I tweeted earlier today about my horror regarding the shootings in Newtown, CT, and my connections to the community. I grew up nearby and have friends who attended the school where the shooting took place.
An editor at CNN’s opinion section read earlier commentary I’d posted here about the difficulty in opening a debate about gun control in the US. He asked for my reactions to today’s shootings, and I responded with a brief commentary. It is currently running on CNN’s site, and it begins:
I logged onto Facebook this afternoon, terrified of what I would read.
I grew up near Newtown, Connecticut, and went to high school in Danbury, Connecticut. A close friend spent her childhood at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the school where a shooter killed at least 26 people today, police said, most of them children.
Police reports are still coming in, and we are only beginning to grasp the scale of this tragedy. Friends are describing their panic as they try to reach their children in schools that are on lockdown. One of my high school classmates is trying to support her best friend, whose daughter was one of the children killed.
My Facebook timeline is filled with expressions of relief for those who escaped the violence, sorrow for those lost, and prayers for recovery. It’s also filled with friends demanding that America take action on gun control. Their calls are answered by others who protest that this is a time to mourn, not a time for politics.
A tragedy like today’s shooting demands we both mourn and take action.
Predictably, for a post about the difficulty of having open dialog about gun control in the US, it’s generating thoughtful and reasoned debate. Here’s one of the carefully reasoned tweets engaging with my argument:
@EthanZ thanks for being another gun control fucktard shamelessly and cynically exploiting your bullshit agenda
— njack (@njack) December 15, 2012
Looking forward to more and less helpful responses.