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An Anniversary No One Wants

Another mass shooting in the United States.

Today is Valentine’s Day 2023. It is also the 5th anniversary of the Parkland, FL. mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The total number of children exposed to gun violence at school has exploded, rising from 187,000 in 2018 to 338,000 now, a Washington Post analysis show. via: After Parkland: What we’ve learned tracking school shootings for 5 years

In reading this data-driven report from the Washington Post, it is overwhelming to consider how many students have been exposed to gun violence at school. When I consider multiplying this out to include the parents, family members, and neighbors who are similarly impacted by this trauma, I’m even more overwhelmed. We will be working to heal the mental health wounds brought on by gun violence for generations.

Last night a school shooting occurred at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. I learned about this shooting not from the news, but from a friend, whose daughter is a student at MSU. It wasn’t the first time I’ve learned of a mass shooting this way and it won’t be the last.

This is an American problem driven by a interpretation of our constitution that prioritizes liberty over life and individual rights over collective responsibility.

I heard on the radio this morning that there have been sixty-seven mass shootings in 2023. It’s only February, so we’re on pace for well over 500 by the end of the year.

May God have mercy on us.

Today, I pray for everyone impacted by the trauma of gun violence. May they heal and experience peace. I also pray that elected officials and policy makers gain the courage to enact policies that reduce gun violence.