Posted by Katie M. Sarreshteh
Friday morning exemplified every parent’s nightmare and shocked our nation. Innocent children were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
The gunman was 20-year-old Adam Lanza who ultimately took his own life in a classroom at Sandy Hook. He had no prior criminal record and was considered a nice, quiet and smart young man.
Mr. Lanza first shot his mother and then proceeded to the school. He killed twenty children and six faculty members with three weapons – two handguns and a semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle.
Connecticut law requires gun owners to be at least 21 years old. Authorities now believe that the firearms belonged to his mother.
America has seen gun violence in school settings before. In 1999, two students at Columbine High School in rural Colorado shot and killed twelve classmates and one teacher. Again in 2007, the nation watched as Blacksburg, Virginia became a slaughter ground for 32 students on the campus of Virginia Tech.
The United States is no stranger to gun violence, but Friday delivered an unprecedented amount of despair. These were children. What could possibly inspire a grown man to shoot an innocent kid? Questions remain unanswered as to why Mr. Lanza went on a killing spree that day.
Many of us also asked – what went wrong? Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung had recently implemented new security measures for the school. Heroic teacher Victoria Soto hid her pupils in cabinets and closets, ultimately saving their lives. Both women lost their lives as a result of this massacre.
The tragedy has predictably sparked debate over gun control. There could very well be new measures and precautions implemented in the days ahead.
Regardless of what the future holds, Friday ensures that most parents will probably do exactly as President Obama said, “hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them.”
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