Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 9:01:45 PM
When we first heard about the Sandy Hook shootings, we came together.
Thousands of donations poured into Newtown, prayer vigils and moments of silence were held across the country, and we grieved together for the loss of so many children. But soon after, “we” started to crumble. “We” fell into livid debate over what was to blame, hurling angry generalizations at those who didn’t agree with our ideas on what should be done. On the news and in the coffee shops, “we” disintegrated into different factions – almost all of which fell into whether we needed greater or fewer gun regulations.
We have forgotten that what matters here is the safety of students in schools. It’s undeniable that something needs to change, whether it be guns, media, the mental health system or a mix of the three. What matters isn’t even what we do but that we do it. And it truly needs to be “we”, not the Democrats, not the Republicans, not a gun or media lobby whose interest lies in protecting their industry above all else. We need to act, because without “we” nothing will get done.
So I call on the President, Congress and my everyday neighbors to step up and be “we”. You don’t to have to agree on what is the appropriate action to take. You probably won’t. What you do need to do is have a civil conversation about change –no inflammatory statements, no name-calling, and definitely no refusals to listen. Open up your ears and acknowledge that the human being on the other end of that debate wants schools to be safe just as much as you do. When we start to listen, we start to make progress in school safety in the memory of 26 students and teachers whose lives were stolen in an instant. Isn’t that exactly what we all want?