Opinion: The difference between Hingham and Uvalde, Texas? Pure luck.

Photo by Sarah Hinchey Photography

May 25, 2022 by Laura Winters and Hilary Jenison

Dear Hingham,

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."

Photo courtesy of HPD

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

25 thoughts on “Opinion: The difference between Hingham and Uvalde, Texas? Pure luck.”

  1. Thank you for your impactful words and meaningful action. Thank you both for speaking up because surprisingly, “thoughts and prayers” weren’t helping in each case. I am outraged and just donated and contacted my Senator. YOUR words have moved me from temporary inertia to motion. Thank you for that!!
    A grateful Mom

    • Please don’t discount thoughts and prayers. They are very comforting to many people that are directly and indirectly involved in this tragedy. In many cases, these prayers are what enable these people to go forward when faced with overwhelming grief. Even if you don’t believe in a higher good, it may not hurt to give a thought and prayer once in a while, just in case.

  2. Thank you, both, for your powerful letter.

    In this overwhelming time of an avalanche of human on human destruction, it makes me proud to be your neighbor. Yes, let’s get this done, together, and not give up.

    For the first time, I was truly scared when I saw my daughter leave for school this morning.

    Another Hingham mother

  3. Unfortunately, there will always be shootings like this. You can never get rid of all the guns, and when guns are outlawed,only outlaws will have guns. That being said, resist your knee-jerk reaction to badmouth the NRA. Maybe think out of the box, perhaps armed responsible trained school personnel can protect our children. Also, consider harsher criminal penalties, as well as harsher bail. The world is a tough and unforgiving place.you should consider arming yourself as well, assuming that you are able to get a license to carry. It is your responsibility as a parent to do whatever you can to protect your children. Don’t count on politicians to protect you. God bless the children of these recent shootings.

    • But there haven’t always been these shootings, is the thing. This shooter was approached by an armed school officer who shot at him. The shooter, in turn, wounded the officer. Armed officers in schools are not the solution. More personal firearms and assault rifles are not the solution. Texas has, what- the second most guns in the country? Do you believe that none of the parents of the students who were murdered while attending elementary school own guns? Ask yourself why AR-15s belong in civilian hands. Ask yourself why background check legislation is tabled year after year. Ask yourself why responsible gun owners won’t band together and fight for strict gun control laws. Ask yourself why the NRA won’t denounce assault rifles or high capacity magazines. In the wake of a mass shooting tragedy, knee-jerk pro-gun responses like yours confuse me. Do we not all want the same thing- for our loved ones to be safe?

    • Texas is one of the most armed states. Didn’t help those people yesterday. Single Mass shooting events in the UK and Australia led to strict regulation, and they haven’t had once since. More guns is not the answer here!

    • If I may ask, what kind of God’s blessing are you wishing on these children after they’ve been killed? These parents don’t need your “god bless” for their children. These need their children home just like the rest of us. If you have nothing good to say, please resist the urge to saying something that hurts these grieving parents and all the parents around the country that are grieving with them and looking for solutions. We count on our politicians to organize our society in every other way except when it comes to gun violence. Why can’t we count on our politicians to protect us from gun violence.

      • Most of the grieving families are devout Catholic Mexican Americans. Their prayers are that their children are no longer suffering and are living eternally in heaven. Whether you believe this or not,this is what allows them to cope with their grief. It is an incredibly difficult time for everybody, please resist belittling peoples beliefs. I was about to say God bless you, but I don’t want to get you mad.

    • The outlaws aren’t the ones shooting up the schools. The killer was an 18 year-old who legally obtained a weapon of mass destruction on his 18th birthday. Not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to buy an assault weapon. I’m less afraid of the outlaws, more afraid of the angry teenager who can obtain these weapons because there aren’t laws to stop him.

      No, there will not always be shootings like this. They only happen in the USA, where the gun lobby buys politicians.

  4. You have got to be kidding me. Please look at other countries and what happens when they enforce stricter gun laws. This would not be an experiment. We at the very least need to take a singular step in a direction to protect American citizens like any other country would do/has done. It’s a basic human right and our leaders are absolutely failing us. Putting the responsibility on parents to better protect their children? What do you think we are doing? I refuse to accept it’s normal to ask our teachers to be human shields, teach my kids how to hide better, be quieter and pretend they are dead while watching their classmates be murdered because it an “unforgiving world”. Why do we have to sacrifice their innocence because 50 power hungry senators need to continue lining their pockets? No one is saying it’s realistic that we can take away every gun in every household. Should an 18 year old have an assault rifle? Also no. If you can’t legally have a sip of alcohol why on earth can you get an assault rifle and an insane amount of ammunition? It is my responsibility as a parent to hold elected officials accountable to the oath they took to protect us. The complacency is despicable and shameful.

    • Are you that partisan that you only think there are 50 power-hungry senators? That’s the problem, it’s become a partisan issue. What will you do after we enact new laws and this happens?Some People are evil, that will never change. Think differently, what you voted for hasn’t worked. I think what jaedon is trying to say is that if you’re counting on politicians from either side to fix the problem you have already lost. Your beloved politicians think of this as a gun problem when it is actually a mental health problem. Now put your mask back on and get some sleep.

        • Besides taking my meds? I am advocating to stop accepting people living on the streets as normal. Current politicians are treating these people like animals, letting them live outside in makeshift tents and taking all types of drugs. You don’t have a big heart if you accept this. These people need to be housed properly, counseled, medicated and in some cases incarcerated. you say this will be expensive? Let’s cancel the $40 billion check we sent to a corrupt Ukraine. As far as younger, mentally troubled adolescents, we need to stop being politically correct and admit that some people need to be dealt with aggressively. We might have to lock up some crazy people. Nobody said this was going to be easy. Buckle up, the next couple weeks will be crazy with the politicians virtue signaling. But don’t worry, soon everyone will forget about it until the next one. Biden 2024

      • Please spare the rest of us your tired talking points. Of course this is political because our nation’s laws are passed by elected representatives, to many of whom offer nothing more than “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of such senseless violence. Nineteen kids and two teachers were killed. Now take your blindfold off and take a hard look around you.

  5. The trolls appear to be out in force. Hunter B? Dr. Jill? Don’t feed the trolls.

    If it’s a gun crisis, improve gun laws. It it’s a mental health crisis, universal heath care would provide access to mental heath services to everyone. Personally, I think it’s both, and both courses of action are warranted.

  6. You don’t need to write our representatives and senators about gun control. You need to write to the legislators from Texas and Louisiana and other gun toting states to let them know your outrage snd to examine their own mental health problem in hiding behind their futile mental health mantra.

  7. Great article and call to action but your headline is misleading. It isn’t just luck. A school shooting is statistically much less likely in Hingham as you have already done a better job than the nation at enforcing strict gun laws. Not to blame the victim but these shootings happen far more often in states that allow easy access to guns. Mass can and should hold itself up as an example, strict gun laws work. Mass has some of the strictest laws in the nation and also has the lowest rate of gun death in the country.

  8. I couldn’t agree with you more. That thought was exactly what went though my mind when the news broke. I continue to donate to Everytown for Gun Safety. Wish I didn’t have to.
    My recommendation is not to write to our representatives , but to bombard the congressman and senators from the states that do not limit guns.


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