How many more senseless deaths of innocent children will it take before our nation collectively decides that enough is enough?
Following the tragic events that unfolded at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week, claiming the lives of 17 students and teachers, the issue of public safety, mental illness, and of course, gun control has been brought back to the debate table.
We’re not even two full months into 2018 and there have already been 17 school shootings, according to gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. The organization reports any time that a firearm is intentionally or accidentally discharged on a campus, even if there are no fatalities.
Since the latest mass shooting, the whole nation has been up in arms about the dire need for stricter gun laws, however, there is another issue that deserves to be in the forefront: why don’t we have stricter security measures in our schools?
On February 21, President Donald Trump held a “listening session” at the White House with students and parents to discuss mass school shootings and safety. While every individual had an important point to present, Andrew Pollack, the father of slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, Meadow, gave one of the most impactful statements that not only holds those with authority responsible, but everyone else in the country.
“It is not about gun laws. That is another fight, another battle,” Pollack said. “Let’s fix the schools and then you guys can battle it out whatever you want. But we need our children safe. Monday, tomorrow, whatever day it is, kids go to school. Do you think everyone’s kids are safe?”
It’s not to downplay the significant role weapons, like guns, play in our society, however as parents, whose roles include ensuring our children are safe at all times, it’s time we start taking action. Just talking about implementing stricter gun laws or blaming lawmakers isn’t going to fix a problem that’s been haunting the nation for decades.
When school shootings happen, the loss of innocent lives is felt by everyone, regardless of race, religious beliefs or political affiliations. So why can’t we put those differences aside and work together to make sure our kids will come back from school every day?
“It almost makes me want to go insane. It’s anger, fear, sadness, pain all exponentially greater than the words in a sentence or two can describe,” one parent said after reflecting on the the recent school shootings.