by Brian Washington
Millions of people across the nation recognizing today’s six-month observance of the brutal school house massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, will remember how a gunman, armed with military-style assault weapons, claimed the lives of 20 innocent school children and six dedicated educators.
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But high school science teacher Katherine Doerr Morosky doesn’t need an official observance to remember how that tragic day in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School dramatically changed her life, the lives of her family and neighbors, and her entire community. As an educator who lives in Newtown, Morosky, who spoke to Education Votes by phone, sees reminders everyday, all around her.
“I am at my house in Newtown, and I am looking across the street at my neighbor’s house — his niece was murdered,” said Morosky. “Everywhere you turn in Newtown now, it’s not just like a reminder, it is a fact of our lives. It is a reality that is so deep, so stark, and so incredibly chilling.”
Morosky’s 6-year-old daughter attends school down the road from the former site of Sandy Hook Elementary. The young victims were all her daughter’s friends. They played soccer and took ballet classes together — that is until their lives were ripped away from everyone, leaving those like Morosky to wonder, “Why?”
“At Sandy Hook, they had a locked door. They had a camera. They had a buzzer system. They had a lock-down procedure in place,” said Morosky. “But the factor that changes it all is the kind of weapons that young man had and the ability of those weapons to shoot bullets that destroy flesh really, really fast.
“The fact of the matter is, if Adam Lanza had a different kind of gun more kids would be alive.”
That reality is what’s fueling Morosky’s drive to fight for common-sense gun legislation. She supports basic background checks for gun purchases and a ban on military-style assault weapons for civilians. In a blog post she’s written for Momsrising, Morosky is calling on Capitol Hill lawmakers to do the right thing.
“We need our leaders in Washington to act like leaders and pass measures, like simple background checks, that will help make massacres and the daily gun violence plaguing our country less likely. Protecting our children from guns is not too much to ask,” writes Morosky.
Without common-sense gun safety legislation, Morosky’s believes the love, caring, and compassion that educators invest in students to help them achieve their best will be put in jeopardy. And, as a nation, she says we cannot allow this to continue.
“It is unbelievable that it came to this in Newtown, but we are mobilized,” said Morosky. “But it will happen again and again and again unless we figure out a way to make this country safer.”
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