Saturday, December 13, 2014


When I was six, Santa brought me a cocker spaniel, and I liked building houses out of cardboard boxes.

When my husband, John, was six, his parents brought him to the US on a ship from Austria. Before he could speak any English, he liked exploring Chicago on his way home from school. He still likes exploring Chicago.

When my daughter, Sue, was six or seven, she got her first pair of glasses, collected feathers, and loved animals. She now has two cats.

When my son, Jim, was six, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Mrs. Santa made him a huge flat moon on a piece of plywood with heavy gesso craters, Santa brought him little space ships and astronauts. He still likes looking at stars.

Jim Schoettle, Sue Schoettle and Teddy

When John’s daughter Alison was six, she liked helping her Grandpa Perring with his rose garden.

When John’s daughter Laura was six, she liked ballet dancing and Strawberry Shortcake dolls.

When our granddaughter Kristen was six, she loved music and making potpourri from flowers in my garden.

When our grandson Ryan was six, he went on a cruise of the Mediterranean Sea with his sister and parents.

When our granddaughter Julia was six, she liked calamari and olive tapenade, and writing and drawing in her journals.

When our grandson Jonathan was six, he liked basketball and helping his dad with yard work.

When our grandson Tristan was six, he liked puzzles and performing in school concerts.

Our granddaughter Megan IS six. She likes singing the Frozen theme song and hanging from monkey bars.

What were you like at six? I imagine that you were special. Unique.

What if your life had ended then?

Two years ago tomorrow—on December 14, 2012—twenty children aged six and seven, and six adults were shot and killed in Sandyhook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

What has changed since then? 

Were we inspired to create new laws banning automatic weapons? Adam Lanza used a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle made by Bushmaster to blow through the locked door of the school.

Manufacturers of automatic weapons (gun makers are the backbone of the NRA) are subsidized by violence. Their coffers are filled by hate. And to keep their businesses flourishing, they fund the campaigns of our elected officials. After Sandyhook they told us the way to stop school violence is to arm teachers. More guns equals more sales.

Most of us are fine with hunters, but no hunter I know would consider using an automatic weapon to gun down a herd of deer. No one should ever be able to gun down a classroom of little (or big) children and teachers (or a theater filled with people just out to see a movie).

How do we stop them?

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