17 People Never Came Home

As a candidate for Congress, I refuse to do nothing. I will not sit idle as more and more of our children have their lives cut tragically short because of preventable gun violence.

Losing one of your students is hard. Losing one of your children is unfathomable. But, here we are, the day after another school shooting in our country that resulted in the death of 17 high school children and school staff. The 18th school shooting in our nation in 45 days.

I hurt for the students, the families, the faculty, the community, and everyone connected to these events. The healing process will be slow and painful. We must remember that traumatic events like this impact those involved long after the media stops reporting. Students, staff, families, first responders, and community members will all need support to heal.

As a teacher, I wonder what we say to our students. What will those teachers say when the school reconvenes? Addressing our students about this topic will not be easy, especially for the schools impacted directly. We must be real, open, and transparent in order to ensure that they prepare for the possibility of this happening. These conversations will not alleviate their fears, but it is the only way to help them mentally, emotionally, and physically. Teachers must be supported by administration and mental health professionals, as these topics and realities are traumatic for all involved. 

As an administrator, I fear for the safety of my students and staff and those all over our country. We must take a step back and look at our practices objectively. It is up to us to ensure that we are as prepared as possible. When preparing, we must also ready our students mentally and emotionally for an event of this magnitude. This will require uncomfortable and difficult conversations, but they are essential to keep our schools safe.

As a parent, I am speechless. I am scared. I am hurting. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a child. We send our kids to school every day to learn and grow. The last thing that we expect is to receive a call or text from our child or the school about a shooting. It’s the last thing we expect, yet there has been an average of one school shooting every two and a half days this year. When I think about the uncertainty and fear that goes with not knowing if your child is alive or dead, my heart breaks. This is something that no parent should ever have to experience.

As a gun-owning American, I am furious. We have witnessed 18 school shootings in our country in 45 days. Still, we see weapons like AR-15s legal and easy to get in some states. Our government has the power to step in and do something to help. Instead, we are consumed by partisan political nonsense, fueled by NRA contributions and inaction, while innocent children are dying in the one place that they should ALWAYS be safe.

As a candidate for Congress, I refuse to do nothing. I will not sit idle as more and more of our children have their lives cut tragically short because of preventable gun violence. I will fight for a ban on assault rifles, creating an adaptive test (that changes questioning levels and angles based on responses) for licensing, more in-depth background checks, and will open the conversation to other methods to ensure our schools and streets are safe.

As a human, I hurt, but I am hopeful. I believe that we can stand together and demand change. With your support, I promise to MAKE change in Congress. This is our country and we can and must do more. We cannot and will not continue to watch our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, be gunned down. This is a problem that we can work to solve. I ask every one of you to help us in our fight to do this and put our future first.