Good evening all...
We are all painfully aware of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. This one hits us differently from the others. We do not have to go to the movies. We do not have to attend university. Every single one of us goes to elementary school. Those of us with children send their children to elementary school. We look, and we realize that the difference between Newtown and Anytown, or between Newtown and Ourtown is minimal at best.
I want to point at a woeful lack of gun control laws in the United States. However, while there are more incidents, the United States is most certainly not alone. Four people were killed in Alberta last year. We all saw what happened in Toulouse. Norway has some of the strictest laws in existence. While stricter laws may be part of the answer, they are not the full answer.
The Talmud tells us: "Ein haolam mitkayem ela bishvil hevel tinukot shel beit rabban - the world only continues due to the laughter of schoolchildren." The laughter of 20 schoolchildren will not be heard again. Countless others will have to learn to laugh anew. Children whose lives should have been more about crayons and cookies instead became permanent pictures in the memory of the vast majority of people, people who are decent, people who wonder about the well-being not just of their own children, but of all children.
While the world will continue, we have lost something in Newtown, CT. We have lost something that we cannot get back.
Friends...hold your children a little closer. Hug them a little more often. Let them be the wonderful children that they are. And yes...send them to school. Those who choose violence should not define our children's gleaming futures.