Sarah has kept the e-mails and reads them repeatedly to help her in her grief.
"For high schoolers, I don't know how to explain it. It shattered our innocence and at the same time I think it opened our eyes to reality, even though on the opposite side, like, 'How can that be reality?'"
Beneath her wavy hair, her eyes appear weary, too many tears shed since December. Yet like so many others, she doesn't let the sadness crush her. She channels that energy to motivate others. In addition to her work with various groups, she has helped organize a program called Healing Through the Arts that links teens with younger children to draw, paint and create art. Even before the massacre, Sarah was an activist. She has served as the co-vice president of the high school's gay-straight alliance and the co-founder of the Creative Cultural Arts Council.
Her message remains basic: People just need to be kinder.
She knows firsthand the power of kindness. In the library where she received that disturbing phone call, Sarah found a surprise this spring amid the stacks. It was an envelope containing a green ribbon car magnet in honor of Sandy Hook student Ana Marquez-Greene.
There was also a message inside: "Have a good day."
That simple act, she says, was a highlight of the days since the massacre. It inspired her to do "the same with one of my clubs" -- to look for ways to leave surprises for strangers, to put smiles on their faces.
"Everything that I do, I feel like I do it in honor of the people that passed away."
A marathon, not a sprint
Dr. William Begg was in the emergency room of Danbury Hospital on December 14. He was told to expect multiple shooting victims from Sandy Hook, a school he knew well from living in Newtown the last two decades.
But only a few people with minor wounds arrived. Most of the victims had been killed at close range by a Bushmaster, an assault rifle some people would like to see banned.
The doctor had witnessed the extreme lethality of assault weapons since his first shift in an emergency room as a medical student in New York in 1987, when a store owner arrived at Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx with multiple gunshots.
"I still can vividly remember the horrible wounds on that store owner," Begg says. "That was my first introduction to gun violence."
Yet he was young and preoccupied with earning a living. In the years that followed, he never spoke up about what he and his colleagues were witnessing in the emergency room: more and more patients coming in with horrific gunshot wounds.
December 14 sparked him to action.
"I cannot sit back any longer and be part of the silent majority," he says. "I knew from the time I was in the emergency room (on December 14) that I would absolutely try my best efforts to try to afford some type of legislative change."
Begg helped form the United Physicians of Newtown, a group of more than 100 doctors who live or practice there. The group includes Republicans and Democrats, gun owners and non-gun owners.
They're approaching gun violence from the standpoint of epidemiology, studying the causes and patterns behind diseases. "When we're talking about 30,000 gun deaths a year," Begg says, "that's a public health issue."
The group has several objectives: promote funding for research and education about firearms, create a national firearm injury database, promote better health services for the mentally ill, and enact stronger gun legislation -- including universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons.
The NRA, Begg says, has successfully lobbied to stop the government from compiling comprehensive gun violence data that he says most emergency room doctors would like to see.
"Our group is not for rescinding the Second Amendment right; we acknowledge the Second Amendment right," he says. "We want to give our patients some evidence-based medicine to have them make an informed choice on what they think is best for themselves and their families.
"The more data we have the better we can actually find some common ground."
Begg's group has lobbied the American College of Surgeons and other medical groups to join their call to study gun violence from an epidemiological standpoint. The American College of Surgeons reissued its stance in January in support of gun control.
Begg appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in late February. He displayed graphic photos of gun wounds from emergency rooms -- a sliced-open abdomen, a pierced skull, a shattered hand. At one point he showed a video of a bullet test-fired from a handgun into a foam-like block versus one fired from an AR-15 made by Bushmaster.
The bullet from the AR-15, he noted, "goes in and basically explodes inside the body."