May 25, 2022 by Laura Winters and Hilary Jenison
Today, it is with heavy hearts and, quite frankly, a lot of anger that we write to you, our neighbors.
In addition to being the co-founders of the Anchor, we are mothers.
Each of us has three children of pre-school and elementary school age.
Each of us have children who are exactly the same age as children who were executed in their classroom yesterday, a place where they should feel safe.
Each of us said goodbye to our children yesterday, just as those mothers in Texas did, with no thought that it might be the last time we would ever see those sweet, innocent faces.
Each of us shed tears in the hours since the news of this terrible and preventable tragedy broke. We cried for those teachers, parents and their babies and our stomachs churned over the fear they must all have experienced in those terrifying moments.
We, like so many mothers in this town, spent the day googling articles and texting with friends for advice about how we talk to our innocent children about what happened yesterday. We wonder if they will put it together that the purpose of the school lockdown drills is if the Texas scenario ever played out in Hingham? Will they ask us if the children in Texas also practiced lockdown drills?
When our kids get home today, will we try to explain away their fear by letting them know that this is very unlikely that this will happen here and that they are very safe? Perhaps the conversation will be very similar to the talk those Texas mothers had with their children after the last school shooting? There have been 27 school shootings that have occurred in the 145 days since 2022 began, so surely those mothers also had to address this at some point. Or maybe they addressed it with their kids after the Buffalo supermarket shooting that ended ten lives just nine days before this shooting?
Will our kids ask us why an 18-year-old wanted those people to die? Will they ask us how an 18-year-old got his hands on an automatic weapon in the first place?
We will both spend a beautiful Wednesday afternoon trying to make our kids feel safe and loved and protected. We will both hold them in our arms and realize that, despite the difficult conversations that have been forced upon us, we are the luckiest women in the world. Because our children came home from school today.
Each of us will channel all of these emotions, not into just thoughts and prayers, but into action. We have already, both personally and through the Anchor, made donations to Sandy Hook Promise and to Everytown for Gun Safety. We have encouraged our friends and family to do the same.
We encourage you to join us in taking action. Maybe that means calling your legislators and demanding change? Maybe it means making a donation to an organization that fights to end gun violence. Maybe it means protesting. However you choose to do so, we implore you to fight.
Fight with us to protect not only our youngest neighbors and local teachers but all of us who are at risk of being impacted by gun violence. Fight in the names of the victims of the 212 mass shootings in 2022 alone.
This morning a local friend, Maggie Carter, expressed it so well when she took to social media to share her outrage.
"Imagine your school is in Uvalde and then write your representatives until your hands hurt. Donate to organizations fighting for gun control, and don't stop fighting until we get the change our children deserve. The NRA might be huge, but I can promise them they are nothing compared to a mama bear protecting her cubs."
Two years ago, we posted this article to the Anchor. The photo you see above shows what police seized from the home of a 20-year-old Hingham resident. He was charged with 26 charges: Possession of a Large Capacity Firearm (2 counts), Possession of Dangerous Weapon, Leaving a Firearm Unattended (3 counts), Improper Storage of a Large Capacity Firearm, Possession of Ammunition without an FID Card, Possession of a Large Capacity Feeding Device (18 counts).
What's the difference between Hingham and Uvalde, you ask? Pure luck.
Please join us in taking action today. Let's protect our cubs.
Laura and Hilary