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What the Sandy Hook Families Can Learn From 9/11 Families


They shouted, they testified, they cried, they baked, they begged, they fawned, they fought. They were the most successful citizen-advocates in memory: the parents, children, siblings, and spouses of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001. How these families rose from tragedy to reshape national policy is a tale that holds many lessons for those who aspire to change gun laws in memory of relatives lost at Newtown, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, Oak Creek, Fort Hood, Columbine, and countless other venues of heartbreak. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, of course, were sui generis. Nearly 3,000 people died, and the shock drove the national conversation for years. Yet the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults trying to protect them, could still galvanize the country and allow families affected by gun violence to have an impact that has, so far, eluded them. More.

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