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I’m tired. I’m tired of seeing grieving families alongside pictures of dead children and loved ones on TV. I’m tired of the bi-monthly #_____ Strong hashtags and useless elected officials talking about arming teachers and door control.

I’m tired of people saying tragedies like Uvalde are unimaginable. Is it? Is it really unimaginable? We had almost this exact same thing happen 10 years ago and nothing has changed. Our leaders shrugged and decided that our country’s relationship with guns was worth the lives of all those children.

If there’s anything about this shooting, it’s absolutely imaginable. I’d argue that it’s routine.

Children have grown up in so much constant fear from gun violence in schools, that they went into survival mode in Uvalde. Those children were in 4th grade and knew exactly what to do with a gunman in their classroom. I can’t wrap my head around it and we shouldn’t have to.

Look at the numbers.

  • Every day, more than 110 Americans are killed with guns, and more than 200 are shot and injured. Source
  • When an assault weapon is used in a mass shooting, it results in six times as many people shot than when other guns are used. Source
  • Firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens in 2020. Source
  • 58 percent of American adults or someone they care for have experienced gun violence. Source
  • About 4.5 million women in the US today report having been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner. Source
  • An average of 4,500 veterans die by firearm suicide every year – about 12 veterans each day. Source

What do we do?

We can start by expecting more from the people we helped to elect.

Senate Democrats, carve out the filibuster. If you can carve it out to raise the debt ceiling, what is stopping you from doing the same for gun violence? You can get 50 votes.

Below is legislation that passed the House and could pass the Senate today.

Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act

  • This bill would establish procedures for requesting a court order to prohibit a person deemed an imminent risk to themselves or others from possessing a firearm.

Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act

  • This bill establishes new requirements to expand the availability of information on domestic terrorism, as well as the relationship between domestic terrorism and hate crimes. It authorizes domestic terrorism components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to monitor, analyze, investigate, and prosecute domestic terrorism.

Something else we can do: be loud

It’s easy to feel helpless or powerless when preventable tragedies happen and our elected officials stand around with hands in pockets whistling until we move on.

But we can’t give way to cowardice. If we want to see change, if we want to have a world where we’re not terrified of sending our children to school, we have to do it ourselves. We have to be loud and cut through the noise. Stay upset. Politicize it.
Enough with the rhetoric, the debate, the thoughts and prayers combo – let’s actually fix the enormous, deadly problem plaguing our country. Make it happen. Words without action is over.

Garrett Readling