Cartoon by Tebben Gill Lopez

What if I told you I knew what route Adam Lanza took to get to Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, 2012? Would you do a Google search and greedily devour the entire story for the slightest scrap of new evidence? You’ve scoured the web for new information about the mass murderer and for what? How does the route he took or the clothes he wore or the music he listened to change the fact that Lanza killed 26 people in a mass shooting for absolutely no reason at all?

The 911 tapes were recently released and the media and public went crazy as they listened to trapped people call from inside Sandy Hook Elementary. Instead of providing closure, the tapes have only re-opened the wounds that were just beginning to close.

People not directly affected by the shooting have a morbid fascination with Sandy Hook. They search for a reason someone would commit such horrible acts. They feel satisfied when they learn something new; they believe they are one step closer to figuring out what made him go on a murder spree. People are satisfied with the information they obtained, but this satisfaction is only temporary. It only serves to distract us from the tragedy that occurred.

If I was a parent or a family member who lost a loved one in the shooting, there would be no way I could listen to the tapes without thinking if my child’s last moments were caught in the background of that call. There is no closure achieved with the release of these tapes. There is only the strength of people to go through the motions each day until it becomes routine. The loss of a child, especially in a random and mass act of violence, is not something one ever truly accepts.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting, we begin to reflect. In the aftermath of the shooting, everyone was having conversations about gun control and mental illness, and how the government should act in response to the Sandy Hook shooting. Everyone had an opinion on something and voiced it to their peers. Now, conversations about these topics have faded or have been shoved to the back of people’s minds.  In the weeks following the shooting, there was a huge push for the government to enact laws in order to prevent mass shootings from occurring again. One government shutdown and a year later, there has been no progress in gun control legislation. Public support has lost momentum after months of little activity and no solution in sight. The government needs to formulate a solution, but with the lack of vocal public persuasion, the issue will likely be placed on the backburner.

The media’s current stance in this situation is not helping the cause to stop future outbreaks of mass violence. The headlines scream about the gory details and the life Lanza led, but offer no solutions to the problems Sandy Hook has brought up for our nation. The flashier headlines sell more copies, but the sales will not affect the future and safety of the country – but an article on gun control could. The media has tiered itself onto the obsessions of the people, rather than their needs. The citizens of the United States need the assurance of protection for their families and their children, and they want to know the unimportant details of the case. We need to stop being fascinated with Lanza’s kill count, and more focused on ensuring that an event like Sandy Hook will never occur again.

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