Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was one of the victims at Sandy Hook, spoke at her son’s memorial a week after his death:
Some autistic individuals rock their bodies, roll their heads, or flap their hands. Dylan was a flapper. Whenever he got excited or happy, he jumped up and down and flapped as hard as he could. One day I asked Dylan “Why do you flap?”
In all honesty, because Dylan had underdeveloped language skills, I wasn’t expecting him to answer, but he did. He said “Because I am a beautiful butterfly.”
It has been said that something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane half way around the world, that a small change or a single occurrence in one place can result in large differences elsewhere. It redefines the future.
Dylan is our butterfly. All of the children and adults who lost their lives last week are our butterflies. And if one butterfly can cause a hurricane, then 26 butterflies can change the world. I refuse to accept this as a senseless tragedy. I believe Dylan and the others that died with him are catalysts.
And while I selfishly wish that my child were with me and while I fear the empty space in my heart will never be filled, I am also at peace taking comfort in the knowledge that his death will have meaning. There will be a positive change from this.
The following Rachel Maddow segment shows Nicole Hockley’s emotional tribute from Dylan’s memorial:
Click the above image to see the video.
In the same clip from the Rachel Maddow Show, there is also a segment from 60 Minutes with the Sandy Hook parents. In the segment, Sandy Hook parent David Wheeler pleaded:
I’d like every parent in this country, that’s 150 million people, I’d like them to look in the mirror… and look in your eyes and say this will never happen to me, this will never happen in my school, this will never happen in my community, and see if you actually believe that.
And if there is a shadow, the slightest shadow of doubt about what you said, think about what you can do to change that, in your house, in your community, in your school, in your country. Because we have an obligation to our children to do this for them.
It’s going to happen again. It’s going to happen again. And every time, it’s somebody else’s school, it’s somebody else’s town, it’s somebody else’s community until one day, you wake up, and it’s not.
However, it has been a very depressing day in politics. Even though approximately 90% of Americans want increased background checks, the Senate could not pass the bill.
Some of the arguments for rejecting the bill:
Ted Cruz (R – TX) – In my opinion, adopting mandatory federal background checks… puts on the path to a push for federal regulation.
- So per Ted Cruz, even though there is no federal regulation proposed in this bill and even though this bill is beneficial for Americans, he cannot vote for this bill just because what might happen at some unknown point in the future, which anyway would be a completely separate vote.
Richard Shelby (R – AL) – I believe we should not restrict transactions between law-abiding citizens especially since we will not prevent such transactions between criminals.
Tom Coborn (R – OK) – We need to recognize that we cannot legislate away the evil that is about us.
Charles Grassley (R – IA) – People who steal guns do not submit to background checks.
- First, background checks does not restrict the transaction between law-abiding citizens.
- Secondly, if we follow their logic that criminals do not follow laws, and that’s why there’s no need to pass this legislation, that means as well, there’s no need to pass any drug laws since criminals do not follow those laws and no need to pass laws against murder or stealing for the same reason.
- Finally, some argue that not all gun violence will be eliminated by this legislation. Based on that argument, there’s no point in passing any legislation unless it can get rid of the problem 100%. Therefore, no need to pass any drug regulation unless it can eliminate the drug problem 100%, etc.
As John Oliver reports, Australia passed sweeping gun control laws in 1996. In the prior 18 years, there were 13 mass homicides (defined as 4 or more) and since 1996, there have been none. In the decade after the legislation was passed, homicide rates with firearms declined 60%, suicide rates declined 65%.
The following was part of the exchange between John Oliver and gun lobbyist Philip Van Cleave:
Click the above image for the John Oliver clip from the Daily Show.
Can someone remind me why we vote the above type of politicians into office? My view in life is that if you do nothing, nothing will change. Can someone tell me why we are paying these politicians to be in office if they basically refuse to do anything as a result of Sandy Hook?
And the Republican-controlled house is known as a do-nothing congress. The only reason such bills like the Hurricane Sandy relief bill was passed was because of the Democrats. Only 49 of the 234 Republicans voted to provide relief due to Hurricane Sandy. The Violence against Women Act only passed because of the Democrats. Only 87 of the same 234 Republicans voted for this act. The house needed to pass a bill in order to continue maintaining commemorative battlefield sites (like Gettysburg). Only 101 Republicans voted to continue maintaining these sites. So you see, if we had to depend on Republicans for these bills, these bills would not have passed. They really are do nothing. You can see the Rachel Maddow segment on this point here: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26315908/#51524338. This segment was taped when Maddow was being optimistic that the Senate would pass the background check bill and there would be pressure for the House to do something, but we know what happened in the Senate.