Over the weekend, I was thinking about what I was going to blog about for this week, kicking around this idea and that. It was a normal weekend in my house - the kids played, they fought, we laughed, we watched some television together, we watched football (boo, hiss on the Patriots. I so wanted to see them lose.)
And as I was hanging out with my son yesterday afternoon, watching Haunted History (the Boy loves all things ghost related. Ghosthunters is his favorite show. He asked for a K2 meter for his birthday,) it dawned on me. All those things, that I so take for granted, will never be the same for those families in Connecticut. The routine, mundane, just lazing around snuggling with the Boy (at 12, the Girl is far too cool for that kind of stuff now) - twenty families no longer have that to take for granted.
Today marks one month since the tragedy in Newtown. One month since those twenty families have been able to take for granted the fact that their little boy or girl would always be there for some snuggling. I can't, as a parent, even begin to imagine the ache that void must leave. How empty those arms must feel. Something as simple as a hug - gone forever.
This has affected me in a way that no other national tragedy has. In some ways, it's even more painful to me than 9/11 was. I am a parent. I cannot imagine being in the shoes of one of those twenty families. And yes, I know there were 6 adults killed as well, but the loss of one child in so violent a manner is beyond comprehension, never mind twenty. Twenty kids robbed of their right to grow up.
I've never been much of an activist. I belonged to NOW for a long time in my late teens and early twenties, but it never went beyond writing a check for the membership fee. But now, I'm thinking maybe it's time to do something a little beyond just writing a check.
I firmly believe in gun control (and no, gun control does NOT mean banning all guns. Anyone who thinks that is a prime example of why we need gun control, as they are obviously too stupid to realize the difference and really probably shouldn't be allowed near a Nerf dart gun, never mind the real thing.) The ban on assault weapons needs to be reenacted. There needs to be a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips. There needs to be background checks and access to better mental health care in this country for anyone in the same house as a gun.
I'm not against guns, only certain ones. No one on the face of this earth beyond the military or law enforcement needs semi-automatic assault weapons to protect their home. No. One.
For the first time ever, I'm writing my senators, urging them to have the balls to stand up to the NRA and do the right thing. It's something extremely small, but it's a start.