For those of you who live in the United States, you may have seen this picture of this Florida high schooler, standing in front of a wall that reminds me of a log cabin quilt, and who died in our recent shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day. For those of you who live outside the United States, you may wonder what is wrong with our country. I have no answers for that.
But I do hope to honor this young woman’s memory — and the memory of others who have died in yet another American mass shooting — by writing letters and calling my Congressman and my Senators, telling them how I feel about this.
I recognize it is a puny gesture, and I may yet find other ways to add my voice to join that of David Hogg, one young man who was caught in the middle of this, when he implored us to take action when he said: “We’re children. You guys are the adults.”
We owe it to America’s children to clean up this mess.
February 15, 2018
24 thoughts on “We Need to Fix This”
I added my voice to yours today, Elizabeth. I truly thought that Newtown would mark the change–that we could not witness the deaths of all those tiny children and then move on, but somehow we did. But I won’t be silent and accept this as the shameful legacy of being an American. California acted after the San Bernardino mass murder and legislated against the AR-15. As a SoCal native living in Oregon, that made me proud, and today I challenged my Senators to follow that lead, along with other actions that must be taken–now.
It’s so sad about the Florida high school. All I can do for now is pray for everyone involved. The kids deserve to feel safe and be safe at school.
That is not all you can do. You can speak out to every single person you know. You can call and write your representatives. You can do much.
What on earth does praying do? Get on the phone. Write to anyone in Washington. Do something concrete.
I couldn’t agree with you more, Elizabeth. As the mother of a high school student, every one of these incidents rocks me to my core. I know full well, my child could be in the next one because we all know there will be a next one. I have written my congressmen twice before about this issue and will do it again. I am not anti gun rights but I do think we should covet our children more than we covet are guns.
You are one of the few American friends and relatives I have who accepts the fact that you have “to clean up this mess”. A relative of mine who lives in Florida has just posted in Facebook that the daughter of a friend of hers was severely injured in this massacre and she was asking us to pray for her.
Immediately I thought that prayers are not enough and that American people should be more responsible for what they vote and which government they choose (I know she is pro Trump) but of course I could not tell her my thoughts… this is something that she has to understand and decide.
With all my respect,
Myrto in Athens, Greece
Well said. I have no words but I will pray.
Thank you for speaking out on your blog Elizabeth, and for contacting your representatives. If every single person who said they would ‘keep those affected in their thoughts and prayers’ would do the same, maybe we would finally have some sensible legislation. I have been contacting my reps regularly on this issue. Thank you for adding your voice. I love your patterns Elizabeth!
I sent my requests for action to my senators and rep. I jope that our country has had enough and will now take action. Thank you!
And what a mess it is. Horrifying. You inspire me. I will add my voice.
Perhaps it is time to start a memorial quilt like AIDS quilt made in the 80s. It is still a stunning statement.
My heart is broken, this is so sad. This is the third “event” in the last 5 months. NOW is the time to speak about guns. Especially the guns that are being used, these are not hunting guns. One of the Mother’s of a dead child was speaking (Yelling) out for change, I hope people listen to her words and make a change.
Pam from Canada
Though I am in favor of gun-control laws, I think we have to look at the bigger picture of how and why the shooters desire to murder others. How much violence do we as parents allow our children to watch on tv, at the movies, in video games? As a society, are we willing to diagnose and treat mental illness? Are there enough resources to treat mental illness? Are we willing to commit to our own spouses and children the love, understanding and patience marriages and families need to thrive? Do we communicate with our often sullen teenagers? Our legislators cannot change society. They can help, but it is up to every single one of us, in how we live our lives, raise our children, and actually talk face to face with one another.
Thanks for these thoughts. However, the one common factor in gun-violence incidents is the guns. Access to guns needs to be restricted. We are astounded and horrified when there are incidents like at the school, but we ignore the fact that every day there are people killed in gun violence. Usually the factor is NOT mental illness, in the traditional diagnosable sense. Usually the factor is that someone is angry, usually with one or more family members (usually a spouse or female partner,) and that angry person has access to a gun. People all over the world get angry with each other, and people all over the world experience mental illness. Only in America are there so many guns available so easily.
To say this makes me very sad doesn’t go anywhere near explaining the extent of this ongoing horror. Our government drastically changed gun laws after our devastating Port Arthur massacre in 1996. It certainly had a profound effect on this type of occurrence. I can’t lobby your senators but I can pray for them and all involved in this latest tragedy.
This is just plain crazyness. The problem is adults allowing children to have access to guns. All the praying on earth is not going to fix this. Save your breath to call your congressmen. The only way to make your country great again is to stand up to the NRA and tell your leaders to stand up and lead the way!
Yes, easy access to guns, especially AR 15’s is the real problem. Some one has to stand up against the NRA but I’m afraid the money purse is
controlling all the power.
I can understand why believers feel the need to pray but action is needed. Yes, call your representatives. And keep calling until something is done to help prevent these murders.
There is no use for automatic handguns or rifles and devices to convert single shot guns to multiple round weapons except as weapons of war. The sale of these weapons should be banned. The question of how the ones currently in circulation could be collected is a problem but starting with a ban on the sale of these is a start.
It’s great to see you’re encouraging others to take action Elizabeth. Maybe you could provide some sample text that people could include in a letter to their Senators. I know many people intend to write letters at times like this, but just don’t know how to word those letters, so never write them.
Well said. The amount of $$ that NRA has given to congress is staggering. No wonder guns are rampant in the USA.
Your efforts are not puny. I hope your government will act now. Thank you for sharing this.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we banned assault rifles? Then if people missed their guns we could send them our thoughts and prayers. It is past time for action. Call your senators and congresswomen and men. Thanks, Elizabeth, for once again, walking the walk.
I am so pleased to see you addressing this! And I couldn’t agree more with many of the comments made in response–it’s time to act, time to place the lives of innocent people ahead of some misguided need to make guns available to everyone who wants one.
Yes, I add my voice to all who want to make meaningful change to our gun laws. We do not need assault weapons anywhere on the streets of our country. (these are made for soldiers). We also need to keep any guns out of the hands of those with severe mental illness, such as this young murderer. I stand with these young people from Parkland, Florida who are saying “stand up and make this happen!” Vote these politicians- who are bought off by the NRA-vote them out of office. We, the people, do have the power to do that. We need to make America safe again.