Yesterday was a day of blog silence for many, a way to pay tribute to the victims of the Newtown shooting. It was an act I took part in, though I decided to forego the special badge that announced my participation. But today, my moment of silence has ended.
I've heard the perspective that bloggers can provide uplifting content for others, give them something to focus on other than the news. But personally, I don't think we can afford to ignore what's in front of us, to be uplifted in a time of senseless tragedy. I think we need to speak often and vigorously. Now, while this moment is fresh and still so raw. We, all of us, need to be the catalyst for change.
I remember Columbine so clearly. I was on my honeymoon, full of hope for the future, shattered by what I saw on television. That was almost fourteen years ago and at the time felt like a crazy, isolated tragedy. Since that time, crazy has turned into commonplace. It breaks my heart over and over again.
We need to talk. We need to examine ourselves. We need to determine whether we need so many guns - and if so, whether we need assault weapons in the hands of our citizens. We need to look hard at the issues of mental illness and emotional problems, be prepared to recognize them in people we love dearly. We need a solid system in place to support those individuals and their families.
I wish I lived in a world where love conquers all, where I don't have to worry that a similar fate could befall my six year-old. I don't. But I hope I live in a world where reason and compassion can overtake political divide. I hope I have a future where these types of mass killings begin to abate.
There's a lot of work to do. I hope we'll do it - all of us, together. That's the best way I can think of to support the community of Newtown.