Oh look. Another shooting. This one, at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, killed two and wounded four; shortly before 6 p.m., the school's Office of Emergency Management reported gunshots and urged students to "Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately." So nu? It barely made the news. Even as Trump fawns all over a wounded but still lethal NRA, urging "this very important organization" to "get back to GREATNESS - FAST!"; as more and more states pass, or at least debate, over 50 new gun-control laws; as Democratic candidates on the right side of history vowto enact more laws and decry "street-level shrines" of candles and teddy bears marking "the most perverse, unnatural" murder of children - still, 20 years after Columbine, the carnage continues. Those killed and wounded in Charlotte join a sickening tally that is America today: about 40,000 gun deaths a year, 115 so far this year, with roughly one mass shooting a day and many, many more felled in individual shootings. As a result, 95% of American schoolchildren now undergo active shooter drills and lockdowns, and what experts say is their ensuing, often enduring trauma.
Parents echo them: A mother recalls her six-year-old daughter declaring big cupboards the best places to hide but earnestly adding, "There's not enough room for everyone. How do we choose who gets to hide and who has to die?" Because "a child's most important lesson shouldn't be how to survive," March For Our Lives has created a Generation Lockdown campaign aimed at passing a proposed Background Check Expansion Act that 97% of Americans support; it has passed in the House and is coming to a vote in the Senate. They created a petition arguing that turning millions of kids into experts in survival is "not a solution we accept." They also just released a gut-wrenching PSA wherein one of those tender, unwilling experts, real life kid Kayleigh Webb Sanchez, enters a real life team building exercise at a real life company in National City, CA., to advise a group of utterly horrified employees how to survive an active shooter event - how to hide, block doorways, cover windows, recognize the sounds of gunfire. "You can't cry," she notes. "That will give away your position." Watch, weep, remember we don't have to live this way, and act.
Kayleigh ends with a song her teacher taught the kids to help them save their own lives:
"Lockdown, lockdown let's all hide
Lock the doors and stay inside
Crouch on down
Don't Make a sound
And don't cry or you'll be found"