It has been nine years since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School rocked the nation.
The youngest of the fatalities, around six years old, would be preparing to celebrate their sweet sixteen soon if their lives had not been cut short.
On December 14, 2012, in the town of Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Landa killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, 52, and then armed himself with a semiautomatic rifle, two semiautomatic pistols, and multiple rounds of ammunition as he walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School at about 9:30 AM and shot through a plate-glass window.
When the school principal and school psychologist went to investigate the cause of the disturbance, he killed them. When he finally completed his attack on the school, 27 more people were dead, including 20 first graders, all mostly 6 and 7 years old, six school employees, and Lanza himself.
At the time, former President Barack Obama said that “Our hearts are broken today… As a country, we have been through this too many times.”
However, the recent school shooting that claimed the lives of four at Oxford High School on November 30, 2021, shows that stronger gun control measures are needed.
Connecticut Senators Continue To Push For Stronger Gun Control Legislation
Unreal but tomorrow is 9 years since the Sandy Hook shooting. @SenBlumenthal and I joined anti-gun violence advocates today in Hartford to make clear we won’t rest until our schools are safe again. pic.twitter.com/wt30lPRzJ4
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 13, 2021
On Monday, December 13, State Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy traveled to the state capitol to push for stronger federal gun violence protection legislation.
“We can’t lose our sense of outrage,” Blumenthal said. “I am haunted by the memories of that day waiting with parents at a firehouse for news about their children, learning that 20 of them would not come home along with six brave educators.”
Leonard Jahad of Connecticut Violence Intervention, asked, “Is this the best we got? Every 16 minutes someone else [in the United States] is killed by a handgun is the best we got?”
“I have long argued this will go down in American history as one of the greatest social change movements,” Jahad continued. “Not unlike the Civil Rights movement or Marriage Equality, movements take time.”
Nine Years Later: Those Lost Are Still Remembered
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 14, 2021
Reporters at CNN spoke to the families of those who lost loved ones in the attack.
Rachel D’Avino, 29, loved her occupation as a behavioral therapist and working with children on the autism spectrum. Although she didn’t know it, her partner had already bought a ring and asked her parents for their blessing. He was planning to propose to her on Christmas Eve – she was killed only ten days before.
Dylan Hockley, 6, had recently moved to Connecticut from England only two years before the shooting.
“We specifically chose Sandy Hook for the community and the elementary school. We do not and shall never regret this choice,” Dylan’s family said in a statement. They added:
“We cannot speak highly enough of Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, exceptional women who knew both our children. Dylan’s teacher, Vicki Soto, was warm and funny and Dylan loved her dearly. We take great comfort in knowing that Dylan was not alone when he died, but was wrapped in the arms of his amazing aide, Anne Marie Murphy. Dylan loved Mrs. Murphy so much and pointed at her picture on our refrigerator every day.”
Anne Marie Murphy, 52, was described as a hero by a first responder on the scene. Her father told Newsday that she died shielding young children with her body in an attempt to save as many of their lives as possible.
The married mother of four was described as artistic and hardworking. Her mother, Alice, said, “She died doing what she loved.”