Posts Tagged ‘ gun control ’

The Sandy Hook Promise: This Time There Will Be Change

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

It has now been over a month since the tragic event that inspired me to write you, ”Processing The Newtown, Connecticut School Shooting As A Parent.” Since then, I’ve observed two natural responses from American society:

A) To help those who are grieving and B) to try to figure out how to prevent this from happening again.

The latter has led to many discussions about gun control, for as much or as little as that term may be referring to. For the past month, I have been deliberately avoiding public involvement in these conversations.

But now, I am willing to share with you how I feel about it. What makes it easy for me is that I read an article today on The New York Times’ website called “Families of Newton Victims Organize Violence Prevention Effort.”

After reading the story, and after reading between the lines, it appears to me that the Sandy Hook parents who are quoted are saying out loud what I’ve been thinking to myself for the past month.

To summarize, they are ultimately thanking the President for his efforts to help by trying to prevent another similar tragedy with his effort to ban the kind of assault weapon and high-capacity ammunition magazines used in the Newtown shooting.

However, the parents interviewed in the New York Times article, who have started a non-profit group called Sandy Hook Promise, are more focused on creating a national dialogue about school safety, mental health, and gun responsibility.

Here’s the Sandy Hook Promise, according to their website:

“I Promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I Promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.”

It can’t be assumed that all or even most of the Sandy Hook parents feel the same way as those who have founded Sandy Hook Promise. Even still, it’s interesting to see enough gun-owning members of Sandy Hook Promise who are basically saying, “Hey, wait, before we focus so much on banning guns and ammunition, let’s take a look at the other issues too…”.

Maybe (!) I’m reading too much into the article, as well as, the Sandy Hook Promise’s website, but I think the term “common sense solutions” is an indirect way of saying that banning guns is not a common sense solution.

I find it interesting and no coincidence that when you go to the website for Sandy Hook Promise, there is a button you can click to receive email updates. It says, “I promise,” followed by, “this time there will be a change.”

(It is worth noting that the President’s campaign slogan of 2008 was “Change we can believe in.” Complete coincidence? Again, maybe I’m reading into something that’s not actually there.)

Personally, I feel that if certain assault weapons and ammunition magazines were banned, it would surely make it more difficult for troubled, mentally ill young men to use those certain assault weapons and ammunition magazines in public shootings. But it wouldn’t stop them from finding other ways to hurt large groups of people in theaters and schools.

Even with a complete gun ban, which I know the President nor the Democrats are not actually in favor of, a crazed attacker could still find access to homemade bombs, poisonous gas, and most likely… guns.

Honestly, my opinion on gun control and the Newton, Connecticut shooting doesn’t really matter. However, the opinions of the Sandy Hook parents are actually very relevant and they absolutely do matter.

And best I can tell, they’re more interested in having a national conversation about school safety, mental health, and gun responsibility. Not “banning” guns.

Read The New York Times’ Families of Newtown Victims Organize Violence Prevention Effort” and the Sandy Hook Promise website… see what you personally think about it.





Top image: Little boy holds his father’s hand: Shutterstock.

Bottom image, No guns allowed, abstract art: Shutterstock.


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The Letter To 6 Year-Old Jack Pinto, From His Best Friend John

Friday, December 21st, 2012

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Last Friday, I wrote to you about how I was Processing The Newtown, Connecticut School Shooting As A Parent. A week later, the unthinkable event that happened at Sandy Hook is still on everyone’s minds.

There’s a lot of talk going on right now about how we as a nation can prevent another tragedy like this from happening again. I’m not ready to join that public conversation… yet.

Instead, today in my letter to you, I want to share a different letter to a different Jack. It has been circulating the Internet since USA Today reporter Yamiche Alcindor tweeted this photo of a letter to 6 year-old Jack Pinto, from his best friend John:


You are my best friend. We had fun together. I will miss you. I will talk to you in my prayers. I love you Jack.



I’m predicting it’s pretty difficult for anyone to read the letter to Jack Pinto without being deeply emotionally reached; especially after seeing the pictures of Jack and John together.

For me personally, it’s tough not only because this story reflects how what happened last week affected innocent lives, but also because it’s pretty easy for me to imagine you in this picture.

It’s not something I want to say out loud, but the truth is that what happened in Sandy Hook could have instead happened in any other small town in America. Instead, I want to believe that you’re the exception to the rule and that I will always be there to protect you.

I wish somehow you were immune to chaos like this from ever getting anywhere near you. I wish I could promise you that our family would always be safe. Since I can’t promise it, I pray for it instead.

Like Jack Pinto’s best friend, John, I turn to God even in, and especially in, times like these. And from the sound of it, so is a lot of America.

I can’t remember the last time it was so popular to publicly talk about praying and trusting in God, like the way I’ve seen in the past week. It’s encouraging to see news anchors on major networks, without fear of being perceived as politically incorrect or unprofessional, so willingly interviewing priests, pastors, and churchgoers whose faith is helping them through this.

As I mentioned in my letter about this last week…

It’s times like these that cause some people to ask, “If there is a God, why would He allow such an unthinkable event to happen?”

Others ask, “How could an event like this not cause people to turn to God, in the hope that there is a saving grace stronger than the depravity of man?”

Son, we are of the latter mindset: We are not without hope in this life.





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