Good article, Connie, unfortunately, your experience of small town resilience is not the case everywhere. When my youngest daughter was killed in my small town in Colorado, the school my children attended declined to hold an assembly or any other meeting to allow children to express their feelings. When one student told my surviving daughter that she should have been the one to have been killed, my son stood up for her and was suspended from school for aggressive behavior. The police contacted me 2 weeks after the event to try to prove that I had somehow been negligent. While a few neighbors were supportive of our loss, the majority of citizens shut down in solidarity to prove to themselves that it still “couldn’t happen to us”. As a consequence, I have made it my mission to be compassionate and loving to every person I meet, especially if they have lost a child. Community has the capacity to heal. I hope more will learn to do that.
Our citizens are the most well armed in the world. We have over 150 million registed guns. As we have seen with the Columbine shootings the guns were easily purchased and the ammo was bought at Wal-Mart.In this case the youth got his uncles automatic weapon. No one asks, what is the uncle doing with an automatic weapon in his house thart isn’t locked up? Why does he have one in the 1st place. Congresswoman Giffords and 5 other were gunned down at a shopping mall. Again a person had easy access to automatic weapons,or how about Va Tech, that person too had automatic weapons easily purchased.I live in a state, NJ that had the first ban on automatic weapons, and we have no school shootings. Americans have to stand up to the NRA and say reasonable gun laws must be passed and we need to protect our children. Owning a gun for hunting is fine, owning an automatic weapon is way over the edge and not what the founders had in mind.
I would like to point out that the only automatic weapons at the Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Congresswoman Giffords shootings were those in the hands of Law Enforcement Officers. At the Columbine shooting Eric had a semi-automatic rifle and a pump action shotgun while Dylan had a semi-automatic TEC-9 handgun and a double barrel shotgun. At the Giffords shooting Loughner used a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol such as is issued to most LEOs except for the extended 33 round magazine. At the Virginia Tech shooting Cho Seung-Hui used a semi-automatic Glock 19 (9mm) and a semi-automatic Walther 22 (.22LR). Even Major Hasan used a 5.7 mm FN semi-automatic pistol to kill 13 at Fort Hood. Please note that not one of the weapons used by the bad guys was an automatic weapon.