I am at a loss of words at the loss of 17 innocent souls taken from this world on Wednesday. While I may not find the right words to truly express how I feel, I am filled with emotion. Sadness. Heartbreak. Sorrow. Anger. Frustration.
I imagine I am not alone in feeling all these emotions.
While we all struggle with this tragedy, and as the families and friends mourn their loved ones and classmates, I find myself in awe of the courage and composure of the students who spoke about this horrific event. These young men and women show immense strength to stand in front of TV cameras and share accounts of such a harrowing experience.
One such student is Samantha Grady, a junior grazed by gunfire, who told the world on The Today Show, with tears in her eyes, that her best friend died. She went on to say that she talks about the shooting because she doesn’t want to have nightmares.
And Kelsey Friend, who was interviewed by CNN and spoke about her geography teacher, Mr. Beagle, whose actions saved Kelsey’s life and the lives of his other students, but who was killed by the gunfire. She said, “Mr. Beagle was my hero and he will forever be my hero.”
No student should experience such tragedy and loss. No student should experience nightmares of an armed gunman shooting down friends and teachers.
Our nation’s gun laws are broken. Our nation’s mental health system is broken. I am frustrated that we continue to have this debate and yet nothing changes. It’s time our elected officials stop talking and, instead, start acting in the best interest of our children.
David Hogg, a student who survived the school shooting, is far more eloquent in his plea for action than I could ever be when he said, “Please, take action. Ideas are great...But what’s more important is actual action...saving thousands of children’s lives. Please, take action.”
It’s time we start listening to these kids. We can learn a lot from them.