How many more will it take?


Another mindless killing. Little children this time, between the ages of 5 and 7. They must have woken up in the morning, hugged, kissed and coaxed by their mammas and papas, fed wholesome breakfast, dressed warmly to fend off the cold and sent off to school just like any other regular day. Moms and dads waved goodbye and said, ‘Have a good day, sweetheart! Listen to your teachers and try your best!’

Did they realize that would be their final goodbye? No they didn’t. The thought of saying their final goodbyes didn’t enter their heads because they didn’t live in a war stricken country. They lived in an upscale, quiet, peaceful town of Newtown, Connecticut with a total population of 27000 people. People migrate here in America, legally and illegally, to pursue that American dream of leading a better life. And people here own the right to bear arms to defend themselves – the arms which end up taking the lives of innocent children, again and again and again. Those arms fall into the hands of people with mental health problems and they cease to be means of self-defense, they become deadly weapons that shed the blood of innocent, of babes, of little lives who had gone to school like any other regular day!

Our President is shocked, I have no doubt. He shed tears and I do believe those tears are genuine. He is, first and foremost, a parent. He feels the loss, he grieves. But will those tears bring forth any truly meaningful actions as he promised? Will he have the courage to tell the members of National Rifle association that “Enough already, too much blood has already been spilled because politicians, over the years, needed to appease you for those precious votes!” Will he do something right about bringing stringent laws about gun control which, it is obvious, this nation needs.

Sure guns don’t fire by themselves, people pull the trigger. But due to the easy availability, too many people have easy access to that deadly trigger! People who have mental issues, people who should have received psychiatric treatment instead of access to guns. The young man, Adam Lanza, who shot the children and adults took the guns of his mother, supposedly a substitute teacher of Sandy Hook Elementary (that fact hasn’t been ascertained), who had legally purchased the guns. She was a collector, you see. She paid the price of her hobby with her life and a score of children paid for it too. The children had just seen six or seven summers before their life was brutally ended.

I am shocked, angry, scared. As I made dinner for the children, wrapped them in my arms, kissed them goodnight last night, my heart cried for those parents in Connecticut who waved their final goodbyes to their little children on that fateful morning. Death can come anytime, I understand, but the sad thing is mindless deaths such as these can be prevented. I firmly believe, gun control measures are a solution to gun related crimes in this country. Are our elected officials going to take the right step this time, do you think? At the cost of angering major votebanks, will they bring in ban on assault weapons? Will they rise above politics and vote counts to protect and preserve life, which, by the way, is part of their job description? We need stringent gun control measures. Oh wait! Have I said that already? Pardon me for repeating myself, I am a little flustered right now. I feel if I harp on one point it will finally happen. Naive me!

Some fourth graders were rushed to a store-room closet by their teacher, while Lanza was carrying on his bloody carnage, and since there were papers and crayons available, the teacher set the youngsters to draw pictures while they waited for the police. I would love to see their artwork, what did the terrified little souls create that morning? Some six-year olds were confined in their classrooms by their teacher who explained to them that there was a bad man outside, and they will wait for the good men to come and rescue them. The teacher went to the children who were crying and told them to smile, they will be ok. The children said they wanted to do Christmas, they wanted to go their mommies.

Children die unnecessarily every day, all over the world. I read about their deaths and shudder. Bad, evil people hurt little children, I get more vigilant about keeping mine safe. Sean comes back from different refugee camps and share stories of suffering that tv channels and news papers do not tell us. We grieve for the suffering as a family, we look around and see the splendor surrounding us and hope people don’t forget to remember the people who are hurting all over the world. We try in our little, tiny, inadequate way to make some contribution towards healing a few. And then, we look at the bright, beautiful faces of our two children. We feel blessed to be able to live in a part of the world where we do not have to constantly worry about keeping them safe. Incidents like these shatter our delusion of safety. Safe, our children, are not. And safe, they will not be till guns can’t be bought easily as part of our constitutional right!

How do we explain to our children these shoot outs in a place they consider the safest next to their homes – their schools? How do we tell them, we now worry about their safely when they are at school? We worry that any madman (woman) at any time can use them as target practice when s/he feels the world deserves retribution.

I am stunned, I can’t seem to get over this incident. This one hit home and this one hit hard. I look at the snippets of news where they show the parents crying and think that could be me, any day. This incident will fade away in news channels as America gears up for Christmas, I will laugh, joke and make merry with friends and family, exchange gifts and sing Christmas carols. Life will go on, I know. But I also know, Christmas lights are twinkling less brightly for me right now as I struggle to make sense of it all. For once, I am desperately looking for positivism and I can’t find any. Then I hear about the teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary. Amidst all this evil and carnage and anger and despondence, I bow to the teachers of that elementary school. Some threw themselves in front of the bullets so the children could get away. Some herded the children to safety and hunkered down till they all got rescued. Teachers, you are my heroes. You reinstate the faith in me when all seems lost and the evil gets so powerful that I struggle to breathe. Your actions bring in the fresh air. Goodness is not lost, can not be lost.

Finally, to the little ones who got the most precious gift of all – a second chance at life. Preserve it well darlings. Make something of it. Grow up big and strong, right the wrongs, spread the love, carry the fire, spread the warmth so that the likes of Adam Lanza get the help that they need and don’t ever feel the need to pick up guns to seek retribution.

Let us pray – for PEACE! And an end to easy accessibility of guns. Its time, its time!!!!

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2 Responses to How many more will it take?

  1. krishnalekha says:

    Very aptly said. I am with 100% with you.

  2. reshamblr says:

    Really shell shocked and aghast at this mindless carnage, if I may call it so. Really wish the American Prez does something about the NRA laws. Superbly penned, as always

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