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  • Writer's picturePenny Sterling

Cold Comfort

I just looked up when the Sandy Hook shooting took place: 2012. The webpage mentioned the age of the kids in the school: they were mostly 6 and 7. This means that a bunch of kids who were hiding under their desks and watching their friends die are now 18 and 19.

Voting age.

Is it possible that these children--survivors of assaults, and those countless other children in other schools who have lived in fear of these assaults, doing 'preparedness' drills where they huddle in closets being as quiet as they can--will be tired enough of this bullshit that they will start mobilizing themselves and be the impetus of a grassroots movement that makes changes?

Yes, the number of kids who have been in these situations is almost certainly less than the tiniest fraction of a percentage point of the voting population, but if I was a gun control advocacy group, I would start seeking these people out and see how many want to be the young voice of reason in this issue.

And if I was the Democratic Party, I would be keen to bring these young men and women to testify to committees and subcommittees about what happens when a kindergarten becomes a war zone.

In my show, at one point I say:

"I believe that everything--absolutely everything that happens to us--has a gift that comes with it. Sometimes the gift doesn't reveal itself right away, or may not be what you wanted, or may not even be specifically for you, but it's there."

Perhaps this could be the gift of having so many beautiful, promising, hopeful lives destroyed so that some anger-addled white guy could demonstrate his might and finally be noticed by somebody for something. The gift is not worth the cost--not even remotely--but at least it might be something. It would be those children's life's work. Literally.

It's fucking awful to pin hopes of change on the shared experiences of traumatized children, but this is the world we live in.

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