We have FAILED you.
I just sat in my car, bawling my eyes out. I passed a rally outside a school, listened on the radio to students who had walked out to protest the mere 'audacity' of not dying in their place of learning.
All I can think to myself is, "I'm sorry. I failed you." All of us have FAILED these students. Me, my generation, my parent's generation... We are the adults, we have had the power to make changes for two decades since the concept of mass shootings entered our public consciousness.
I was a child when Columbine happened. It was the day before my 8th birthday. How easily the previous generation before mine took this as the "new normal." Even when five years olds lie dead a week of kerfuffle then no action, yet again, just like always. You can set your goddamn watch by it.
Teenagers worried about bullets, about finding a "good" hiding place, about fire alarms as lures, about who among them may one day be the one who reigns terror and bloodshed and absolute horror upon them.
How did we EVER allow this to become part of our lives? How are we so devoid of empathy that we allowed OBJECTS that kill and maim to be held in higher regard than our children, our siblings, our friends and coworkers? Oh you know, HUMAN fucking BEINGS.
As I sobbed to myself, I felt shame that the younger generation has been more committed to something all of us have neglected and allowed to continue.
Is there a simple answer to all of this? Of course not. But here's a great start:
1) Barring anyone with Domestic Violence charges access to firearms.
2) Universal background checks to anyone buying a gun. If you're a private seller and feel like this is a "burden" on you, I have no sympathy. You can always consign your gun to an actual gun store who will handle all of that for you for a fee.
3) Increase the budget for school counseling services that focus on violence prevention and allow for counselors to intervene on the withdrawing students who are fitting this profile.
Research has shown that these programs have worked at preventing the shooting and saving these children from themselves.
I vow to you. #NeverAgain
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