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Going to pick up hangers, baby wipes or whatever should not result in the loss of life or a ubiquitous sense of fear that violence is always around the corner. Nor should the lives of mothers walking their neighborhoods with the expressed commitment to keeping their children safe from gun violence be taken from that very evil.

Like most Americans, I am angry at the lack of courage from government officials who are in the pockets of the NRA and refuse to do what is right to end this epidemic. I am disgusted that mass shootings and death by gun violence has become so much a part of our society’s norm that folks can recycle the same tweets and posts from days prior with no thought of specificity. I am broken-hearted for the families and communities for which vacuous words don’t mean a thing right now as they will not give one more hug, kiss, moment to argue and reconcile, to be disappointed by and then overjoyed with the ones they love; our words will not refill the gaping holes that are now present by the loss of life. I am all these things right now.

And I’m also determined not to sit in the paralysis of fear allowing this very evil to win. I am determined to keep striving for the world and future we desire and deserve. I refuse to die inside and allow apathy to be my legacy. We must pass sensible gun safety legislation that includes universal background checks, closing loopholes on the possession of firearms by those deemed an extreme risk to themselves and others, and repelling the Dicky Amendment so we can effectively research the causes and impacts of gun violence across America.