Bob’s Blog: How Many More Will It Take?
In the wake of yet another numbing, senseless, unspeakable, horrific shooting tragedy – this time in Uvalde, Texas yesterday – the operative question is how many more of these incidents will it take for Congress to enact meaningful gun control legislation?
A school classroom should be the safest place on earth for our children. I’m trying to imagine being the parent of one of yesterday’s victims: dropping my child off at school that morning, a backpack full of learnings and belongings, kissing him or her as I wish a good day, seeing that loving smile, and watching him or her happily scurrying off to the front entrance of the school. Hours later, my child is gone. Forever, just like that, and now facing an empty bed and an empty room and the searing pain of the most painful loss imaginable. And the primary reason is that our Congress simply does not have the spine to stand up to lobbyists and political expectations. Once again, will we only hear “thoughts and prayers” as the actionable political response? Really?
From the place that I sit, three things we can and must do – or in the case of philanthropy, to resource: 1) Join the clarion call of outrage in demanding immediate gun control legislation now; 2) invest in community voice, grassroots power-building, and the most robust civic participation possible; and 3) yes, we must raise and prioritize community-based mental health access and infrastructure across our nation. I understand it is a tricky business to mix the need for gun control with the need for community mental health support, but this is a time when we must push through political niceties. The United States Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, recently released a report on the crisis of mental health among young people across the nation, and it serves as a useful and actionable blueprint for addressing the crisis.
We are working in a supportive partnership with the Surgeon General’s call to action on mental health and will endeavor to center the experiences of young people themselves on their hopes and needs.
The community of Uvalde, Texas is on our minds and in our hearts today and always.
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