Wed. May 31st, 2023

For those who lived through Sandy Hook, the details coming out of Texas are all too familiar.

Mary Ann Jacob huddled in a closet with eighteen 9-year-olds and other colleagues, too, as she describes gunfire shattering the peace at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

On Wednesday, she told NBC Connecticut she was physically sick when she saw the news about Texas.

“Once again, gun violence has forced its way into our schools, leaving nothing but devastation, trauma and tragedy in its wake.”

Jacob said she was one of the lucky ones, a library clerk who survived during that devastating day at Sandy Hook a decade ago.

“Their road is just beginning and it’s a lifelong journey that nobody wants to go through. As a mother to two kids who were hiding in Newtown High School texting me, ‘Mom, mom are you okay?’ and not getting an answer. I know just how devastating that was to our family and I survived. I was one of the lucky people,” Jacob said.

Now, she advocates against gun violence and for gun safety measures with the group Moms Demand Action. She spoke to a crowd at the state capitol Wednesday.

“How can we still be having the same conversation about access to guns after 10 years and twenty 6-year-olds and six of my colleagues and coworkers were gunned down in Sandy Hook?”

While Connecticut has made changes, she said the patchwork of gun laws around the country is dangerous.

“How many more kids have to die in our schools before our federal lawmakers will act? We cannot accept this as the fate of teachers, communities and families.”

-Mary Ann Jacob

Jacob’s husband and sons are hunters and own guns. She said safety, like background checks and training courses, are an essential part of their ownership.

She said frankly as a mother of two boys, they can’t think clearly at 18, and yet teens at this age, like the shooter in Texas, can buy AR-15s.

“A library clerk is a person who puts books away and helps kids find books. I’m obviously not trained as a police officer, nor should I be and nor should the people who are teaching your kids in school or helping your kids in school be trained to do that,” she said.

Like so much of the divide in our country, Jacob said the conversation, after yet another mass shooting, shouldn’t be political – it should be about public safety.

“You know, we don’t want our kids to wear masks, but we’re okay with them doing lockdown drills, what kind of weirdly upside-down world to we live in?”

-Mary Ann Jacob

“I’m pretty sure masks are not as traumatic as lockdown drills and living through a shooting incident,” she continued.

Jacob said she and other survivors of Sandy Hook are there for those impacted at Robb Elementary School whenever they are ready.

It’ll be a long journey ahead. One she has sadly lived.

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