Four Minutes, 154 Bullets

This past Sunday, the subject line of one particular email in my inbox jumped out at me:

4 minutes, 154 bullets

The email was from Nicole Hockley, the mother of Dylan, one of the Sandy Hook elementary school victims on that horrific December 14, 2012.  In Nicole’s email, she lovingly refers to Dylan as her beautiful butterfly.

The deranged shooter took ten 30-round gun magazines into Sandy Hook Elementary that day. It took him four minutes to shoot 154 bullets, killing 20 students and six educators.

In the email, Nicole says that more than a year ago, a bill was introduced in Congress to limit the size of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds—but lawmakers have refused to vote on it.

And then she heartbreakingly asks, what if?

What if those 30-round gun magazines had been limited to a fraction of the rounds? Would her beloved Dylan be alive today?

It was a painful email to read, and it reminded me of yet another example of the deep divisions separating our country. Every day I see more and more examples of how our nation is being torn apart.

And our differences are way more than gun control vs. gun rights.

President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly stated: “I believe that Americans have more in common than what divides us.”

But I’m not sure I believe that.

Every single day, it seems there’s yet another something that divides us.

Left vs. right, mask vs. maskless, Democrats vs. Republicans, Trump vs. Biden, red vs. blue, white vs. black, college-educated vs. blue-collar, climate change activists vs. deniers, black lives matter vs. law and order, north vs. south, male vs. female, old vs. young, conservative vs. liberal, rich vs. poor, urban vs. rural, fake news vs. facts, heartland vs. Hollywood, pro-choice vs. anti-abortion, elite vs. deplorable, science vs. conspiracy theories, rigged vs. secure elections.

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays.

Our differences are exhausting.

We are more than a divided America. We are fast becoming two Americas speeding toward a head-on collision.

The clash and crash of two very different Americas are devastating.

But nothing compared to facing 154 bullets in four minutes.

4 thoughts on “Four Minutes, 154 Bullets

  1. Beautifully written Startlingly true! December 14,2012 was the 10 year anniversary of Kathleen’s passing. I think of her daily but each anniversary hurts a little more. I was on the road that morning working and going to see an account in Newtown. I was on Route 25 going into Newtown when about 20 police cars passed me at speeds that well exceeded 120 mph. They were followed by almost the same amount of ambulances, and then Swat Team trucks. I had no idea what was going on until I got a text from my son Brian. He said did you hear what’s going on? I could only tell him what I witnessed. He said there’s a shooting at Sandy Hook School. It along with the anniversary made it the worst day of my life. I have tears in my eyes while typing this.

    1. My dear friend Peter, You have been through so much pain over the years and it breaks my heart that you lost your beautiful Kathleen on that tragic December 14. She was so young and had a lifetime left to live. And even though we don’t see each other very often, you are always in my thoughts and one of my cherished friends. And I too have tears in my eyes while typing this. xo Teri

  2. Thank you for this post. The Principal of Sandy Hook, Dawn Hochsprung, was a colleague whom I mentored when she was a new Principal. She was fierce and smart with a promising career. She lived and died the Principals’ nightmare. RIP Dawn and all the staff and precious children who died.

    1. Carissa, What an honor to have known such a hero. And despite the heartbreaking tragedy of mass shootings, our government has refused to act and lower the number of rounds in a magazine. Shameful.

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