Today may seem like just another day, but it is one on which we carry heavy hearts. The memories of a year ago are still very fresh and the losses still tragic. The events that occurred in Sandy Hook were even more impactful for me because I grew up in a community not too different and not too far from Newtown.
I, like so many others, saw Sandy Hook as a wake-up call; an opportunity and a need for change. Thankfully, there has been progress in the last year: Connecticut passed the toughest new laws in the country. Efforts in Colorado, despite setbacks, were successful. Mark Herring will be the next Attorney General of Virginia, once the bastion of the Confederacy, in part due to his support of tighter gun restrictions. Yet some people today will point to the total absence of progress in Congress. The lack of action at the national level in the past year is frustrating, but we are not frustrated. We are committed.
“Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” –George Bernard Shaw
Since I am in politics, there is one phrase coined by our Founding Fathers that really strikes me. When they founded this nation, they set out to create a “more perfect Union.” The important distinction in this phrase is that our Union is not perfect. More than 225 years later, despite so much change, this is still true. It is likely that we will never achieve absolute perfection, but I believe that the heart of American exceptionalism is that we never stop trying. If history is any guide, the forces for progress always succeed eventually, no matter how formidable their opposition is. Our fight is not merely for new gun control measures or even new mental health programs. It is for the creation of an even more perfect Union.
That is why I am a liberal and that is why I am Newtown.