Americas

The Day Hell Came to School

Hell came to school on 12/14/12.

Five years ago today, a 20-year-old stormed into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and massacred 20 first graders and six adults in a frenzy of gunfire.

The killer used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle to slaughter the students and six educators. It took him less than five minutes.  All but two of his victims were shot multiple times.

On what should have been a routine December school day, twenty 6 and 7-year old children said goodbye to their families and never came home.

Every year on this day, I make a donation to Sandy Hook Promise, a national non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed on that hellish day. 

The Sandy Hook Promise mission is to honor their lost loved ones by turning their tragedy into a moment of transformation by providing programs and practices that protect children and prevent the senseless, tragic loss of life.

Dylan Hockley’s mom, Nicole had this to say in a recent email I received:

I remember getting Dylan onto the bus that morning. Then later, I drove to my kickboxing class. On the way there, I felt a sudden pain shoot through my stomach – I remember feeling like I was going to vomit. Timing-wise, the drive to class would have been right around the time Dylan was being shot. As a mom, sometimes I think: Did I just feel my son's life go?

Daniel Barden’s dad, Mark said this in his email:

Hope broke our hearts that day, but hope is also the only thing that's kept me going in the five years since. Hope that we can teach students and adults to spot warning signs of gun violence and prevent other tragedies. Hope that we can pass gun safety reforms to save lives.

Many of the children murdered were born in 2005. Their parents were given their greatest gift—the gift of life.  

That same year Congress gave the gun industry a gift when they voted to shield firearms manufacturers and dealers from “frivolous” liability lawsuits.  No recourse for families of murdered loved ones. No consequences for many weapons that have no legitimate place in the civilian population.

Fifty-nine Democrats joined 223 Republicans and the House's lone independent to pass the shameful bill—bought and paid for by the N.R.A. 

Little Dylan Hockley was shot at least five times at point-blank range.  

Dylan’s mom ended her email with this: “I channel my pain into this work because I want my beautiful butterfly Dylan's death to have meant something.” 

The Sandy Hook Promise mission is simple. Prevent gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge so that no other parent experiences the senseless, horrific loss of their child.

I would ask each and every one of you to please go to the Sandy Hook Promise website and donate.