Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Letter To the Children of Newtown

To all the children whose lives were cut down tragically and senselessly in Newtown last year, I wish to apologize to you and to your families.  Your deaths were in vain. And not only yours, but the deaths of 194 other children over the last 365 days, as well. They and you were slaughtered because of a nation's blood-thirsty love affair with guns and a warped perception of the 2nd Amendment. All of you deserved better.

You probably don't know much about the 2nd Amendment; to be honest, you're not alone. Most of the adult population of this country apparently doesn't know much about it either. Because if they did, if they actually knew what that damned document actually says and, more importantly, what it doesn't say, your parents wouldn't be mourning your passing this day. You would still be in that school, safe and sound, learning your ABCs without a care in the world. You had every right to believe that those charged with protecting you would do their utmost to keep you out of harm's way. On behalf of them and a blind nation, we let you down; we failed you.

There is no way to adequately express how sad and angry I am that because of the ignorance of a few very powerful and evil people you will never be able to play with your friends again. Your parents will never be able to hug you and watch you grow up into the adults you were meant to be. No more ball games to attend, no more dance recitals to rehearse for, no future proms to go to, no cramming for college exams, no weddings to plan or children of your own to raise. Life for you came to a screeching halt that day, but for us the tears continue.

You were too young to know what we adults understand all too well: that death is a part of life. But death like this should never be part of anyone's life. Your deaths were preventable. They did not have to happen. Some of you with a religious upbringing were probably taught about God's will. I can assure you that none of this was God's will. Knowing the Lord as I do, his will was for you to live a long and happy life in the bosom of your family. It was only the will of a sick individual who had access to weapons he had no business getting his hands on that ended your lives abruptly and prematurely. He and his accomplices - all of us - are to blame, not God. But then you know that now.

There are far too many of you in heaven these days and my fear is that many more will soon be passing through those pearly gates to join your ranks. This is both our sin and our burden. To be honest, the adults in the room haven't behaved very much like adults lately. We knew there was something wrong and we simply didn't do enough to make it right. And now your blood and the blood of countless victims just like you who are on our hands. Forgive us for being weak. 

The bells may have tolled 26 times this morning in your honor, but for us they will never stop tolling.  For it is not enough just to honor your memory with a moment of silence. Silence has been our problem all along. If we are truly interested in honoring your memory, we must shout out at the tops of our lungs that we are tired of burying our children like this. This madness must end.

May God have pity on our souls and give us the grace to get through this terrible ordeal as well as the strength to do His will.

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