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Friday, January 18, 2019

A few days after 6-year-old Noah Pozner was gunned down at Newtown’s Sandy Hook School, his mother, Veronique, gave an interview of searing clarity.

Journalist Naomi Zeveloff, in a column for The Jewish Daily Forward, described the hardest part of her interview with Pozner. I don’t often provide lengthy excerpts, but this defies paraphrasing:

“(Veronique) felt that (Noah’s) body had suffered too many indignities already; she was adamant that he not be autopsied. She wanted him to be buried with a Jewish prayer shawl and with a clear stone with a white angel inside — an ‘angel stone’ — in each of his hands. Veronique was only able to put the stone in his right hand because the left was ‘not altogether there.’ … She asked the funeral director to put the other one in the left hand spot. ‘I made him promise and he did.’

“Veronique told me that Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy visited her in the funeral home, and she brought him to see Noah’s open casket. I asked her why it was important for her and for the governor to see Noah’s body. ‘I needed it to have a face for him,’ she said. ‘If there is ever a piece of legislation that comes across his desk, I needed it to be real for him.'”

Zeveloff pressed Veronique Pozner on why she felt the need to see her son’s body. “It is not up to me to say I am only going to look at you and deal with you when you are alive, that I am going to block out the reality of what you look like when you are dead,” she told Zeveloff. “And as a little boy, you have to go in the ground. If I am going to shut my eyes to that I am not his mother. I had to bear it. I had to do it.”

Unprompted, Pozner continued: “We all saw how beautiful he was. He had thick, shiny hair, beautiful long eyelashes that rested on his cheeks. He looked like he was sleeping. But the reality of it was under the cloth he had covering his mouth. … His jaw was blown away. I just want people to know the ugliness of it so we don’t talk about it abstractly, like these little angels just went to heaven. No. They were butchered. They were brutalized. And that is what haunts me at night.”

Nineteen other young children were killed with Noah, who was shot at close range 11 times. We know little about the aftermath. Reporters are reluctant to ask, and most parents don’t have it in them to share the devastating details.

We should be grateful to Veronique Pozner for laying her grief raw. She is brave to shake us loose from our platitudes about “angels” and a “better place.” I say this as a woman of faith. Such sentiments, I fear, distance us from the earthly reality of gun violence. We need to feel the monster breathing down our necks. We need to figure out how to bring him down.

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19 responses to “Platitudes Won’t Stop The Guns”

  1. nobsartist says:

    Platitudes didnt stop the mortgage scam either.

  2. docb says:

    Bless this brave Mother…The Crime scene pictures need to be placed in front of every do nothing chattel of the Congressional Nra lobby! ..before the debate of vote..Hopefully this will get them off the nra payroll and back doing the business of the people!

    Calling 1-888-717-0911 will connect you automatically based on where you call from. You can also find Senate contact information here. Or call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (202-224-3542) or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ( 202-224-2541) directly, and tell them where you stand.

    • sigrid28 says:

      If we don’t all pick up the phone to call these numbers–at least–we are all as nuts as the rest of them.

      The weekly advertiser our local, right-wing publisher PAYS to put on front steps and porches every week throughout our Iowa town, this week had on its front page a full-page ad about a gun show to be held next weekend at the local conference center. This event includes a Conceal Carry Class and a Defensive Pistol Class, while featuring, the ad says, “taxidermy, engraving, knives, archery, licensed gun dealers, and gun accessories & lots more!”

      At the top is a subscription phone number, which I shall call and tell them never to put this “extra” on my porch again. This will give the NRA supporting publisher a little trouble, because the low-wage earner who delivers will need a list of “do not delivers.” Then I’m going to call their advertisers.

      What I like about the presidential mandates to curtail gun violence is their grapeshot approach, which gives all of us who oppose the despicable tactics of the NRA lots of scope to make that known.

      I also agree that the crime photos will have to go public, in the goodness of time, so that legislators and the voters who elect them cannot turn away. Our young people in particular need to learn the difference between virtual pain and death, and the real thing.

      • docb says:

        Excellent point on a teaching moment for the young, sigrid! Virtual death and the real thing! I am going to steal it!

        • sigrid28 says:

          While making advocacy calls, I noticed something horrendous about this week’s advertising sleeve published by our local right-wing newspaper. On the opposite side of its first page with the humongous, full-page gun show ad, on page 2, is a large, black and white picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. and a generic biographical article entitled: “A Look at the Life and Influence of Dr. King.” When you hold up the page to read this article, the gun show ad bleeds through his face.

          This advertiser sleeve was published on January 16th, the day after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, January 15th, in anticipation of the day of remembrance, January 19th, and the second inauguration of the nation’s first black president on the 21st. The NRA probably paid for this ad, just like they did the video ad on the Web featuring the president’s children. This week also marks the one month anniversary of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which took place on December 14th.

          When I called the newspaper, I asked, “What were you thinking?” They answered, “Many people accuse the paper of being left leaning.” I hope the local groceries and department stores call to complain as I did, as well as the city’s human rights department and its multicultural center.

          Walmart, a frequent advertiser, doesn’t even answer its phone. Its local management is probably unhappy with the ad as well, as the gun show will no doubt cut into Walmart’s profits from firearms, ammo, and gun paraphernalia.

    • zola98 says:

      We on the outside see death in the abstract and here is this brave mother describing the damage done to her precious son’s body which she will have to live with for the rest of her life. This discriptive image will haunt me for a long time.
      Too bad the NRA and their supporters don’t get to see the physicial damages done to innocents whose FREEDOM to life are extinguished forever. We should all be asking ourselves whose freedom is more precious.

      • docb says:

        That is the point of getting this out, zola! There are 19 more children’s bodies unrecognizable ! The Teachers suffered the same fate! Spread this around as much as possible and get it to your congress people and local officials!

        The nra lobbyists for gun manufacturers are trying to shut this down! Do not let them!

  3. Tom Key says:

    The NRA is led by “bad men” who should not be permitted to own automatic weapons.

  4. Enough is enough. Maybe it’s time to put the NRA in the ‘ground’ metephorically.

    We’re going to get the guns away from the crazy people & the criminals & the NRA is NOT going to stand there protecting the rights of the criinals to get guns.

    • BuzzLOL says:

      .. Oh sure, you want to get rid of the guns and keep the crazy people..!!! . Are you nuts?

      • EarlyOut says:

        If the crazy people have no guns available to them, there’s a limit to the damage they can do. And we have no means of reliably identifying the crazy people. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who thinks that having guns in his house will make him safer is crazy, and is precisely the sort of person who shouldn’t have access to guns.

  5. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    I urge all of you to check out which gun manufacturers are funding the NRA in the hundreds of millions every year. This is a sickening attempt at government overthrow. These billonaire gun manufacturers sidle up to MO, TN, NC and VA politicians to fight background checks and banning assault weapons.

    Consider this. A Small Arms survey based on research throughout the world ranks the US No. 1 in per capita gun ownership…the actual number is 88.8 per 100 population. With that many guns in circulation, we are less, not more safe. According to Nationmaster, an international stat source, the US ranks 4th in murders by firearms worldwide outranked only by South Africa, Columbia and Thailand. Great company to be in right?

    Compare this to Denmark with 12 guns per 100 population and 14 murders with firearms, Spain with 10.4 guns per 100 population and 97 murders with firearms.

    The NRA wants more not less guns until the USA is wall to wall guns. They may very well be the first US unregulated militia..and God help our children if that happens.

  6. God, be with these people and lay your wrath on those that would oppose sensible gun legislation.

  7. Pamby50 says:

    I heard part of this earlier this week but to see it in print has brought me to tears. I agree with you docb, the crime scene photos should be put in front of these legislatures every day. Let them see the carnage. Then ask them, How can you sit there and do nothing?

  8. BuzzLOL says:

    . Yes, let’s be “HONEST”, it was deranged religics, not ‘guns’ that murdered these kids… so let’s get rid of evil psychotic conscienceless religion addiction mental illness once and for all…

    • Sand_Cat says:

      Good luck with that. While you think up a practical way to do it, we’ll have to settle for making it more difficult for them to get assault rifles and ammunition.

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