Last night my heart was yet again broken by the senseless killing of more of our family and community members. Every time we experience tragedy like this, we are all affected. We are all devastated. We are all injured. And we are all responsible to act. We can not continue, as a community, to just survive these massacres. We must act to effect change – addressing gun laws, adding mental health services, working to provide housing and employment stability to our communities, and providing community support for the families devastated by these events. We cannot stand silent. We cannot continue to fail to act.
Last week, on May 14, 2022, TEN people were killed at a Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo, NY. They did not commit any crime or sin – they were killed because they were black and happened to be shopping or working at the local grocery store.
Yesterday, TWENTY people were killed at the Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas. They did not commit any crime or sin – they were killed because they were learning or teaching at their community school.
Each person was engaging in normal daily activities. It is expected that each one woke up in the morning and prepared to simply live their life. Their families hugged, kissed, and said good-bye to each one. No one could have predicted that it would be their last hug, kiss, or good-bye.
The victims in Buffalo were grandparents, parents, children, and siblings. Some went to pick up groceries, cakes, and flowers to celebrate life’s great events. Others were working to provide for their families. Their families did not have an opportunity to say goodbye or prepare themselves to never again see their loved ones alive.
The victims in Uvalde were all children and their teacher. They woke up yesterday morning and prepared to go to their elementary school to learn or to teach. They went to school and reasonably expected that they would all return home. They were young, full of life, and were the promise of the future for their families.
The fear and the terror that each one must have experienced is beyond fathom. The pain and loss felt by their families is beyond belief. The fact that we, as the best country in the world, are still being victimized routinely by mass shootings is a shame. We need to do better. We must do better. I am committed to working with our local, state, and federal government towards common-sense gun laws. Everyone one of us must try to end senseless deaths that are facilitated by weapons of mass killings. The first act that I am demanding is the passage of laws that ban assault rifles. This should be non-negotiable in our world.
Our hearts, prayers and wishes stand for those who perished and their families who suffer from their loss.
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