect the right of gun enthusiasts to own and use weapons that were not even invented in their lifetimes. They died or starved to protect the lives and freedom of their families and fellow citizens, including the right of little children to get an education without being afraid of "bad men" blasting their way into their schools and the rights of parents everywhere to see their children peacefully grow into responsible adults.
Gun people may be entrenched in their conviction that their right to any deadly weapon under the sun is God-given and shouldn't be tampered with. Because of the powerful interests that stand behind them and skillfully manipulate at least some of them, they are very vocal and their voices carry far and wide.
Many of them are parents though. Because of our shared humanity, I know that in private these fathers and mothers are thinking: "What if it had been my kid? Would I still feel that the right to own semi-automatic weapons is more sacred than the right of my child to his or her life?"
To them I say, take my grandson, take all twenty of Newtown slaughtered children, take all the kids who die from gunshots every year in our country  and make them your own. They were real boys and girls, just like your sons and daughters. Before raising your voice to be heard, in Washington or elsewhere, please listen for theirs in your heart and think of your own kids. Make it personal. Believe me, there is nothing more personal than grieving for a murdered child.

44 comments:

  1. Pour que le monde retrouve sa grandeur, il suffit de le regarder avec des yeux d’ enfants.

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  2. perfectly said...I have been sharing every post on my Facebook page so people hear your voice. XO

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  3. Another post with merit, and I agree there is nothing more personal than the loss of a child. I know that these special interests that you speak of are very persuasive and powerful. That being said, we need to fight and we need people who are not afraid to stand up to such organizations like the NRA.

    I am appalled that people actually try to make the argument that gun ownership is a God given right, it is not, it is given by the government. There have been too many tragedies because of these weapons, particularly in the hands of young, troubled (and psychotic) men.

    I too, lost my father in 2004, at aged 91, and he served in WWII. Had considerable challenges coming from Ireland. How can you compare any of these things, to what happened to Noah and the other children? It is incomparable and appalling.

    I am writing to the President and the legislators regularly and I believe if we take a stand, much like MADD, we can make a difference. It will take a lot of organization and persistance. In the name of Noah and the other children, we cannot afford not to do anything.

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  4. MC, my heart breaks for you and your family. We are the voices of these children whose lives were cut short but our relaxed gun laws, virtually no mental healthcare, and our schools not being protected, allowed a monster to cut their lives short. What happened in Newtown was the most horrible crime I have ever heard of because the target was little, innocent kids. We have to be heard! We have to make sure this never happens again! Otherwise Noah and all of the others have died in vain. Have you came across any online petitions? Or have you started one concerning any gun laws? I will march, i will stand, sign or do whatever i need to to ensure these kids are protected. Because I am a mother I WILL FIGHT FOR THOSE VOICES THAT CANNOT BE HEARD. I feel as if our kids in America are just sitting ducks waiting for the next psycho to hurt them. I am afraid to send my child to kundergarten bwcause there is a possibility that he may not come home from school. We need to rise up and make sure that it will next to impossible for a monster to get to our babies and we need to do it in honor of those children. Our family lost my nine year old sister four years ago, there is no grief more tragic than a child losing their life, they are just beginning it. I am thinking of and praying for you and your family each day. Hugs from Michigan.

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    1. http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/nra_stand_down/?p=nra_stand_down&r=6993918&id=52252-4553997-Ux7emfx

      There are other on-line petitions a well. Credo stays on top of "wrongs"....

      Marla (St Louis)

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    2. OR...
      http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/senate_weapons/?p=senate_weapons&r=6994701&id=53101-117488-StoXzOx

      (Marla, again.)

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  5. Every day my sincere prayers go to your family. I pray for healing and that all of your wonderful memories remain vivid and you will always remember the sound of his laugh.

    Even if you stop sharing your memories here, keep writing them down. One day they will be priceless to the young ones. Encourage all of the adults to do this.

    Love and prayers...... Sherri

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  6. amazing written Mc...your words pierce our hearts to cause a reaction and a stand. w.l.

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  7. I agree that each of us must be the voice of every murdered child and adult. We need to stand up to the NRA and our elected officials on Noah's and every other child's and adult's behalf!!!!! They have a voice in us!!!

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  8. Dear MC

    As a Canadian I appreciate your perspective completely I have never seen a gun, held a gun or wanted to. I can absolutely say with certainty that you do not need access to guns or the second amendment to live in a democratic society.

    When I was in my 20s I dated a very nice man from the States and would have happily moved to live with him.  Ultimately what ended us was his love for guns. I could not wrap my head around why anyone needed 20 guns and I certainly wasn't willing to live with them in my home.  

    When this tragedy happened I remember the media perpetually forwarding the assertion that it could have been worse as the assailant had so much ammunition. I was then and continue to be disgusted by this ignorant line of approach. I could be any worse for these 26 families.

    Let's stop with the angel metaphors and looking for the glass half full. This glass is not only empty it is shattered. Our society is fast in its way to becoming morally bankrupt. It's time we stopped with the meaningless rhetoric and political dancing and call it bluntly as it is. Guns are weapons of destruction. Period. 

    I stand with you. 

    My most sincere kindness

    Lisa H

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    1. correction "It couldn't be any worse for these 26 families" (damn auto correct)

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  9. Thank you MC you made it all to clear. This is what its about. If I have to give up my right in the US to save the life of children then by all means take them away.

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  10. I think I just figured out why Noah has affected me so much. Because you took the pictures I have seen of him. I am seeing him through your eyes. I am feeling the love you have for him. I am so glad that Noah knew what it was to be well and truely loved. I am in awe of you and your daughter. You are in unimaginable pain but you are trying to make the world a safer place for my children. Wow! I can not think of a strong enough adjective to describe my admiration for you. You are my heroes. I too will fight for the voices that can no longer be heard. Sending all my love to you and yours.

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    1. I agree I feel you can see the true soul of a person in photographs and when I look at Noah's little face in photos I see all that is pure and good in this world . When I saw photos of the person who did this I saw a soul that was disturbed and in termoil and most definitely troubled.. For me it makes the pain and anger compounded that either the people who loved him did not see this or were unable to act on it but they allowed him access to several weapons and violent video games to train him..(a great place to start in our fight would be to get a ban on call of duty and semi automatic guns ,then we can have room to work on family values and the mental health system ). We are all in in this fight together !!

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    2. Agreed.

      It's painful seeing how beautiful and happy this little boy Noah was, and how he was robbed too soon by a selfish individual who had serious issues and that should have been addressed a long time ago so that this could have been avoided. I agree with the ban on guns, I hope that happens so this doesn't happen again.

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  11. MC-

    I just found this out, an artist on Staten Island just built this beautiful angel memorial in front of my old elementary school church. This amazing tribute is only a few blocks from where I live. Noah is the angel running and jumping with non-stop energy :)

    http://www.myfoxny.com/story/20568570/art-installation-memorializes-newtown-massacre-victims

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  12. A voice that can't be negated and a brave one at that. Keeping this issue alive and in the media is incredibly important...it is also incredibly important to your grieving process...facing up to this is like cutting yourself with a sharpened knife...deep and painful and terrifying but it heals more quickly and cleanly and you are left with a scar to remind you of your pain...a badge of courage for Noah and for all of those little children that died so that humanity could maintain its rage. I will continue reading your heartfelt posts...I will join you on your journey to recovery even though I can't even begin to fathom your pain. I owe it to Noah to bear witness to his short but beautiful life even though I am on the other side of the world. The world is watching you America...your soul and your collective conscience is on the line.

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  13. Beautifully written....as always. I couldn't agree more. I'm sure people fighting for the guns have the good old mentality that it could never happen to them and their families. If they would only spend an hour with your daughter to hear her pain, or any of the victims families for that matter. Thry might sing a different tune.

    As always all my love and prayers

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  14. My name is Barak and I am from Israel, I got to know Noah and your amazing family In the last few weeks from your blog and from the pictures, Noah story is close to my heart Especially because I have a 4.5 years old boy I can see Noah inside him and I will never forget Noah, I would like to dedicate this Hebrew song that I translated with my poor English It is called someone (meesheu in Hebrew) the song was written by Ehud manor and sang by Yehudit Ravitz:

    Someone, someone is
    Taking care of me up there.
    He Came and lit few stars
    and they fall one by one.

    We are moving in two different roads
    Day and night
    Tired and hungry and waiting for a sign
    In dust and time roads
    We will meet at the end of many roads and questions
    We will meet after many days,
    After many nights
    I know that you are getting closer now
    The spring passed, the summer ended
    And the rain is back

    Someone, someone is
    Taking care of me up there
    He came and collected few stars
    and put them back one by one.
    We are moving in two different roads…

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  15. Yesterday I wrote an editorial to our local newspaper and we will be attending the one million moms against gun violence with other moms and our sons. I do this in honor of Noah. He has given me passion to be a voice for him.
    Love, Leslie

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    1. When and where?!

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    2. Washington, DC, on Sat., Jan 26. The goal of the march is to demand immediate action on common-sense gun legislation. More information on march logistics is available from the March on Washington for Gun Control at: http://www.guncontrolmarch.com.

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    3. Thank you!! ....
      And MC you and your family still in our prayers and Noah always in my heart. Hugs from Chicago EB
      I will repost this info.

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  16. A few years back the Center for Disease Control did a study in the wake of a series of school shootings and found that, despite the horrors of the school shootings, that children were 40 times safer in schools than out of them. They've revisited that study from time to time and the numbers come out pretty much (or perhaps ugly much) the same every time.

    Somehow, that was supposed to make us feel better.

    Somehow, it doesn't.

    It reminds me that we live in a violent society. And that our precious children and grand children are not safe.

    Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Guns just make it easier. A lot easier. They take mistakes, like mistaken identity or one too many beers, and turn them into tragedies that can not be undone.

    Right now, I'm watching the groups that are forming to curb gun violence. Once I have a feel for who has their head on straight, a good portion of my charitable donations will go in that direction for quite a while. Until it makes a difference. A real difference.

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  17. I've never understood our fascination with guns and violence. From music to movies - I don't get why we need to glorify such things. I believe in our Constitution and the rights it grants us, but I don't think the Founding Fathers ever envisioned assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips when they wrote the Second Amendment. They knew muskets and flintlocks - not machine guns and sniper rifles.

    I don't understand why we regulate what cars can be on our roads, or what medications you can buy OTC, or even how many dogs (and in some cases, what breeds) a person can own. But not one of our elected officials has the guts it takes to stand up to the NRA. Not. One.

    What happened to Noah, to his friends, hit me as hard as it did because I think "He could have been my son." How can anyone - especially a parent - NOT think that? I don't get it. I just don't get it.

    Many hugs to you and your family...

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  18. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I completely agree with your words and have already forwarded my three page letter regarding gun violence and mental health to my elected officials. I pray that others have or will do the same. Our voices need to be heard. I still shed tears for all those whose lives were cut short by someone who had no business with access to weapons and had no reason to be at that elementary school. It breaks my heart and I truly hope our government will finally stand up to the NRA and say enough is enough. Stay strong and please know that I am praying for your family every night and hoping that some of your tears are turning to smiles when you think about Noah. He was a such a special little and loved little man.

    Hugs, thoughts and prayers from North Carolina

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  19. Dear MC,

    How is it possible that our grandfathers lived untill they 90 years old fighting in WW 2 and our kids are not safe in their own classroom! I live in US for 21 years and always been proud to be an American untill December 14, 2012. Something died inside me that day and I will never be able to say again that I am a proud citizen of this country. As citizens of this country we do allow all these lunatics to go and kill our little kids! And what do we do about it? I see how we (parents) still send our kids to public schools and pray that nothing happens to our kids because it is still as easy to get to school as it was prior to December 14, 2012. When I contacted my 6 year old boy school about any changes to the security I was told:" We still require photo ID for every visitor and then school pass would be issued. The process is tigher than before" I always ask myself and also asked the school officials how showing their ID would stop the crime? Response I got: " we are all in the same boat" It means that as a parent I should sit and pray that my boy's school won't a be a target next time because I have no other option but to send my baby to public school. Dear MC I have read an article today that White House wants to hear Noah's family about gun control and would like to ask you to bring school safery concern to the discussion table as well. Thank you so much for everything you do to ease our pain and sorrow even though it should have been other way around. With love, Irina

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  20. Well said MC.

    No further harm will come to them again, that is the only reassurance I can get from this. It disturbs me no end what happened to them and I doubt I will ever forget it, I wouldn't want to forget these little innocent little angels. It's heartbreaking, utterly heartbreaking.

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  21. Now is the time to fight the Good Fight. Social issues, mental health, a long hard reflection on why violence is so acceptable..... yes, but first, give the guns up. What a huge difference could be made. How does the future look now? How do we want it to look?

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  22. It has been said, “I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a "transformer" in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.”

    These children deserve nothing less than a transformed nation!

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    1. I agree with you! Noah has touched all of us in some way and we own it to him to make this world a better place.

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  23. Is now or never, we all need to push the congress to make a difference on guns and how much i ll' wish they ll' make everyone to give up their guns so we can turn this world into a better place to live and so tragedy like this won't happen again.. I also liked to Thank you for sharing your page and pictures of Noah, therefore letting us know more about him and feel close to him too. I wish I could have had the pleasure of having met your Noah but i know one day i will..

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  24. The only hope is that from this senseless tragedy new tough gun control laws will be passed. I really hope that the public and especially mothers will be galvanized by the loss of so many innocent lives that a movement will start and will grow to the point that the nra and especially the legislators won't be able to ignore.

    Noah's life was short but he had so much love surrounding him.

    Thanks for sharing your nephew's life with us.

    Hugs!

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  25. Join us in Washington, DC, on Sat., Jan 26 for the One Million Moms for Gun Contol March. The goal of the march is to demand immediate action on common-sense gun legislation. More information on march logistics is available from the March on Washington for Gun Control at: http://www.guncontrolmarch.com. I am personally marching for Noah. I never knew him but he has moved me to do something more than just complain about it. Join us!

    Love, Leslie

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    1. How I would love to be there!

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  26. your words are being heard,i was rised with guns all my life,but when i firt saw noah my heart broke,he looks just like my son,just recently i sold my AR-15 I didnt want any gun that was apart of what had happen,and i hope other people like me start understanding we dont need assault rifles,noah has toched my life and forver will, thank you so much for sharing noahs life with us.
    gil loa bezines, south texas

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  27. MC, was that you on NBC news tonight? Your family is so strong, I see where your children get it from. Thinking of you today, tomorrow and always. Hugs from Michigan.

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    1. I too saw your interview MC and see a strength in you and your family that is beyond words. I said it before and will say it again....Noah WILL be the face of change and your family will be the ones to make that change happen. Rest assured he is so proud of you for speaking out on his behalf, the behalf of all of his friends and for all of the other people who have so senselessly become victim to gun violence in America.

      PS.. In my mind I just saw Noah doing a forward roll, jumping up into full on ninja stance then pulling out a bouquet of lilies from behind his back and grinning just for you!

      PPS.. Keep watching for the signs!!! <3

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  28. Beautifully written. We stand with you. So much sorrow - we send you love from Norwalk CT.xxxxxx

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  29. How many lives is it going to cost us to defend our "god give constitutional right" to bear arms? For me one is too many, 27 is absolutely unbearable. I don't understand. Please let this be the turning point in this nightmare.

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  30. Congratulations on your family's astutely worded memorandum to the White House. Your family is an inspiration in this time of tragedy. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you.

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_pUicax-KhiMHg3MklzenR5ZWc/preview?pli=1

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  31. Please sign this ban:

    http://sparq.nydailynews.com/pages/4YSLXP/6g6h/Ban_all_assault_weapons_and_highcapacity_magazines_and_institute_comprehensive_gun_control?log=0

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  32. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn3PRCMtIMk wake up sheep!

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  33. We have not found any reaction from Ivar Haller yet, how is he? Did he visit Newton along with you?

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