The Essex community has the unfortunate recognition of having experienced a school shooting. 1 teacher was killed and 1 injured. Last year we experienced a lock-down. It wasn’t a drill. My husband works in the community and he said the sounds from all the sirens were deafening. Teens texted their parents goodbye. I was here that day unable to fully grasp what was happening in my community. Knowing the situation was at the high school, I couldn’t begin to imagine what those parents, teachers and students were going through. For a brief time all schools were locked down. What I did imagine was my sweet 8 year old boy, along with 19 other children, in a room with one teacher, unsure why the doors are locked and shades drawn. When I asked my son what happened he said “a man in our community was having a bad day so we had to stay inside and be quiet until someone helped him”. Thank goodness for our teachers. I was honored to be at our high school walk out last week. I saw the look in the eyes of our teens, I heard their voices – they should not be afraid.
The Essex community had a murder-suicide, an adult and teenager, by gun. Our community lost a youth to suicide, by gun. And those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head.
Our conversation and action on gun safety legislation shouldn’t be just about the mass shootings. One live lost is one too many.
I support common sense gun laws, just as I support common sense driving laws. Will these laws stop all violence and death, no. But if they stop some, they are worth it.
I support extreme risk measures, expanded background checks, changing the age to 21 to purchase guns with the carve outs, I support a ban on bump stocks and high capacity magazines, and I support a waiting period and safe storage.
I also know this committee will d0 their due diligence. What will come forth will be laws we can enforce and laws that don’t impinge on the true intent of the 2nd amendment. I thank you for what your doing.
We as a legislative body also need to look at the whole picture, not just gun safety legislation. What are the root causes of this violence, what supports and services do we need in our communities and in our families, what security measures do we need at our schools that don’t infringe on the freedom of our children. What else do we need to stop another senseless death.
Last night at a community conversation a gentleman indicated he was okay with kids and schools having to do drills – he did it growing up during the Cold War. I appreciate his perspective but I don’t agree with him. We as citizens really couldn’t control a nuclear threat. We as citizens should be able to control a threat of our own making.