There was a tragedy today. As with any tragedy, there has been a lot of information and misinformation flying around the media and internet. There have been debates, and there are friends and family members that have gotten into heated debates over issues of increased laws and government oversight. There was a tragedy today, and, now - as respectfully and factually as I can - I will attempt to unpack some of the facts and surrounding issues.
Quick note: As with any tragedy, I am sure there are details that haven't come out or are still incorrect that are floating around, information that I will get wrong. Please know that I am writing this article utilizing as many good sources as possible. Also, a warning, this information will be full of triggers and sensitive topics. If you prefer not to read such material, turn away now.
27 people in Newtown, Connecticut are dead today. A mass shooting happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School around 9:30am on Friday, December 14th. 20 children ranging in age between 5 and 10. 18 died immediately, while 2 that were taken to the hospital died from their injuries. 7 adults - including the shooter - are also dead. 1 person that was shot is reported to have survived their injuries.
The shooter was a 20-year-old named Adam Lanza. Reports say that he had shot his mother, Nancy Lanza (who possibly worked at the school, though this is not confirmed), earlier that morning at their home. 3 weapons were recovered from the scene: a rifle that he left in his car, and two pistols that he used to commit his crime (a Sig Sauer semiautomatic pistol and a Glock 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol). The guns were legally purchased and registered to Nancy Lanza.
At this time, officials are not releasing any information as to the motive of Adam Lanza, what made him kill his mother and then drive to the local K-4 elementary school and open fire. Many are speculating mental illness, some claiming he had Aspberger's syndrome, others saying that he was intelligent, introverted, and nervous. To be fair, after a tragedy like this, people tend to retroactively assign negative attributes to the shooter, whether they would have described them as such before or not.
So, those are the facts. That is what happened today. It is awful. It's horrible. If there is any resolution, it is that the shooter is dead and the families will not be subjected to a drawn out trial, having to relive it daily for years of trial dates and appeals and appeals for the appeals.
My heart goes out to all those affected by this horrendous tragedy. I hurt all over for the victims and their families. I have cried and lit candles and prayed to the gods of my understanding, and I hope you join me in doing the same.
There are a lot of issues regarding guns, gun control laws, safety, and more. I am going to do my very best to provide a solid academic understanding of these in the coming days. Suffice it to say, we need to have a conversation about gun policy. Our gun control laws are disjointed and non-functional as they are. Between gun shows that don't require much of a background check, to after market/internet sales, to stealing weapons...it's far too easy to get a gun in this country. A terrorist puts a bomb in his shoe, and shoes have to be removed at airports and checked. Someone pulls a gun and kills a few dozen people, and we legalize carrying guns on school campuses. There's a disconnect happening, and it needs to be fixed.
Hug your friends, family, children, and loved ones closer. Light a candle to remember. Be a bit kinder to others. Spread some love around right now.
Love and Lyte,