Mark Mattioli

Posted on January 28, 2013


The father of one of the Newtown Sandy Hook shooting victims Mark Mattioli, testified before a gun violence task force in Hartford, Connecticut. First and foremost, I want to express to him and all the other families how sorry I am that they had to go through what they did. Words can never fill the void that has been left in their hearts. I know that time will never give them the comfort they seek. As someone who has gone through a tragic event involving gun violence, time will eventually soften the pain and make it easier to cope. But it will never heal the pain of such a tragic loss.

Today, as he testified, it would be easy for him to lash out and look for impossible solutions to questions. Instead he sat and articulated a view of how to correct the problem and his thoughts on we all should move forward. He spoke today about the true problems we face. Stating simply that there is no need for more gun laws, but a strong need to enforce the laws we have. Touching on metal health, he wanted to know why we, as a Nation , are not seeking out these people and giving them the help they so desperately need. He spoke of family, and community. How they play a very important roll in how the children of the country go and understand. And he spoke of how it is imperative to understand that the final responsibility falls on the person.

Fighting back tears he wanted everyone to know that more laws could never have stopped what happened in Sandy Hook or any other place in America. Pointing out that even a total gun ban in Chicago has not stopped 500 people from being murdered last year. Speaking about the one truth that no one wants to address, CRIMINALS DO NOT OBEY THE LAW, and CRAZY PEOPLE DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE LAW. This is all you need to know about changing the law.

Taking his example from today, one can work at something that will make everyone safe and really go a long way to limit these tragic events. People who use guns for illegal purposes should go to jail for a truly long time. The mentally ill need to be cared for and need to be handled differently then they are today. And what would seem like the easiest thing to get done, parents need to work a little harder at instilling values in the lives of their children. This will be the hardest of all to get done.

Maybe by doing the first one we can give some of them the tools they need. Make gang members and violent criminals pay for their antisocial behavior. Put them into a new group, terrorists. What else would you call people who would openly drive the streets of American and shoot people from cars? What else would you call someone who can put fear into an entire community by robbing or raping women? When it comes to violence in this country we should all take a stand and unite behind what we all want, safer streets, less violence and less crime. Limiting the type of guns Americans can own will not make any of that happen. Enforcing how people use guns will. It’s not about what side of the gun issue you are on, it’s about getting the results you want. Do you want to make people safe or do you want to think you have made them safe?

All this is from a father who lost a child at Sandy Hook. He wants solutions. Not arguments about things that will not change what happened.  This man is a true American Hero. Not because he has the right idea, and he does, but because he is living with this pain and still has it in his heart to say what he believes that will help others avoid his nightmare.