Last week, I posted “Mass Shootings: An Epidemic That Must Be Stopped” after the Orlando tragedy renewed calls for stricter gun controls. The article has been running as the featured headline for several days.
When these tragedies occur, we mourn the victims. Families who suffered losses are embraced by the community. The images of what happened are forever imbedded in the minds of those who witnessed the event or provided help to the wounded. We watch the event as it is repeatedly replayed on TV; we repeatedly hear the same words spoken about “that tragic day.” We begin to fear such tragedy will affect our own community – our schools, movie theatres, shopping malls and more. Schools implement lockdown fire drills. Our kids participate in these drills, even if they are too young to completely understand. They may only know something bad has happened….again.
Today, I learned about a poignant Facebook post just days after the Orlando shootings that illustrates how these mass shootings are affecting even our youngest citizens.
Stacey Wehrman Feeley of Traverse City, Michigan took this photo of her 3-year-old daughter standing on the toilet.
She thought it was funny and planned to send the picture to her husband to show how mischievous their daughter can be sometimes. But, that humor quickly turned to fear when she found out why her daughter climbed up on the seat. The child said she was practicing how to hide in a bathroom stale in case a gunman entered her preschool.
That chilling moment inspired Feeley to pen her heartfelt Facebook post that has since gone viral.
“Politicians – take a look. This is your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren and future generations to come,” she wrote. “They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats.”
A public uproar follows every massacre with a pledge for change and consolation for the victims. Yet nothing changes. As I stated last week, it is time we take a serious look at the epidemic of violence in America and look for real solutions. We can’t continue to accept events like Orlando, Colorado, and Newton in the belief it can’t happen to us. Our children should never feel unsafe at school. Lockdown drills should not be part of a normal school day. “No one thinks gun control will be 100% crime control,” Feeley wrote. “But maybe, just maybe, it helps 1% or 2% or 50%? Who knows unless we try?”
We really can’t afford to wait any longer; the time to act is now unless you want your child standing on top of a toilet.
Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.