For the past three years the families of the 20 children -- and six adults -- who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut have had to face a holiday season with an enormous void in their lives that will never be filled.
No one likes to think about it, but try imagining what it must be like for the families of the 26 killed to have one day -- December 14 -- be infinitely worse than every other day of the year. To have to tuck away somewhere in a dark corner of their consciousness, the knowledge that a member of their family was tracked down and slaughtered in an elementary school by a maniac armed with high-powered weapons that serve no purpose other than to kill humans.
Then try imagining what those people must think of the rest of the country that -- after a suitable period of mourning and dithering about what to do -- did absolutely nothing because, in many ways, that is what we do best when confronted with tough decisions.
We have let a collection of kooks and armed sociopaths bully us into accepting that the watering the Tree of Liberty with blood of first graders is the price of freedom and vigilance.
Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, was the end product of our country's toxic gun culture; his mother proudly collected and boasted about her guns and taught her emotionally disturbed son how to shoot. And he repaid her by shooting her in her bed with one of her own guns.
Lanza then walked into Sandy Hook Elementary armed with two handguns and a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, along with 10 magazines carrying 30 rounds apiece. And then he began slaughtering screaming children. It's just that simple.
Afterwards America had a brief conversation about guns before it was overwhelmed with talk about treating mental illness - as is our habit when a mass shooter is white and not Muslim.
And then nothing happened until the next shooting. And then the next. And the next. Get lathered up, rinse it from our minds, repeat.
For gun nuts, Sandy Hook was the best thing that ever happened.
Writing at Bearing Arms, Bob Owens actually used the Sandy Hook anniversary to gloat over the good fortune of weapons manufacturers and his fellow gun fetishists -- who are a personal slight or a paranoid fantasy away from going Sandy Hook on the neighborhood.
"Oh, dear," Owens wrote. "The Associated Press has looked at what’s happened since Sandy Hook, and they’ve come to realize that their dreams of gutting the Second Amendment have failed spectacularly."
To his credit, he didn't write #LOL
"What Bloomberg’s not doing, however," he added, "is winning on a national level, which is why he’s be [sic] forced to fight stop-gap fights on the state level to limit the damage to his cause of citizen disarmament. We’re winning… and they can’t stand it."
For Owens, this is what "winning" looks like:
Matthew Lysiak wrote a book on Sandy Hook called "Newtown: An American Tragedy" -- and for a real treat, go read the 1-star reviews at Amazon written by Sandy Hook truthers if you want to have a serious discussion about mental illness -- but I think the book is incorrectly titled.
What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown wasn't a tragedy. It was a horrific event that should have galvanized the American public to begin taking the Founding Fathers at their word when they wrote about a "well-regulated militia," and stop the sale of weapons of war and high-capacity magazines -- that have absolutely no reasonable reason to be available-- to the general public.
What is an "American tragedy" is that we are not doing one fucking thing to make sure another Sandy Hook or a Charleston church and, yes, even a San Bernardino shooting never happens again.
Shame on us.