LETTER: Edina Woman's Granddaughter Escaped Sandy Hook Massacre
Edina resident Betty Beier's granddaughter escaped the violence at Sandy Hook Elementary late last year.
I am a Sandy Hook grandmother. My youngest granddaughter, Elise Beier, escaped her school on Dec. 14 and was with the kids who ran to the fire station. She heard the Bushmaster rifle shots, however, as she left. What a horrible experience for a child to bear. As her family learned of the tragedy, there was a 45-minute period in which her parents didn’t know if she was alive or dead.
My friends seem stunned when I tell them about this. Most of them say, “Well, this certainly brings it close to home,” meaning in Minnesota, I guess.
All four of my grandchildren went to Sandy Hook Elementary. Their town is one of the most boring places on earth. Their home is on a site of a former orchard and there are still small farms down the road. My son, Elise’s dad, tells me that after the shooting, many reporters were stationed on his street because Adam Lanza lived on the same street near them. Some reporters from the BBC interviewed my son, Joe, asking him what he thought of the permissive gun laws in the U.S. Joe said, “I’ll bet you think we are all nuts here in the US.” They answered, “Yes, I’m afraid we do.”
As legislators, you don’t need any more statistics on how many gun tragedies we have in the US every day. I’m simply asking the question: Why do we need to have guns that can kill as many people in as short a time as possible in the hands of anyone not in the military?
The world is watching us. In the name of God, let’s do something about gun violence.
5555 Dewey Hill Rd. #105
Edina, MN 55439
Editor's Note: The preceding letter was originally submitted to Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota. Martens shared Beier's story before a State House of Representatives committee weighing a bill that would ban assault weapons and provide a way to dispose of those lawfully possessed prior to the ban. You can see the full video of Martens reading the letter here.