I heard crying even before I saw it. Katie’s cries carried down the stairway…
Mommy! Matthew broke his Buzz Lightyear Christmas ornament!
In her hands, she held Buzz. In three pieces. Matthew trailed behind, with a look of guilt on his tiny face and tears in his eyes.
It’s okay, Mommy will fix it, I promised.
And I could see immediately that she doubted my ability to put Buzz back together again.
It won’t work, Mommy. It’s totally broken.
I reassured her that I would find a way and my mind immediately tried to figure out how. Would I need Super glue? Or should I dust off my glue gun? Or would this require some type of special epoxy? And what would I use if none of those worked? Perhaps Buzz would never be the same, but I was certain that I could get him pulled together and in one piece. What would it say about me if I merely threw my hands up in the air because fixing it is was too difficult?
Sunday evening, I listened to President Obama speak at the vigil for the victims of the Newtown tragedy and his words resonated in my heart.
If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town … then surely we have an obligation to try…We can’t accept events like this as routine. We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.
We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.
Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?
Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?
Of course I’ve heard it all before.
We all have.
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, they say.
Stricter gun control laws won’t fix this country.
Perhaps they’re right. Perhaps there’s nothing that we can do to make this country completely safe. Or perhaps it will be a combination of things that come together to help us move forward.
But if we don’t even try, we can be certain of that.
As the daughter of a man who was shot and killed nearly forty years ago, I ask you, what do we have to lose?
As a mother of two who will never be the same after the horrific tragedy that ripped through Newtown, Connecticut, how can we not try?
The solution may not be perfect. And our fractures may always be visible, but don’t we owe it to ourselves, our children and each other to try to figure out a way to fix all that is broken?