Four years ago, just two weeks before Christmas, Adam Lanza killed 28 people— twenty children, six teachers, his mother, and himself. He walked into two different classrooms where children and teachers hid under desks and dove into room closets. Witnesses to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School described the gunman meticulously choosing his victims before killing them.
Hundreds of panicked parents flocked to the school as news of the shooting was released. Students were led out of the school, but by this time all of the victims— ages ranging from five to 10 years old— had been shot. Most of them were dead and the gunman had already killed himself.
Before Lanza shot up the Connecticut elementary school, he was at home with his mother who he shot and killed with her gun. The semiautomatic pistols and semiautomatic rifle he used were registered in under the name of Nancy Lanza, his mother.
Unlike four years ago, searching for the name Sandy Hook now yields millions of search results. Terms such as “scandal,” “conspiracy,” and “fake” come up in thousands of results, however, this was the third deadliest shooting in the United States— many can only wish the term “fake” applied here.
Looking up “Sandy Hook” also provides another search result: Sandy Hook Promise. The Sandy Hook Promise vows to protect every child from gun violence. Their website http://www.sandyhookpromise.org involves research programs and the signs to look out for when dealing with at risk kids.
“I promise to do all I can to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools and communities.”
-The Sandy Hook Promise-
Their mission is to prevent another shooting like the one Lanza committed. One of their latest videos promoting their mantra recently went viral.
Watch the video here.
Many did not notice the signs: the kid flipping off a girl when she approached him, sitting alone at lunch, watching a video that showed someone shooting a gun, what he was holding in his Instagram picture, and him being bullied.
Most only noticed him shooting the teacher, the rifle, him cocking the gun.
The last two signs are hard to miss, most only saw what he was doing when it was too late. When all that could be done was to run, hide, hope.
There is another Sandy Hook Promise program working to help prevent this, the Start With Hello campaign— a campaign that wants to help kids who feel isolated. The feeling of isolation can be brought on from being ignored or being treated like you are invisible. It can change the way people think. The Start with Hello campaign wants to prevent kids from becoming at risk of harming themselves or others.
So, the question remains: what can one do to prevent a kid from feeling isolated or to prevent a tragedy like the one four years ago? Saying hello to someone can change their day, and yours— just start with “hello.”