The shootings in Newtown, Connecticut last week spread grief and turmoil across the country, including to towns and neighborhoods throughout Gwinnett County and Northeast Georgia.
Many of Patch's contributors have responded with thoughtful and thought-provoking posts to continue the local conversation about what the mass murder of children and their teachers means, and how we should respond.
Here is a glimpse at some of their blogs and opinion pieces, in case you missed them:
Jason Books on losing a child:
You never get used to standing over your child's grave. Not when it's open, waiting on the coffin to be lowered. Not when the first shovel full of dirt hits the top of the vault. Not when the last shovel full of dirt gets patted into place and the flowers get draped over the mound. Not even when, eight years later, you stand there to just remember that she existed.
Leigh Hewett on discussing the shootings with your children:
I began to research how to handle telling your children about a school shooting. Obviously, we would not tell our 3-year-old but most of what I read said that it would be appropriate to talk to a child over the age of 7. With heavy hearts, my husband and I decided that we would talk to him about it Sunday afternoon. We knew better than to tell him too close to bedtime or before school on Monday morning. I felt sick at the thought of even uttering the words to him.
Joe Dennis with a call to ban semiautomatic weapons:
Doing the math, over the past 18 years, mass shootings involving legally purchased assault weapons resulted in 160 innocent deaths, while mass shootings involving illegally purchased assault weapons resulted in 20 deaths. Obviously, assault weapons and the ease of purchasing them is not the sole reason 160 people have lost their lives. However, one cannot deny the link between the spike in mass killings and the expiration of the assault weapons ban.
John P. Dunn with a call to preserve gun rights:
For the United States, this is the Big One. As is customary, the usual suspects ran to the nearest microphones demanding, “Finally,” America must deal with this issue of guns killing people. The very first out of the gate was Rep. Donna Edwards (D. Md.) who proclaimed, “It is time to act to control handguns. This is not about ducks and deer.” ... And so begins what might be the final putsch to seriously degrade our nation’s Second Amendment.
Katha Blackwell on keeping schools safe:
I have a few ideas on ways to keep our children safe while they are in school. ... Please note that these are ideas, there is never a guarantee that a gunman like in Newtown could have been stopped by these measures. I believe the principal and teachers of that school did their very best to protect those children.
Marne M on how everyone grieves differently:
Do what you need to do to grieve in whatever manner is best for you. Get angry. Scream and cry. Go to church. Don't go to church. Shut down completely. But be kind and loving to one another, and know that they grieve with you.
What are your thoughts on the Newtown shootings? Share them in the comments below.