What is it going to take, America?

A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 18 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. She was later identified as the sister of Victoria Soto, the first-grade teacher hailed as a hero for shepherding her students into a closet. An official with knowledge of Friday’s shooting said 28 people were dead, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

I spent most of today on the brink of tears while reading about and seeing images from Connecticut. But now I’m just mad. Mad that our refusal to address these tragedies THAT KEEP HAPPENING has now led to 20 dead, innocent children. Twenty children who left for school today, without a care in the world other than what game they would play at recess or if they would get chocolate milk with lunch. And now they’re just 20 little bodies, lying lifeless in Sandy Hook Elementary.

What is it going to take, America? Fifty dead children? 100? At what point are we going say it’s not worth it anymore? When are we going to stop just “sending thoughts and prayers” and start looking for real solutions to keep these weapons out of the hands of the mentally unstable people who do such unspeakable acts? When are we going to stop using “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” as an excuse? When are we going to finally say, ‘yes, it’s OK if it’s harder for me to get a gun if it could help prevent these tragedies”?

Honestly, I don’t know the gun-control statistics from countries around the world. I don’t know if stricter laws would help. I’m sure if I did enough research, I could find stats that would prove points on both sides of the argument.

I don’t know what the solution is. I suspect more emphasis on getting help for the mentally ill is part of it. I would think that increasing the requirements someone — anyone — must meet to get a gun would help, but I don’t know. The kid behind today’s massacre used his mom’s gun to murder her, so who knows.

And even if it is true that guns don’t kill people; people kill people, we have to ask ourselves why these people killing people are using guns to do it, and figure out what we must do as a country to prevent it from happening again and again and again.

Again, I don’t know the solution. But no one can deny that what we’re doing now is NOT. WORKING. Unless you think 20 dead children is OK, you cannot say it’s working.

So instead of just thoughts and prayers, let’s take action. Let’s re-examine whether our values and beliefs on the topic are practical in reality. Let’s encourage discussion on what we can do better, from talking about it with friends and family to voicing our opinions to local and national lawmakers. Let’s get involved with and support organizations that can effect change. Let’s support compromising for common-sense reform.

Your thoughts and prayers are welcome, but they won’t prevent another massacre. Let’s figure out something that will.

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