Monday, December 17, 2012

12.17.12 Heroes of the Day: the heroes of Sandy Hook

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Last Friday, I was walking out of work after working 10 1/2 hours, when I checked my email on my smartphone. One of the messages came from one of the newsletters I subscribe to, and I shook my head. Another school shooting, but this time, it was at an elementary school.

A lone gunman with a history of mental problems opened fire on his own mother, a Kindergarten teacher fired more shots onto young students and teachers alike at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. In all, 26 people were killed, including 20 children aged 6-7 and six adults, all staff at Sandy Hook. 20-year-old Adam Lanza started the day by killing his mother at her home and took her car to the school where he opened more shots on students and staff. When responders arrived at the school, Lanza took his own life.

Lanza had a total of four weapons that he used to kill: a .223 semi-automatic rifle, a 10mm Glock, a 9mm Swiss SIG Sauer and a shotgun that was discovered in Lanza's mother's car.

Newtown was a city that many would never even come close to imagining as a place where such a disaster would even strike. Famous for its rural charm, but yet, only 60 miles from New York City and 45 miles from Hartford. But it happened. Now, the Sandy Hook disaster is the second-worst school disaster in history, only next to the horrific 1927 school bombing in Bath, MI, just five miles outside of Lansing. Redneck farmer Andrew Kehoe was angry over the fact that his taxes rose significantly because of the school's erection, so he planted explosives under the newly-built consolidated school building and even his foreclosed property. When the explosives went off at the school, Kehoe arrived in a truck with more explosives, which exploded on cue, killing him and many more others. In all, 45 people lost their lives that day; 38 of those lost where children.

Since last Friday's tragedy, there were many people who did the right thing to help others, but others who screwed up and said some stupid things. There was Mike Huckabee, who claimed that the disaster could have been prevented if public schools didn't ban God (OK, and why are little boys getting molested in Catholic churches?) and even Westboro Baptist Church, who promised that they will picket victims' funerals.

But, there were many heroes and those who did the right thing in regards to the disaster. Most of the heroes where the teachers and other faculty who tried their hardest to protect their young while Lanza was making his rounds. There was principal Dawn Hochsprung and psychologist Mary Sherlach who left a meeting to find out where the shootings where coming from, only to get shot themselves. There was also teacher Victoria Soto, who shut her kids in a closet while Lanza was firing at her, killing her. Several other teachers and staff were fatally shot trying to guard their students.

Sandy Hook Elementary had a security plan in place since the beginning of the school year. Although Lanza was its breach, this disaster could have been even more disastrous. The school's teachers did the right thing by treating their own kids like their own and protected them.

Since the disaster, many paid tribute to the tragedy. Saturday Night Live had its most-poignant cold opening in its 37-year history by having a New York City children's choir sing "Silent Night" instead of a hilarious sketch. At all NFL stadiums Sunday, a moment of silence was observed in memory of those affected in the massacre. Even Fox News deserved props for airing ALL of Sunday night's ceremony in Newtown that featured a speech from President Obama.

True, we can keep honoring those and remembering what happened in Newtown, but we must remember that we must try to find ways to keep guns away from those who should never be near a gun in the first place. It's sick that somehow, somebody like Adam Lanza got his hands on all those guns only to kill innocent people. What's also frightening is that since the days of Columbine, our government has done more to fight the war against Janet Jackson's right tit on TV and Howard Stern instead of fighting the war against guns.

Folks, this is why I vote Democrat. The Republicans all feel that the Second Amendment is more important than the First, and that EVERYBODY - sane or not - should own a gun. To prove how cowardly the GOP is, Betsy Fischer Martin, the executive producer of Meet the Press tweeted that she invited all of the pro-gun senators to appear on last Sunday's show, and none of them agreed to show up.

Look at what happened in Aurora, or Wisconsin or earlier in the week at that mall in Oregon. People who shouldn't be close to a gun are too close to them. Why? Simple: because for eight years, we had a president who was a gun nut himself, and even under his aegis, we had several shooting disasters such as Virginia Tech and the club shooting that took Dimebag Darrell of Pantera away from us. But when it comes to boobies on TV, nooooooooo! We can't have that!

I hope that for the last four years in office, President Obama can convince ESPECIALLY the GOP that gun violence in America must be stopped. He deserves to be a hero for doing something most of his GOP opponents can't even do, and that's care about the affected in Friday's rampage. His tears spoke volumes during his speech Friday. It's time to do something about guns, once and for all.

Guns kill, boobies don't.

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