In March of 1996 I was still on maternity leave with my almost 3 month old son, holding him, glued to the TV, and sickened to my stomach as the news of the school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland reached the US. With a baby in my arms, I watched with tears as I saw frantic mothers running to their children’s school; I couldn’t imagine losing a child under any circumstances, but especially to senseless violence.
Today, after arriving at Newark airport, I switched on my phone and learned of the tragedy in Newtown, CT. Again, my eyes welled with tears. From the sadness and grief those families are going through. And from the frustration stemming from how pointless this violence is.
That newborn I was holding in March, 1996 will turn 17 in 11 days. And it’s maddening and frustrating to have these random shootings have continued to happen with yes, I’m going to say it: alarming, frequency. Why has so little changed in so much time?
I understand the right to bear arms. To support a militia. I understand the challenge and sport of hunting, and the need for guns as one means to participate in that activity.
Here’s what I don’t get: I don’t understand where in our constitution we are guaranteed the right to shoot up schools, to terrify children, to tear apart families and communities, to destroy other peoples’ rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Hmmm. Come to think of it, it doesn’t.