December 14th marks the third year since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut—one of the most devastating events in memory, it shook the entire United States.
Nicole Hockley lost her son, Dylan, that day. A bright first-grader who senselessly lost his life, Dylan inspired Hockley, along with other parents to establish the Sandy Hook Promise, an organization whose goal is to “develop gun violence prevention and mental health programs, and to advocate for gun safety laws.”
Hockley recently spoke with the Huffington Post about the Promise, along with her overarching goals regarding gun violence and gun regulation.
With politicians routinely working to lift gun safety laws, leading to increased deaths due to guns, she referred to the urgent nature of the issue, affirming, “We feel the pressure of time…It frustrates us and hurts that along the way there's still going to be so many people that die, because we can't move fast enough.”
She pushed for personal responsibility and action to combat this, doling out the harsh reality that we cannot be complacent and disaffected if we want to engender any change: “Sometimes when more shootings happen, it inspires people to action, but it can also be de-sensitizing, in terms of ‘Well, that's just the way it is in America. This is our new normal.’ For anyone to accept this as ‘normal’ is just wrong, and for anyone to throw up their hands and say, ‘Well, what can be done?’ -- that's not helping. Stop throwing your hands up in the air and saying, ‘It's the gun lobby’ or ‘It's the politicians.’ No. Why don't you take personal responsibility? Find out what you can do, and make a difference.”
Hockley makes an incredibly important point: simply blaming political institutions for the status quo is an apathetic response, and one that will not help the child dying every other day due to gun violence, or the 12,223 people killed in incidents due to guns. Just in 2015, there have been 62 shootings in schools—a number that will only increase if effective measures are not taken to end the gun epidemic in the U.S.
Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @SpencerSays