05.27.22 07:34 PM Comment(s) By Adrienne Towsen

March 24, 2018...March For Our Lives in Washington D.C. 

My daughters brought this to my attention and asked to participate in this demonstration following the most recent school shooting at that time which had occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed on February 14, 2018 by a 19 year old who entered the school with a semi-automatic rifle. Within 4 minutes the lives of 14 high school students and 3 staff members were lost.  How does one explain this? How is it possible in the time it takes to buy coffee at Starbucks, 17 innocent people die for no reason. It is almost unbelievable, except for the fact that it happens over and over again in this country. We have no choice but to believe it. We have no choice but to watch the news and see the devastation, see these young lives ended so tragically, see the heartbreaking grief of the parents and other loved ones left behind.  Or do we have a choice? We as working moms who trust the safety and care of our children to others much of the time, we as parents in general, we as Americans, we as human beings need to choose safety in our schools, safety for our kids and for all of those who spend their days teaching and caring for our kids. We need to choose change. We need to say "ENOUGH". It was more than enough after the first time this ever happened. It is truly sickening to know that just since 2009, there have been 288 school shootings in this country.🤬😰

Four years ago we marched following Parkland. That was six years after the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut and now we have another. Well we have way more than just those three... if we take 288 and divide by 13 years from 2009-2022, that leaves us with an average of 22 school shootings per year. How has this country not done something to change this? How can we carry on as parents and send our kids to school with no fear. We can't. We have to prepare our kids as best we can and hope that the security measures in place will not fail them. But again I struggle to understand why our babies who should be worried about nothing more than learning, making friends and what they are going to play at recess, instead have to participate in active shooter drills in first grade!  We need to fix this!

Now we are faced with the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. On May 24, 2022, an 18 year old entered this school and murdered 19 students and 2 teachers. These kids were 2 days away from the end of the school year. Undoubtedly they went to school that day happy, innocent 10 or 11 year olds excited about end of the school year activities and the upcoming summer break, never expecting it to be the last day of their short lives. As a mother, I have no idea how you go on after this. How can you possibly recover from the senseless death of your child in this way. It is bad enough that we can be faced with disease or accidents that can take our children from us too soon, but death by an assault rifle while attending fourth grade should not be another way to lose a child. My heart breaks for every family that is dealing with such inconceivable and preventable loss right now. This is not acceptable. We don't need to continue to offer thoughts and prayers after these tragedies happen, we need to institute policy and change so they stop happening.

I sincerely thought that after Sandy Hook, more would have changed. On December 14, 2012, a 20 year old walked in to this elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and fatally shot 26 people including 20 children (all 6 or 7 years old) and 6 adult staff members with multiple firearms including an assault rifle. This was the deadliest school shooting to occur in this country. The massacre at Robb Elementary now ranks second. It's unbelievable that 10 years later we can experience nearly the same magnitude of tragedy. Why can these 18, 19 and 20 year olds be in possession of military-type weapons? These "kids" cannot purchase an alcoholic beverage, cannot book most hotel rooms and cannot rent a car, but they can purchase assault rifles and be left to do whatever they want with them? What is wrong with this system? Everything! Look at these faces. These kids would now be in high school, going to proms, thinking about college. Instead, their parents and families look at their photos and videos and try not to forget what it was like to spend time with these adorable humans who had their lives stolen for no reason. 

Get involved, be heard, address your local representatives, join or contribute to organizations like this. The parents of this nation are desperate for change and reform. Our children do not deserve this💔

Adrienne Towsen

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