An open letter to policymakers in the wake of another devastating shooting.
Today close to thirty people died in a horrific school shooting. In an elementary school. Twenty of the dead were young children. Countless other children were witness to this horrific crime.
Like so many times before the news comes to us as people talk about what happened. About the shooter. About the families.
Some people say that Americans are becoming numb to these shootings. That we have come to expect them. This is simply not true.
As a mother, each additional shooting fills my heart with so much sadness. I feel sick. I know I am not alone.
As a pediatrician, I know that kids do best in a society that keeps them safe and puts them first. We are failing. School, of all places, should be a safe haven. A place where children can learn without fear.
We need to stop talking about this. We need to DO something. Now.
I am not a violence prevention expert. But, there are a lot of smart people in this country who are. Listen to them. If they say that we need gun control- that certain guns need to be banned and all guns need to be harder to get, do it. If they say we need a more robust mental health system and need to provide better care for those going through very difficult times, do it. Do it all. Do it now.
Do it for the kids who died today. Do it for so many kids whose stories are not reported. The teenager who shoots himself in the head with a friend’s father’s gun. The eight year old who is accidentally shot by his brother and endures an agonizing hospital stay and recovery.
Today, I am going to leave the TV off. I am going to pray for the victims and their families. I am going to hug my son and tell him I love him to the depths of my soul. I am going to go to work and take care of children. I expect you, policymakers, to do the same.
There are no excuses.