It’s December 14th, which means its one of the saddest anniversaries of my life; one of the saddest dates in world history, if you really think about.
December 7th. November 22nd. September 11th. And December 14th.
Three years ago, a sick madman walked into an elementary school just 20 miles from where I sit, writing this, and started pulling the trigger on his gun — a Bushmaster XM-15-ES2 rifle that is meant to do nothing but kill and produce mass casualties.
Tragically, it did its job, taking away 20 children and six educators who walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School that morning thinking it was just another day.
It should have been a day that changed that world, but it didn’t work out that way. It rarely does.
Think about it: If those 20 children live, they would have had an opportunity to change the world.
Instead, they left it up to us and we have failed them.
We have failed them and we have failed the 142 other instances of gun violence on school campuses that have occurred in the past three years.
We have failed people in San Bernadino, Calif., in Roseburg, Ore., in Boulder, Colo.
And I do support the right for people to bear arms. I’m a native Mainer where guns are a way of life. Own your pistols. Own your shot guns. Protect yourself and protect your family. Go hunting and kill animals for sport or food.
You don’t need an assault rifle to do that. You don’t need an assault rifle to kill an intruder. One bullet can do that. You don’t need to tear apart a deer carcass by firing off 20 rounds into it. One well-placed shot gets you your meat.
And, for far-right-wing non-realists who say you need such guns to protect us from our own government, let me just say this: Buy a fucking tank and put it in your backyard because if the government is coming for us, we’re already toast with the weapons they have.
There’s a quote, penned by the writers of the television show “West Wing” where Sam Seaborn is speaking in the wake of a shooting against the President and his entourage.
“They bought guns. They loaded them. They drove from Wheeling to Rosslyn. And until they pulled the trigger, they had yet to commit a crime,” Seaborn said. “I am so off the charts tired of the gun lobby tossing around terms like ‘personal freedom’ and nobody calling them on it. It’s not about personal freedom. And it certainly has nothing to do with public safety. It’s just that some people like guns.”
This is why I hate today.
What began as a tribute to 20 fallen angels and six educators, who could have changed the world, it turns political and the anger starts to boil inside me.
And that, I fear, is where we are failing them and our future.
I’m angry now and those people who just “like guns” are angry.
There is no middle ground and more people are going to die because of it.
And there is nothing we can do about it.
I think that saddens me even more than that date three years ago when we were all shocked by what happened in Sandy Hook.
They could have changed the world.
We should have changed the world.
Yet none of us could.
RIP, sweet angels.
I’m so sorry we have failed you.