So, ten days break from blogging and such an emotional, heartwrenching post to come back to.
I wasn't going to write it, but it just can't be ignored.
I may offend, but really, we are way past that.
On December 14, my facebook status read "I'm so sorry my beloved America".
It was a story that started like a ripple on the water, circles that start off small, and slowly....very slowly....spread outwards into perfect formation, gathering everything in it's wake.
The news was big, and hour by hour, the ripples got bigger...more information, more tragic news, more undescribable disbelief that this could actually be happening.
The focus this time was about children. Not teenagers, or young adults in a movie theatre, but little, innocent babies murdered at school. This focus in no way devalues the loss of the brave and wonderful adults, but it stirs something in us that is just.not.right.
So many children..so many.
Could you just imagine the feeling of rushing to the school and just not knowing what you would find?
Would your heart stop beating for just a moment?
Would you be able to breathe?
As a parent I put myself in this position, and it hurts. Before having children, I could be shocked and saddened by a tragedy, but as a mother I can relate. It's no less thoughtful, but it is different.
I hope that makes sense.
So what happens now? The messages of love, hope and support will keep flooding through social media, until the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting becomes a sad reference on Wikipedia.
We will distance ourselves from the exact last moments of the lives of the beautiful children, because it is just too horrific to think about.
The Anniversary will come, ribbons will be worn and a day remembered.
How many of these days will come and go before something is done? Before laws are changed and people realise that the current focus is not working?
Australia's firearm laws in a nutshell:-
State laws govern the possession and use of firearms in Australia. These laws were largely aligned under the 1996 National Agreement on Firearms. Anyone wishing to possess or use a firearm must have a Firearms Licence and, with some exceptions, be over the age of 18. Owners must have secure storage for their firearms.
Before someone can buy a firearm, he or she must obtain a Permit To Acquire. The first permit has a mandatory 28-day delay before it is first issued. In some states (e.g., Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales), this is waived for second and subsequent firearms of the same class. For each firearm a "Genuine Reason" must be given, relating to pest control, hunting, target shooting, or collecting. Self-defence is not accepted as a reason for issuing a license, even though it may be legal under certain circumstances to use a legally held firearm for self-defence.
Each firearm in Australia must be registered to the owner by serial number. Some states allow an owner to store or borrow another person's registered firearm of the same category.
Obviously a privilege rather than a right.
And to my beloved America. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is set out in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
A right, not a privilege. With a distinct and obvious impact on the gun culture of America.
The right to bear arms while perhaps being relevant hundreds of years ago, to protect ones family from invaders or grizzly bears, could be somewhat outdated now. From a patriotic viewpoint, I can understand wanting to protect your family, and having the right to do so, but seriously at what cost?
Tougher firearm laws may not have stopped this perpetrator from carrying out last week's atrocity, but it may have made it harder for him to obtain the weapons to do so.
There is a connection. It is obvious. We may have just turned a corner because it is just not acceptable for these children to be gone.