Nelba Márquez-Greene is all too familiar with the aftermath of a mass shooting. Her daughter Ana was one of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. So when a friend called her with the news about the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, she said her first reaction was visceral.
"I know the horror of waiting to hear,” she wrote on a Facebook memorial page for her daughter. "A helicopter flew overhead. It made everything too real. Too familiar. I panicked. I called my friend. I cried. Fifty people. I am reliving being one of the family members in wait."
Since her daughter was murdered, she no longer uses a personal Facebook profile and, understandably, tries to not tune in to the news too much.
Gunman Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults—including 6-year-old Ana Grace Márquez-Greene—at a Newtown, Connecticut, school with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, and then shot himself with a handgun. Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook, there have been more than 1,200 mass shootings in the U.S.
"How do I tell my son that fifty people all died the way his sister did?” Márquez-Greene wrote. "I am waiting for the church to be as outraged about gun violence as much as we seem to be about who pees where in a Target bathroom."
I am reliving being one of the family members in wait.
The shooting at the nightclub in Orlando, in which 49 people were killed, is the deadliest in U.S. history. Some of the victims were barely adults.
Márquez-Greene vowed to keep fighting for gun control and asked friends with "generous hearts" to make sure that if they plan to donate funds for the victims, to make sure the money is actually going to the victims' families rather than a charity. She urged people to be part of the solution by bringing up gun violence in places of worship and community groups and joining gun control groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Márquez-Greene said she had just one message for the families of the Orlando victims: "I am sorry. I am so, so sorry. I am sorry that our tragedy here in Sandy Hook wasn't enough to save your loved ones."