Dear President Obama, Members of Congress, and Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court,
The first mass shooting I remember having an impact on me was the tragedy at Columbine High School. I was at college studying education and I remember wondering about the future of my chosen profession.
Since that day there have been more mass shootings, in schools, malls, and other locations, than I can count. With each one we seem to grow less and less surprised, and more and more complacent.
When a disturbed man walked into an elementary school and gunned down 20 1st graders and 6 educators, it seemed that we as a nation were finally shocked enough to make some changes. Yet, almost 3 years later there are no new laws that have been passed that would have prevented Adam Lanza from massacring 26 innocents.
Which brings me to one question:
Is this the best you can do?
If my 4-year-old daughter were standing in front of you right now, could you look into her eyes and honestly tell her that you are doing everything you can to keep her safe? Could you explain to her why she is more likely to be shot down by a random act of mass violence in America than in any other civilized nation?
Because I can’t.
I can’t make sense of this world, where violence is normal and it’s acceptable for more than 12,000 Americans to be murdered just because they happen to be at the movies, or in school, or at a mall.
So I ask again, in all seriousness; Is this really the best you can do?
Is the safety of our citizens not worth the time and effort it would take to bring about change? Have you become resigned to the fact that you govern a nation where violence is a way of life? Do you, at this very moment, have an aide composing your next compassionate tweet for the next victims of the next mass shooting?
Is this the best you can do?
I believe the people who elected you (or appointed you) expected more. I believe they expect and are entitled to better. I believe you are letting them down with each and every single day that passes with no measurable change.
What’s more, I believe you feel just as frustrated and angry as I do. The difference is that you’re in a position to do something about it.
Think about what you felt when you decided to run for office (or accept your nomination). I believe you had the best of intentions. I believe you cared more about helping your country and community than a fancy title. I believe you to be an honorable person.
I also believe that you have lost your way. You have lost sight of a fundamental responsibility of your office; Keep your citizens safe. I believe you have chosen political expedience over the best interests of our people. And I believe that you have abdicated your responsibility when what we really need is for you to step up.
But… I have hope. I have hope that you can do better. I have hope that you will be part of the solution. Because I know that it doesn’t have to be like this, and you know it, too.
So, once again, I ask you to consider; Is this the best you can do?