Today, we are mourning the loss of lives in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen children and two teachers were massacred in yet another school shooting, the deadliest one since Sandy Hook in 2012.
This tragedy has touched the nation. As a journalist who covered the Oxford, Michigan school shooting, I am reminded of how gun violence terrorizes the entire community, not just the victim’s grieving family and friends. But in this latest case, the assault was on a Latinx community, and 11 days ago in Buffalo, New York, the African American community, when 10 lives were taken in a supermarket. Hate crimes and domestic terrorism against communities cannot continue to be tolerated and, like Charleston where nine African Americans were killed, we should not let this fade away into our country’s collective consciousness.
The time to act is now. As a mother, daughter, wife, and sister, we must protect our friends, family and neighbors. How can we exist if we fear for our lives entering a store, school, or place of worship, wondering where the closest exit is if we need to take cover, like in a war zone?
This is not about me, it is about how we can end this senseless violence. Our children deserve better. It is time to enact sensible, common sense gun regulations around background checks and safe storage of firearms to start. We know the majority of Americans are in favor of both, particularly responsible gun owners.
We cannot continue to look into the weary faces of parents from Newtown, Connecticut or Parkland, Florida, each time another school shooting happens and listen to them beg us for change. Enough is enough.
In the horrific days ahead as we learn more about the joyous lives of these little children and watch funerals with heartbreakingly small caskets, please don’t turn your eyes away. This is our reality until we fix it.