Saturday marks the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre that took the lives of 20 young children and seven adults in an act of violence that remains difficult, if not impossible, to imagine.
The families of those killed have wisely asked to be left alone, without the intrusion of vulture journalism. And some have suggested that all of us can best commemorate those beloved children and educators by undertaking, in this anniversary week, acts of kindness, volunteering our time and our attention in any way we can.
Doing so will not erase the frustration many people feel that, a year after the tragedy, no legislative action of any kind has been taken to expand background checks for gun purchases or to further limit access to firearms and ammunition by people with criminal backgrounds or psychiatric conditions. A Senate bill expanding background checks hit a Republican filibuster on April 17 and died. Nothing has happened since.
But given the armed nature of America and the political power of the gun lobby, it isn’t clear that more gun control is a pragmatic solution. And there may not be one.
But some of the wisest words we’ve read on Sandy Hook come from Alissa Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter Emilie was one of the victims. Parker now has a popular blog, on which she wrote the following entry: