Friday, Dec. 14 is the six-year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty-eight people died that day, including 20 elementary schoolchildren, six staff members and the shooter and his mother.
Having five children, having lost a child, and living five doors from my kids’ elementary school – and at the time serving on borough council in a community named Newtown – this tragedy really hit home with me. We sent condolences to Newtown, Connecticut, and held a memorial service in our own Newtown.
Many people said, ‘never again,’ yet the shootings have continued, and this year, our own state was struck by the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.
While last year, on the fifth anniversary of the shootings, I wrote that ‘little has been done to prevent further tragedies,’ in 2018 – in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida – the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on proposed gun safety legislation, and a single gun safety bill was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Wolf. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.
As we mourn the losses of the children and teachers on this tragic anniversary, let’s also vow to continue to work ever harder to pass gun safety legislation and to build a culture that will help prevent other communities and victims from joining this tragic list.
State Rep. Perry Warren (D-Bucks)