Just over a week ago an unspeakable tragedy occurred in a school in Parkland Florida. 14 students, and 3 adults were shot and killed by a deranged 19 year old former student. For those of us who watched the events unfold and then witnessed the heartbreak of those who lost their children and students who lost their friends, we share a collective grief and a growing fear that our own children and friends are at risk of the same fate.
We live in a time now when a phone call from a school is answered with a sense of dread that was rare just a short time ago. Back then, it might have been a call about our children being sick, or missing school, or not doing well in the classroom. Now, we face the frightening reality that a phone call may be news of something much, much worse. No parent should ever have to take that phone call. No teacher should have to go to work and think that it might be the last time they leave their house because someone might come to their school and kill them or their students.
This is not the world we want for our children. This is not the world we want for our teachers who get up everyday and focus on helping prepare young students for the future. Now, after the events in Florida, there are 14 fewer children who will have that future. They won’t know the great achievements and set backs that come with adulthood. They won’t know the love that comes with having their own children. They won’t be here when the world changes, hopefully for the better, and we have finally seen an end to the madness that causes such sorrow.
There is evil in this world. It comes in all shapes and sizes and we have an obligation to our friends, our loved ones and ourselves to do everything we can to combat it. We must focus our efforts on making the world we live in a safer place for everyone. We must focus our efforts on finding the causes of such pain and do our best to prevent it from happening again.
As parents, and as adults our duty must be to ensure a safer world for our young. The responsibility and obligation we have to our children is to strive to make their lives a little better.
As adults, the topic of gun violence is one with passionate points of view from different perspectives. We must put those differences aside and be singularly focused on taking whatever actions are necessary to prevent future tragedy. Let our covenant to our children and ourselves be that our energy, our efforts, and our actions will remain vigilant and persistent to our purpose. The time is now to ensure a future where there is less grief, less fear, and our children have an opportunity to live to see that future realized.
God bless the memories of those who lost their lives in Parkland, Florida. God bless the parents and relatives of those lost. Our hearts go out to them.