The pain is still fresh. The memories still vivid. And the tears still come. But believe it or not, it’s been a long and difficult six months since Adam Lanza opened fire on 20 first-graders and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
And as the nation stood silent in the wake of all those deaths, the guns kept going off.
It’s estimated that thousands of people have been shot and killed by guns since that fateful day. And it seems like not much will be done to stop the numbers to come.
But, since Dec. 14, there have been some smiles, some wins, and some light.
So we’re taking a look at the highs and lows since last year. Those moments that have given us hope. And those moments that will hopefully serve as a lesson later.
Here they are, in no particular order.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School Choir Sings At The Super Bowl With Jennifer Hudson:
Less than two months after their classmates were gunned down in Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Sandy Hook choir stood alongside Jennifer Hudson and belted out “America the Beautiful” at Super Bowl XLVII. It was an emotional moment that symbolized strength, unity, and love in the face of adversity.
There Have Been 14 Mass Shootings Since The Newtown Massacre:
Just yesterday, a gunman stormed a St. Louis workplace and killed four people. But that wasn’t the only incident since Newtown where an individual blasted his way into an establishment and killed innocent people. According to Think Progress, the 14 shootings since Newtown killed a total of 45 people, not including the perpetrators. Click here to see where the mass killings occurred in this Think Progress infographic.
Hero Teacher Victoria Soto To Have School Named After Her:
Victoria Soto, the 27-year-old teacher who was killed while using her own body to protect her students, was honored by Stratford, Conn. when they decided to name the HoneySpot Elementary School after her. Mayor of Stratford, John Harkins, made the recommendation, which was approved exactly a month after the massacre in December. He is also hoping to build a memorial in honor of Soto and a petition has been started to name a local street after her.
U.S. Senators Drop Background Checks Legislation:
Back in April, it seemed like Congress was making a step in the right direction to curb gun violence. But when it came time to pass a gun control bill that would strengthen gun background checks, U.S. senators backed out. Republican and Democrat senators came up with a 56 (favor) to 46 (against) vote with Sandy Hook families watching. President Obama took to the White House’s Rose Garden with those families to address the failed legislation, and to let our leaders know just how ashamed he was about their decision.
Gun Buyback Programs Became Popular…Even For Toys:
Just recently, an elementary school in San Francisco held a gun buyback program for toy guns in an attempt to show students that guns aren’t the answer. Children who turned in guns got a chance to win a bike and received books. And in the weeks following Newtown, law enforcement encouraged gun buyback programs for real guns in exchange for money, groceries, and even Beyonce tickets. Hey, whatever works…
Victim Jesse McCord Lewis’ Father Heckled While Speaking About Son:
In one of the most heartbreaking events since the Sandy Hook massacre, Neil Heslin spoke at a gun legislation hearing just a month after losing his 6-year-old son. Heslin spoke to the crowd about his loss and what needed to be done to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. While he fought through tears, hecklers screamed out their support for guns and the Second Amendment, but Heslin continued. “He was a boy that loved life. Lived it to the fullest…He was my son, he was my buddy, he was my best friend,” Heslin said.
Gabby Giffords Speaks Up About Gun Control:
In an inspiring moment earlier this year, Tucson gun victim Gabriel Giffords spoke in favor of expanding background checks. While speaking is hard for her, Giffords told the crowd that it “must be done,” because “this is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats and Republicans…too many children are dying. Too. Many. Children.”
More Than 4,500 People Have Been Shot To Death Since December 2012
It is estimated that 33 Americans have died every single day since the Newtown massacre, bringing the total of those individuals murdered by guns to more than 4,500. That number will surely rise today…and in the days to come, unless we, the people, and Congress put aside our differences to make a better tomorrow and curb this senseless gun violence.
The Gun Task Force Is Created:
In response to the carnage of Dec. 14, President Obama announced that a new task force on gun control would be created and headed by Vice President Joe Biden. Earlier this year, the task force released their version of a comprehensive gun control bill.
NRA Sends Pro-Gun Postcards & Robocalls To Newtown Residents:
Back in March, the National Rifle Association, who have been insensitive enough about the massacre, came under fire after they sent pro-gun postcards and robocalls to Newtown residents. The NRA, of course, never responded when asked to explain the marketing scheme.