School Shootings: No More Thoughts and Prayers

(Originally posted on but moved here for archives.)

Earlier today, yet another tragic shooting took place at one of our schools here in America. As our leaders offer up more thoughts and prayers, precious lives continue to be ended in such horrific and unthinkable ways. Our hearts break for the Parkland, Florida community.

I write this post mostly because I often hear that all Americans love their guns. We have an international audience here on this blog, and I want the truth to be known: the majority of Americans do not own guns. The majority of Americans support increased gun control. And the rate of gun ownership is decreasing. [1]

Yet here we are, more of our kids that went to school this morning didn’t come home. It is hard to even think about the fact that there have been 18 school shootings in just the first 45 days of 2018. [2]

We are nearly 20 years since Columbine. More than 5 years since Sandy Hook. With dozens and dozens of shootings at schools each year. It isn’t just in schools, with mass shootings in the US occurring at more than 11 times the rate of any other developed country. [3]

There was a shooting in my hometown at the Junior High when I was 9 years old. I can still remember how it shook up the community, with terrified students (myself included), parents, and teachers for years after. And in this case, thankfully, nobody died. But for some reason, a 14-year-old boy had access to a gun and brought it to school.

Outside of the school, access to guns by kids is astonishing. Nearly two million American children live in homes with guns that are not stored responsibly. [4]

And 91% of all children who die from firearms in high-income countries across the world come from the United States. Guns are the third leading cause of death for all children between ages 1 and 17. [5]

Every day, 46 children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention. Every single day. [6]

We will continue to hear the thoughts and prayers from those that can affect change. With this most recent shooting, the new talking point seems to be “see something, say something.” This will be peppered in with vague mentions about the need for better mental health services. But these words are all meaningless without real action.

Please, no more thoughts and prayers. It is time for action on how we can stop a 19-year-old, who had been suspended from school for bringing a gun, from walking into a store and purchasing a military-style assault weapon. [7] We must work to elect those to office that will make this happen.

For decades we’ve done nothing while our kids are dying. We are ready for real change and real action.

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