I don’t have the answers. And I’m not a politician... Instead of posting this to my social media, because I’m not brave enough to speak out, I’m writing to you.

Listen Lucy,

I don’t have the answers. And I’m not a politician. But I do my best to educate myself on a daily basis.

Instead of posting this to my social media, because I’m not brave enough to speak out, I’m writing to you.

The other night I became emotional. I was reading Trump tweets about his visit to Dayton, Ohio, where he went to grieve with the families who were affected by last weekend’s mass shooting. When he returned, he was asked how the visit went. How were his next words not something like, “It was heartbreaking. But we are in this together.” Or something along this lines. Instead he explained it as “an amazing day” —“we saw love and respect for the office of presidency, I wish you could have been there to see it”. It was all about himself and how great his administration is. What? How is this man our president? End Trump rant, because I could keep going... but that’s where my emotional night started so I had to share. **Side note—I am very neutral on my political party preference. I am not strong left or right and I just need you to know that my anger towards Trump has nothing to do with political party, and everything to do with the kind of person that he is. I’m not anti-Republican. I’m anti-Trump**

Later that night, I came across a Facebook post saying “evil people will still find a way to kill and there’s nothing that can be done!!”

I have two things I want to say to that.

I I00% agree with the first part of that statement above. There are sick people in this world, and I mean that literally. Mental health is so important and it should be recognized as such. Do me a favor and think about how many medical physicals you’ve received in your lifetime? Was it every year for school? Maybe every other? I remember going to my family pediatrician every year. They did their job—listened to my heartbeat, pressed on my tummy, made me say “ahh” while sticking my tongue out, and I left with a sucker every time (even at age 18, when I was a senior in high school). But I’ve never had a psych evaluation. Not once. It’s not mandatory, so why would I? But, that’s my first point, it should be. Would mandatory psych evaluations stop all mass shootings? All acts of evil? Absolutely not. But even if it stops one from happening, it’s worth it in my book. We need to take mental health seriously, once and for all.

Secondly, the Dayton shooter was previously suspended from high school for having a “hit list” of people he wanted to kill and/or rape. So tell me how he bought a gun THIS powerful, legally? How can we have this information follow him? Here is a clip of an article describing the weapon: Armed with a .223-caliber high-capacity rifle with 100-round drum magazines, Betts fired 41 shots in less than 30 seconds, killing his sister as well as eight seemingly random bystanders in the area, police said Monday. He was killed by police officers on patrol 30 seconds after he opened fire.

Read that again.

I don’t know what exactly needs to be done. But can we at least work on making it fucking harder to obtain these kinds of weopons? In what scenario, does this 24 year old kid, ever need to own a .223-caliber high-capacity rifle? It truly baffles me. I can’t believe, that I could go buy the same gun, legally, right now. I’m a 28 year old female who has never shot a gun before, and you’re telling me I could go buy one right now? That’s insane! Now, I’m sure there would still be people who’d go through the lengths and risks of buying these weopons illegally, but even if it stops one more person from getting their hands on this kind of weapon, it’s worth it. We need to AT LEAST work on creating a road block. We need to start somewhere.

Like I said, I don’t have the answers. But I have a lot of people in this world that I love. I’m working on being proactive about this horrific phenomenon and speaking out BEFORE it directly affects me. I see too many speak up only AFTER their child gets shot at school, or at a bar, or at a movie theater. Please speak up and advocate for your loved ones NOW, especially if you have the power to do so.

We need to do better.