It was June 3rd, 2013. A 13-year-old girl and her teammate walked by me while I was standing near the uneven bars at the gymnasium. They were laughing and giggling and I said “hi”. Little did I know this was the last time I would see little Brooklynn.
The next day after school (June 4th, 2013) Brooklynn went to her friend’s house to hang out. Her friend got her dad’s gun from where it was “hidden” and somehow shot our precious girl. We never saw her again and the pain her family felt, and continues to feel to this day, is unbearable. We lost Brooklynn senselessly, needlessly, and not one person was held responsible for this tragedy. A young girl killed her and it was deemed “an accident”.
Four years later we witnessed the largest mass shooting in the history of the United States in Las Vegas, Nevada (our hometown) and several of our staff and their families were at the Route 91 concert where 58 innocent people were murdered. Our community gymnasium has had lives traumatized by this tragedy. Our gym lost a young girl on our team. What have we done since then to change laws? Hardly a thing.
When, as a society, we decide that anyone can purchase a gun without training, without registration, without learning safety, without background checks, and without any checks on this gun owner’s skill or knowledge level with regards to a dangerous item like a gun (or in the case of Route 91 concert massacre– a truckload of weapons), we will continue to have “accidents” like this.
We have decided that it is okay to lose Brooklynn. We don’t really care if this happens again. We might not stop every criminal with a gun (or every crime or accident) so why try to stop any of them? We just don’t care enough.
I personally want to sleep on the floor of Congress until a law is enacted that requires licensing, registration, demonstration of knowledge, and safety training to the law (I would additionally call for mandatory insurance as well). Our children’s lives are too important to just do nothing but engage in empty debate.
PLEASE WRITE AND CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS UNTIL SOMETHING DEFINITIVE CHANGES – let’s start with SOMETHING that protects lives and prevents unnecessary deaths like Brooklyn's.