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Thoughts & Prayers Are Not Enough, We Need Change To Stop School Shootings

Last night I came home around 9PM and went through my nightly routine of making sure my daughter is fed, clean and ready for bed. She fights sleep like she always does and I begin to get agitated. Looking for a moment to rest I turn to Facebook in an effort to calm my mind from today’s basic events when it crosses my news feed:

21 Killed In Elementary School Shooting

It takes some time for me to process what I’m reading. In my mind I cannot possibly fathom that as a country, we had yet another active shooter in an elementary school. With the rise of the pandemic and most schools temporarily going to a virtual platform we lost sight of the possibility of a school shooting. 

The shooter was just 18 years old and purchased the firearms to carry out the attack shortly after his 18th birthday. It’s still unknown as to why he did it, but there is no reason in the world that could justify taking the lives of 19 children and 2 teachers. While we will always have more questions than answers, the most important question is “how do we prevent this from happening again.” All politics aside, what is one step or one thing we could do to prevent this from happening again? Whether that answer lies in reforming mental health care, gun reform, or further access to education, change needs to happen. We cannot afford to continue to lose children’s lives because of our inaction.

Parents should never have to fear whether or not their child will return home from school. School shootings are absolutely preventable as long as our elected officials are open to making change. It’s absolutely mind boggling that we are a first world nation and this is an issue we see on a regular basis. 

These children had so much life to live. The teachers who shielded their students in attempt to save their lives, died heros but at what cost? Their life should have never been in jeopardy to begin with. It’s time to start worrying about our children’s safety, especially in schools.  Our thoughts and prayers need to change into action. 

Our thoughts and prayers need to change into action. 

A child’s safety should not be a political debate. While I understand gun control is the most common argument in school shootings, I think we need to look at the shooters themselves. Why are they doing this? Is it a lack of support? Lack of mental health care? Lack of positive influences in their life? Looking into the factors that created a school shooter, is the most effective way to stop one.

So tonight as you’re tucking in your children for the night, I urge you to take a look into ways to prevent this from happening again. Remember that there are 21 families whose night time routine changed forever because of a senseless act that’s preventable. Check to see if there is any supporting organizations in your area that want to make a change. While “thoughts & prayers” is a kind gesture, actions speak louder than words. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

If you are looking for ways to help those affected by the Uvalde school shooting, there are verified fundraising pages and also a fundraiser from VictimsFirst, is collecting donations for those affected by the Texas shooting.

Photo by hay s on Unsplash

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