Wednesday, May 25, 2022

How many more children will die in school before we act?

 Here's the letter I sent to Senators Burr and Tillis and Congressman McHenry this morning. I urge you to contact your legislators TODAY. 

Contact your U.S. Senator. 

Contact your U.S. Congressman.

Four days ago, my 14-year-old son woke up not wanting to go to school. He’s a great kid—honors student, funny and kind. He hasn’t said he didn’t want to go to school like this before. So as one does in this day and time, I tested him for covid and when it was negative, I told him to get ready because he was going to school. But on the way, I had this sinking feeling. What if something terrible happens at school today? What if he never makes it home? I thought, “You’re being crazy. Be reasonable. Nothing is going to happen.” But I kept coming back to this: If there’s a school shooting, how would my future self live with the fact I made him go? As we neared the exit to his school, I passed it and brought him back home. Thankfully, there was no devastation at my son’s school that day. But as the news of yet another school shooting came crashing down on the country yesterday, my fears were renewed and my resolve to act was ignited.

Here are some scary thoughts that run through my head on a regular basis. I think about where my children’s classrooms are oriented in each of their school buildings and the chances their sweet faces could be targets of the next gunman. Would the gunman advance to the pods or stay inside the school? Would my children be quick to hide as they have been instructed in active shooter drills? Could my 9-year-old actually be still? As a Sunday school teacher of toddlers, I have run countless drills in my head about where I could hide my little ones and how I could get them to be quiet if an active shooter enters our classroom. I’ve covered these fears in prayer and I know God is so good. And I know more can be done here on earth.

We are living in a time when many folks can’t conceive of having any of their "gun rights" taken away. Contrast this with parents around the country living in fear that their child’s school will be next. Can’t we reach a middle ground—a place where common sense gun safety measures are made into law and enforced? If now is not the time to act on gun safety, when will it be? How many more school children will lay down their lives to protect an 18-year-old's right to bear an automatic assault weapon?

I am not interested in your moment of silence. I am not interested in your condolences or your assurances that schools are prepared from their active shooter drills. Don’t tell me the problem is not automatic assault weapons. Don’t tell me the answer is armed guards at schools- we see that did not stop the gunman at Robb Elementary. Not one of us is prepared to lose a child, yet we have another 19 or more families in Uvalde, Texas who must bury their children and try to move on with their heart in a million pieces. You have the authority, given to you by the good people of the state of North Carolina, to do something now. I am begging you to support strong legislation that will increase gun safety and reduce gun violence to prevent the next school schooting. If we fail to act this time, may God have mercy on our souls.

I look forward to your reply and your support of measures to protect our children.

Dr. Meryl J. Snow


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