It was an emotional day Friday, as one week ago a lone shooter took 26 lives in Newtown, Connecticut.
This morning clergy in Newtown, and around the country, rang bells in their houses of worship 26 times. They tolled the bells to remember the defenseless 20 schoolchildren and six educators who died at the hands of a single violent gunman, armed with assault weapons and high capacity clips.
Yet amid the sorrow and mourning and the last of the funerals, those in town are finding ways to heal and create positive change.
Reports have stated the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, spent most of his days locked in a dark basement playing video games. Now, Newtown students are spearheading the effort to eradicate gun violence by taking it out of child’s play, getting kids to toss their violent video games.
“I think it kind of introduces you to using guns,” said Alex Roche. “A lot of kids would be a lot more protected from killing and using guns if they didn’t have those games.”
Newtown resident Craig Mittleman’s sons, ages 11 and 12, came up with the idea as a way to create change in their own town.
“If they collect 1,000 video games, we will give them a dollar a game. My hope is to give the money directly to some of the families,” said Mittleman
Collection bins have sprung up across the town, at the Youth Center and beyond. It is the beginning of a solution, say parents who are firmly opposed to installing armed security guards.
“Metal detectors may help, but in this case there was nothing anyone could have done,” said Suzanne Vitiello.