orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Community News Network

January 31, 2014

The shootings go on: Sandy Hook's horror is becoming commonplace

WASHINGTON — When the detective arrived at my home, he had a folder in his hand. "We just have some paperwork to take care of first," he said. After I signed his forms, he gave me a box with the clothes my mother was wearing when she was murdered. It had been almost a year, but I needed to touch them, to know how many times she was shot, to see where she had been hurt.

My mom, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Recently, I told a woman that my mother had passed away just over a year ago. I was trying to be polite, but I instantly felt disgusted with myself for using the term "passed away." My mother was shot to death through no fault of her own. That is not "passing away." She was killed, gunned down in what I would normally have called her haven - her school.

There have been at least 39 school shootings since the massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012. Already this year there have been 10 school shootings, including one Thursday at Eastern Florida State College. Sadly, Americans seem to be getting used to seeing our nation's youth, parents and educators gather outside schools, waiting to hear if their loved ones are safe.

This past December, the holiday season felt wrong. There was an empty place at our table, and traditions didn't seem to matter anymore. My daughter was not yet 6 months old when my mother was killed. I tuck her into bed each night with a stuffed doll that was the first and only Christmas gift she'll ever get from her grandmother. The doll is a nightly reminder that my daughter will never know my mother.

During my mother's wake, my 10-year-old son burst into tears and asked me why, of all the schools in America, this had to happen at Grandma's school. I didn't know how to tell him the truth: that this could happen anywhere, that such shootings might continue to happen.

 Immediately after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, discussion of safer gun laws consumed the nation. At the time, I thought it was too soon - 26 innocent people had just been slaughtered at the school, and we were mourning.

I realize now that I was wrong: It wasn't too soon - it was already too late.

It was too late for my family and for all the families of Sandy Hook. It was too late for the families of the victims of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, Tucson, Aurora and Oak Creek.

Early last year it felt like the tragedy in Newtown was an eye-opener to the problem of gun violence in our country. But since Newtown, more than 12,000 Americans have been killed by gun violence. Last April, a majority of senators voted for a bipartisan bill to expand background checks and keep guns out of the wrong hands - but a minority caved to the gun lobby and was able to block passage.

I thought Congress' failure to pass gun-safety legislation would shatter my hopes. But it did the opposite: I and others who make up the 90 percent of Americans who support comprehensive background checks aren't going away. We're here to share our stories and fight for our future.

As the daughter of a shooting victim, I hope no one else ever has to suffer through my experience. As a mother, I am horrified by the thought that this senseless violence could happen again anywhere, at any moment. There have been too many shootings and too many moments of silence. There is a national movement of Americans, from mayors to moms, raising our voices. We demand action - closing the private-sale loophole - from our leaders, and we will win the fight against gun violence.

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 14, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 14, 2014

  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide