It’s this sense of apathy that has allowed federal lawmakers to avoid passing meaningful gun safety reform.
It’s not until another mass shooting that the cycle happens again. We offer our prayers and thoughts. We demand action and then argue over the proposed solutions. There are news stories, sadness, and anger that underlie an outcry for change … but then we move on.
And I was just as guilty as anyone else.
Five months later, my son Dylan was dead. He was killed in his first-grade classroom along with 19 of his classmates and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
My beautiful butterfly who brought so much joy and love to my life was gone. I felt like my heart was ripped from my chest. Nobody should have to feel the pain of losing their child to gun violence. It’s a pain that never goes away. Every day I kiss the urn that holds my son’s ashes, wondering what his life would have been like.
I was one of those who thought gun violence could never happen in my community. And I was wrong. Gun violence can and does happen everywhere — and sometimes when and where you least expect it.
No community is immune. Not even yours.
These steps, while commendable, will not be enough. Americans need Congress to vote on common sense gun reform, to achieve things like universal background checks and stopping the sale of assault weapons. Voters need to hold lawmakers accountable.
Ignoring the problem won’t protect you. Realize that the shooting victim that reminds you of your son or daughter could actually be your son or daughter one day. Every time you pick up your child from school, go to a grocery store, a house of worship, a park or a movie theater, think about how those victims felt that same false sense of safety just before someone came in with an assault rifle and began shooting.
Then use that fear and anger to demand action from our elected leaders. Right now. Not when the next mass shooting hits the news.
We must take action now before the next tragedy strikes. We need to expand background checks for all gun purchases before more innocent people — who want nothing more than to go to school, pick up a gallon of milk, or visit a house of worship — are murdered
We need to hear every voice. We need every American to stand up to their lawmakers and say we will no longer allow them to fail us. They need to know that their apathy and inaction have cost thousands of lives. Demand that they pass background checks on all gun purchases. Don’t wait until the violence comes to your front door to do something about it.