BOSTON (CBS) – To be sure, this was a bittersweet moment for Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis. On Friday night, the Celtics bestowed upon her their “Hero Among Us” award in recognition of the non-profit she runs called Classes 4 Classes. That organization tries to inspire grade-schoolers to perform acts of compassion and kindness through charitable projects.
But three years ago Monday, she was in hell. A teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Roig-DeBellis barricaded her first grade class in a bathroom, protecting 15 of them from a mentally ill gunman.
“Every single second of every minute of every day is the anniversary,” she told WBZ. “Monday is three years, and that’s very real and very raw but it’s every minute of every day.”
And in the three years since Newtown, Roig-DeBellis has watched, astounded, as the mass shootings have continued, unabated.
“It should never ever happen, innocent American lives lost for no reason,” she said. “It’s completely senseless and I’m praying for people in power here to put their heads together and come up with a common sense solution because there’s no reason for it.”
As a matter of fact, hours before her award at the TD Garden, Connecticut’s governor was telling the hosts of CBS This Morning that he wants to lead the nation being the first state to prevent people on the no-fly list from buying guns.
“It’s time for right-thinking people to stand up and say if somebody has done something that has them on the terrorism watch-list, then perhaps we should, you know, temporarily delay them from buying a gun or permanently ban them from buying a gun,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.
As a survivor of one of the most horrific mass shootings the country has ever seen, Roig-DeBellis has a simple response: “That sounds like a common sense solution to me.”
On Friday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said he was considering following Connecticut’s lead and coming up with a similar executive order here.