Letter to the Editors: 10 Years After Sandy Hook, Nothing Has Changed


Jessica Hill/New York Times

Telephone pole in Newtown, CT.

Kayla Verga

When I first heard the horrible news of Uvalde my immediate reaction was anger. When my town, Sandy Hook, went through that horror, we said “never again,” and we meant it. We went to endless marches, signed petitions, and fought for the 26 lives lost that day. Seeing something almost exactly the same 10 years later creates so much frustration because it is almost saying that all the pain, suffering, and constant advocacy made no difference. 

After Sandy Hook, I remember resilience, strength, and kindness emerging from the worst of evils. We were so sad about what occurred that all we wanted to do was create good. We decided to put that somberness into trying to fight for gun control and to make sure that this would never happen to another child, family member or community again. 

I joined this fight because I saw the damage that can happen. My sweet small town in Connecticut, that I think of so fondly, was forever changed. I started being scared to go anywhere because if someone could open fire in my small elementary school, where I had learned everyday for five years, then I was susceptible to harm anywhere. 

I missed the beautiful little girl I used to babysit every Tuesday that sadly lost her life that day. I realized the halls I ran around in, sang in, and painted on weren’t the same. The most mind boggling aspect is that they were children. I couldn’t wrap my head around it then and still can’t 10 years later.

10 years later. Nothing has been done. Children are dying. Children are scared. Children are suffering. Every time there is another shooting everyone sends their thoughts, prayer, words, and donations, but after a month the only people still fighting are the ones affected. Although the support is good to start a conversation, nothing has been done. 

There have been over 200 shootings so far in America and at least 77 incidents of gun fire on school grounds, and only this is in 2022. There have been almost 948 school shootings since Sandy Hook. How many people need to die before we see change? How many children need to die? 

I plead that the government could see the public health crisis that we are in. I understand that guns will never go away, but what I don’t understand is why we can’t have stronger background checks or why anyone would need an AR-15 that could kill 19 young kids. The risk is not worth it. We know it can happen. I have seen it happen. I hope and pray that Uvalde is the last time another child will die by gun in school. We don’t need more security guards or cameras, we need gun control. 

To the families and community of Uvalde, my heart and tears go out to you, and I will pray for you, your strong children and heroic teachers that were lost.

Sandy Hook supports you and is by your side,

Kayla Verga, Class of 2024