Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I have sent my two children to school wondering if I will see them again in the afternoon. Every day. Every day I kiss them goodbye, hug them extra tightly and think of the parents who did exactly that the morning of that terrible event. Every day.
These parents had no idea that they would never again greet their children in the afternoon with a “How was your day?” and a snack. The Sandy Hook shooting resonated with me because at the time my children were in elementary school, where I had assumed they were safe when out of my care. Now I send them off to learn and engage with their friends wondering if I will get them back whole and relieved at the end of each day when I do. Every day.
I shouldn’t have to live like this.
Now, years after the Sandy Hook killings and many mass shootings since at various locations, another shooting at another school has ended 17 lives. Everyone knows the gruesome statistics. We shouldn’t have to live like this.
“But what can we do?” cry the people wringing their hands, offering thoughts and prayers as an emotional balm — but solving nothing. So far, the answer is to do nothing.
We shouldn’t have to live with lawmakers’ lack of action, lack of attention or fear of upsetting lobbyists or their base. Lawmakers, your lack of action is the reason my children are not safe in public schools and the reason people with powerful rifles can walk into places considered to be safe and kill at will.
Stop reciting reasons that recommended actions won’t work. Find actions that will work. Stop being afraid of offending lawful gun owners who complain about the presumed inconveniences that protective laws might produce, such as longer wait times to buy a firearm.
That is nothing compared with the survivors’ grief for their murdered loved one. To law-abiding and responsible gun owners, I have no wish to “take all your guns” — a common, fearful cry that erupts when “gun control” is mentioned. I do, however, want actions that will reduce the odds of a shooting like this happening again.
No “magic bullet” exists that will completely stop such shootings. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and there is no step that will make everyone happy. But doing nothing solves nothing. Doing nothing means every day, people like me will be afraid when they send their kids to school. Doing nothing makes lawmakers complicit in the deaths of innocent people. To date, lawmakers have done nothing.
Do something. Do something to assure me and all of America, that you care about more than being re-elected. Do something to prove to us that you have a conscience and a spine and a concern for more than your political gain.
We deserve that. We deserve your attention and compassion and your power to take a step toward solving this problem.