‘It’s virtually like an prompt replay.’ Newtown mother and father grapple with one other college taking pictures.

‘It’s almost like an instant replay.’ Newtown parents grapple with another school shooting.

2022-05-25 16:25:25

Elizabeth Williamson is the writer of “Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Reality” and has spent the previous 4 years reporting on the Newtown bloodbath’s aftermath and the households’ battle in opposition to misinformation.

In 2012, the taking pictures of 20 first graders and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty in Newtown, Conn., the worst elementary college taking pictures in American historical past, dealt the nation and its management a profound shock.

Practically a decade later, whereas watching the dying toll rise after Tuesday’s taking pictures at Robb Elementary Faculty in Uvalde, Tex., one father of a Sandy Hook sufferer felt defeated.

“I assume it’s one thing in society we all know will occur once more, time and again,” stated Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse Lewis, 6, died within the taking pictures in 2012.

Mr. Heslin stated he “felt compelled” to observe the protection. “It’s virtually like an prompt replay of Sandy Hook,” he stated.

That replay, he predicted, would come with a revived debate over gun laws, and whereas that happens after most high-profile mass shootings, it grows extra heated after massacres at faculties.

Scores of mass shootings have occurred since Sandy Hook, together with the 2018 taking pictures that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty in Parkland, Fla., and the taking pictures the identical yr that killed 10 at Santa Fe Excessive Faculty in Texas. There have been so many college shootings, the truth is, that a few of the Sandy Hook households say they will predict the nation’s response, which Veronique De La Rosa, mom of Noah Pozner, the youngest youngster to die in Newtown, described on Tuesday as “sadly, a state of paralysis.”

As a result of they contain kids, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Santa Fe and now Uvalde stoke anguished debate over gun coverage and new laws. Even in Texas, a state with a few of the most permissive gun legal guidelines within the nation, mass shootings have spurred assist for a reckoning.

The Nationwide Rifle Affiliation, whose political and monetary heft helped make sure the defeat of a package deal of gun laws after Sandy Hook, is now a weakened group. However the political forces that doomed even comparatively modest laws tightening background checks and banning high-capacity gun magazines nonetheless maintain sway. Requested for his prediction on what the nation can count on after Uvalde, Robbie Parker, whose daughter Emilie died within the Sandy Hook taking pictures, described it as “bleak.” “I can’t assist however suppose this may observe the very same sample as the whole lot else,” Mr. Parker stated.

And but the households level to brilliant spots for them. After Parkland, college students who survived the taking pictures constructed an indignant, sturdy motion. Teams like Mothers Demand Motion, based after Sandy Hook, have made strides on the state and native stage. The Sandy Hook households have received a half dozen defamation lawsuits in opposition to conspiracy theorists, as misinformation campaigns round mass shootings and assaults on survivors have change into a part of the pushback in opposition to new gun laws.

Earlier this yr, the Sandy Hook family members received a file $73 million settlement from insurers for Remington, maker of the AR-15 rifle used within the taking pictures. The Remington victory, which impressed a number of related lawsuits in opposition to gun producers, strikes at a 2005 regulation that shields gun makers from legal responsibility after mass shootings, an N.R.A.-backed measure that Ms. De La Rosa calls “a gross injustice.”

“This can be a public security epidemic,” Ms. De La Rosa stated Tuesday. “Our priorities are so skewed as a society. But there are methods to proper the ship.”

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