By Christine Todd Whitman
December 14, 2012

As a mother and a grandmother, I cannot imagine the unspeakable grief that 18 families are experiencing today, as well as the pain that is being felt by the entire community of Newtown, Conn.

My thoughts and prayers are with them, as they will be in the weeks to come.

How many more? How many more people have to die before we recognize that not everyone has a right to a gun?

Today’s horrific and heartbreaking shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is a harrowing reminder that we must have shrewd background checks that are enforced, assault weapons are unnecessary commercial purchases, and perhaps most importantly, that no civilian needs unlimited guns and ammunition.

The 18 school children who tragically lost their lives today should tug at our collective conscience.

Nothing can erase the pain that parents and families are feeling tonight, but we can honor the lives lost by doing everything in our power to ensure this grievous experience is never repeated.