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December 14, 2012 – Eight years ago this day, the unthinkable happened. In a year of school shootings, reported with sickening regularity, the most horrific episode was unfolding at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut. A gunman, later identified as 20-year old Adam Lanza, walked into Sandy Hook Elementary and opened fire, killing 26 (later revised to 28) with some 18 school children, including many kindergartners. It was later learned Lanza turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. It was also later discovered that Lanza had killed his mother before going to the school.
As reports flooded in, and anxious parents waited for news, debate was renewed over the need for stricter gun controls and imposing background checks on gun buyers as well as proposals for new Federal and State gun legislation to prevent just this sort of thing happening again.
But the damage had been done – the victims, ranging in age between 6 and 7 along with six adult staff members offered ample proof that our gun laws had gotten out of control and that something had to be done to prevent this, as well as the other school shootings that went on earlier in the year, from continuing to happen.
But true to form; the talk and debate and the hand-wringing were subdued and muted, and within weeks the imperative of finding a solution to our plague of violence slipped back to a distant memory.
Only what was left was loss – of families torn apart and of grief that one more time senseless killings took place, and one more time the faces of anguish filled our screens and newspapers and one more time we were left to shake our heads and ask why.
As a reminder, here is a half-hour capsule of events as they were happening, via WCBS-880 in New York from December 14, 2012.