By Sharon Gordon
Calls for stricter gun control laws have come from across the country in the wake of the massacre carried out by lone shooter 20-year-old, Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut last Friday, December 15. Twenty kindergarteners and six adults were gunned down inside their classrooms.
Reports are that the little bodies were riddled with bullets as Lanza shot the children as many as ten or eleven times. The tragedy has sent shock waves throughout the nation and the world. It has once again triggered a national discussion on gun control.
Happening at a time when families are preparing for the holiday season, this tragedy has come as a wake up call to a nation which has a love affair with violence and guns.
“How many little boys will receive a toy gun on Christmas morning?” asked Donovan Quinn on his Facebook wall. From President Obama to the deli store owner, Americans are calling for stricter gun control laws.
“It’s too easy to get guns,” says Michele Anderson, “this notion of not touching the Second Amendment needs to be revisited. We are living in different times now. We are not using muskets folks, we are using automatic assault weapons.”
It has been reported that Adam Lanza’s mother, Nancy was a ‘gun enthusiast’ who collected guns and stored ammunition in her house, as she expected an ‘economic doomsday’ and “needed protection since she lived alone with her son.”
It is also reported that Nancy would take Adam to guns shows and firing ranges so he could learn to shoot. “What mother knowing that her child is mentally ill, keeps loaded guns around the house and teaches him how to use them?” inquires Maxine Murray, a mother of three.
The answers to these and other questions, such as what was caused Adam Lanza to shoot his mother four times in the head as she lay in bed; or why did he target Sandy Hook and the little children will never be known as both he and his mother are dead.
“Based on all that we are learning about Adam and his mental health challenges, he should never be anywhere near guns,” said social worker Elizabeth Loebman who works in the New York City Prison System.
During a recent radio broadcast, journalist Pat Meschino suggested “we must look at the drugs this young man was taking or had just come off of and how did these drugs affect him.”
During the broadcast a few callers spoke of the ‘slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals’ being prescribed to younger and younger children with mental health issues.
John Vsion offered, “Most of the killers in these mass shootings have been young white men who are known to have been taking psychotrophic drugs.” “That may be true,” says Donovan Witter, “but what America really needs is to have better systems in place to support families who have loved ones suffering with mental health issues.
No one wants to discuss the mental health aspect of this tragedy.” “Twenty little babies gone forever, how do we even begin to grasp this depth of this tragedy,” Murray asked. “Things will never be the same again.”
Many have added their voice to the debate saying it’s time to stop talking and take action. Even President Obama has said that it is time for ‘a meaningful discussion.’ As the holiday approaches the sense of loss will undoubtedly increase.
The community of New Town, Connecticut will need lots of counselling and support as they work through this grief in an attempt to mend the pieces of their lives back together. “We pray that there will be no more massacre or shootings,” said nurse Karen Dally, “we can’t take anymore. It’s time for healing America.”