Now is the time to get on the right side of this. ~ Emma Gonzalez
Like many fellow Canadians, I don’t get the whole seemingly American fascination with guns. They’re a necessary evil, I suppose (feel free to emphasize evil in that sentence, I do). But in the wrong hands – or indeed in just too many hands – they aren’t helping. We’ve all read the numbers.
96 Americans killed with guns on an average day
25x America’s gun homicide rate average compared to other high-income countries
17 the number of school shootings in America so far in 2018
Are you shocked? Scared? Appalled? All of the above? I am. I’m also angry.
As a mom, I knew I’d have to talk to my kids about avoiding yellow snow, never taking candies from strangers, and the birds and the bees. I never thought I’d have to talk to my children about what to do if there was a mass shooting at their school.
And yes, I get it. I live in Canada and we have more rules in place. This could never happen here.
But, at one point, American’s never saw this coming either.
And after Columbine, they thought things would change. That we’d never see anything like it again.
Except we did. Repeatedly. With bigger guns and bigger casualties.
And while the death tolls and casualties climb. While the incidents increase, the impact of these acts seems to have somehow lessened. Columbine was a Massacre. Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and Stoneman Douglas have had massacre downgraded to shooting.
It’s become a numbers game. Lives versus freedoms. Money matters.
But the toll keeps ticking up.
At the time of this writing, a month has passed since the most recent American school massacre: Stoneman Douglas. We’re also 10 days away from something different. Action.
Tired of being pawns in the numbers game, Stoneman Douglas survivors turned their anger into action. They stood up. They spoke out. They pushed back. Their movement – their inability to sit still and wait for someone else to do something – resulted in change. First Delta. Then Dick’s. Walmart. As the list grows, the world watches and the survivors march.
Movements matter. This isn’t a game. Numbers matter. Together, we’re too big to ignore.
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*Image from AVAAZ