Since last Friday, my life has seemingly been consumed with thinking about what happened at Sandy Hook elementary school.
Maybe it’s the just horrific nature of the event.
Maybe it’s that I’m a parent of two small kids, and I haven’t been able to stop hugging and kissing them and thinking about how lucky I am that they are alive.
Maybe it’s the utter complexity of the cultural issues surrounding guns, most of which I’ve honestly been unaware of, that is just fascinating as something to think about.
Maybe it’s the massive attention my colleagues in the tech community have been giving this issue.
Maybe it was President Obama reading out the names of the six-year olds who were shot to pieces last week.
Maybe it’s the outpouring of emotion from the dad’s I’m on an email list with – so many of whom were brought to their knees by this event and are struggling to process it at all.
I’m not sure.
I know guns are one of the most polarizing issues facing the US. But for some reason, I have hope that — despite where the lines have been drawn and dug in deeper over the last decades — there’s an opportunity here to find a way of looking at this that transcends those lines.
Maybe I think that’s possible because of the Internet, and the way it “unbundles” everything. Whereas in the past you were either a Democrat or an NRA member — because those were the easiest way to organize people in a pre-networked era — now it’s possible to be a gun owner *and* in favor of regulations that make sense. And it’s possible to be on the left and understand why people like guns.
Perhaps that is a wildly naive idea. But if there’s anything I live for, it’s the hope and belief that the web can help us find new solutions to old problems. So I am sticking with that outlook for now.
A web-wide moment of silence
Since the weekend, I have been part of a conversation within the tech community about how to respond here. What started as a few emails turned into a mega conference call, and has since turned into a lot of independent and creative efforts to draw attention to this issue. I’d like to thank Ken Lerer and Ron Conway, in particular, for taking the lead on organizing the collective energy of the tech community around this.
What I’ve been helping organize is a web-wide moment of silence — an effort to get as many websites as possible to “go silent” on Friday morning during the national moment of silence a week after the shootings.
At 9:30am ET tomorrow morning, this website, and the hundreds of other websites who are participating in this effort, will go dark for 5 minutes.
It will be a moment to pause, respectfully, and remember the 20 young children and their teachers who were murdered last week. And perhaps, to reflect on the collective power we may have to help make such things happen less in the future.
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