Today is yet another day in America which has us grappling with a deeply traumatic incident of gun violence. A shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that has caused unspeakable grief and harm. It is hard to fathom.
Except too many families can fathom such a loss, because they have experienced it.
This shooting comes almost ten years after Sandy Hook, and ten days after a white supremacist shot and killed ten Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo. Like Buffalo, the shooter was an 18 year-old who should not have had access to such a weapon. Incredibly this comes just two weeks after a US Appeals Court ruled unconstitutional a ban on semiautomatic weapons sales to people under the age of 21, as this killer was. With so many of these shootings committed by young men, it is clearly an alarming decision with deadly consequences.
The massacre in Uvalde comes in a year where we have already lost over 17,000 lives to gun violence in the United States. It is only May.
While the details of the shooting are still emerging, there are some things that are perfectly clear. Children have a right to be safe. They have a right to be safe at school, walking home from school, and playing outside after school. They have a right to safety in Uvalde, Texas, in Newtown, Connecticut, and in Boston, Springfield, Brockton, and New Bedford. Every parent has a right to have their child walk out their door without worrying about whether they will come home again.
We believe those rights are sacrosanct, and clearly outweigh the right to unfettered access to guns. Those of us who believe in the right to safety must continue to speak in a clear and unified voice, agitate for change, and hold leaders accountable - we must become louder than those who insist that the path to safety is more guns.
We need to say a clear and resounding no to more guns. Together, we will push back on the lobby that insists that the right to unlimited access to guns is more important than the right to keep our children safe. We will continue to invest in the solutions that address community based violence, domestic violence homicides, police shootings, and firearm suicide. We will continue to work in community and coalition to ensure that every one of us, in every zip code, lives free from the threat of gun violence.
We all must keep fighting this fight until we never have to have another day like this again.