E. Toby Boyd.
Our words are not enough. Our combined thoughts and prayers do nothing to stop the seemingly endless plague of mass shootings and violence in America that have claimed 255 innocent lives this year alone. In the aftermath of Gilroy and another tragic weekend that saw guns kill 20 at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, nine at an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, and three in ongoing gun violence in Chicago, we must stand together and do more than offer empty words to the families and communities grieving for their murdered daughters, sons, parents, friends and neighbors.
In school, we teach our students to work together to solve problems. As educators, we help children develop a foundation of respect, celebrate diversity, and collaborate to overcome shared challenges. These have long been hallmarks of American democracy and part of what makes our country special. We may not always agree on difficult issues, but we are willing to put aside those disagreements to fight a shared threat. Gun violence and domestic terrorism are threatening our country.
It’s time for immediate action to make our communities safe again. This doesn’t only mean changing laws to protect our communities and ending the scourge of gun violence; it will require a collective commitment to making our country better for all of us. It is our shared responsibility to set aside the rhetoric and divisive politics, and work together to provide mental health resources, demand commonsense gun laws, and fight the hate that often fuels this disgusting violence. Words alone won’t fix anything; it will take action. Something is fundamentally broken when a trip to the mall, a festival, or a night out with friends could end in a hail of gunfire.
As families from Gilroy to El Paso to Dayton and beyond make unplanned funeral arrangements, continued inaction is not an option. One place to start is by urging your U.S. Senator to support legislation expanding background checks for firearms and closing loopholes that make it too easy to buy guns. We educators urge our fellow Americans to stand with us for safety in our communities and to work together to end the epidemic of gun violence and domestic terrorism.”