I’m beyond angry now. I am heartbroken that I live in a country that children are being slaughtered in school every 60 hours. I’m angry that the top 5 deadliest school shootings have occurred in the last 5 months, but I am heartbroken we as a society still wring our hands and do nothing.
I grew up around guns. I had a healthy fear and respect for an object that could do so much damage. But I also lost a schoolmate in middle school by senseless gun handling. A few friends were sitting at someone’s house. The person who lived there mentioned there was a gun easily accessed in a drawer somewhere. They started playing with the gun and she was shot accidentally by another of my classmates.
There were days she lingered in a coma. She did not die easily and I remember the morning we were sitting in assembly before class and the principal came to retrieve the boy who shot her. He was told she had passed away that morning. He disappeared from school. In that instant when mishandling a firearm she became a victim and he became a statistic.
I’m heartbroken we allow the powerful NRA gun lobby to convince everyone they are entitled to semi-automatic and automatic powerful weapons. I am furious that protections from people with mental illnesses purchasing weapons were rolled back by Trump. I am furious that gun shows still exist.
We did nothing when Columbine happened. We did nothing with Sandy Hook. We did nothing time and time again. Las Vegas happened and still we did nothing.
It’s time. We can no longer sit idle while children are slaughtered. It’s time. Why can’t everyone see that.
The NRA is a powerful lobby, but our voices, those of reason and compassion are stronger. I have been guilty of sitting by and watching power and money make choices for me. Well, no longer.
I will not simply send prayers. That is a hollow and pathetic response to this tragedy. This boy, and yes, he is still a boy, killed 17 people yesterday. He killed so many because he had a powerful weapon that was an instrument of hate. His gun didn’t kill those people, but it abetted him in killing and massacring more than it did not. These guns do not belong in the hands of our children, of our society or those with mental illness.
It’s time the NRA feels the pressure from all our voices that we will no longer allow this to happen. We cannot wait for next time.