Twelve victims’ lives in Thousand Oaks, California…
Two victims’ lives in Tallahassee, Florida…
Two victims’ lives in Springfield, Missouri…
All this in the month of November, 2018. This year, as of November 7, in the U.S. alone, we’ve seen 307 mass shootings.*
Do you hear the call? The Call to Action? We in the U.S. have an epidemic, and the best we can do is offer our prayers and condolences? Is that really the best we can do?
Or are we going to answer this call to action?
Thousand Oaks was considered one of the safest cities in the country. And California has some of the toughest guns laws around. Yet this continues to happen, and I fear it will continue to happen so frequently that we, as a society, as a community, may become numb to the problem, and treat it as if this is simply our way of life.
This cannot be. We live in the most powerful (by multiple measures) country in the world, and we can’t figure this out? Are we so divided that it’s OK to have so many lost lives? Are we so busy and naive that we think this won’t happen here?
Here in Milpitas, we are fortunate that this has not happened. But, the call is there to act now. We have taken some initial actions as a community, but I believe we need more. Last June, we, as a community, met and talked about these challenges. Our schools have drills and procedures in place, so we can react to a crisis. Our police are in the community to respond quickly to any threat. But that preparation seems to be all focused on what to do if it happens. How about not letting it happen (prevention)? What can be done to reduce or eliminate the possibility of this happening?
We, in Milpitas, can use our diversity to lead. We need to come together to talk again, and bond against a common threat. But now, we need to take our ideas and put them into action. We need to identify and validate preventive measures that do work. Programs like the Sandy Hook Promise offer ideas (Start with Hello, Signs of Suicide, Say Something, Safety Assessment) for community building and community safety by having everyone (students, teachers, staff, parents, families, neighbors, community members, store owners…All Milpitians) help with risky behavior identification and prevention. Those programs also help to reduce isolationism, which is a key ingredient of folks in desperation. We need to look at building more capacity for mental health support. And we need gun owners to help lead and fashion common sense laws that work.
Together, we can become a stronger community — by working together for a safer and more secure Milpitas.
Are you ready to answer the call?
If so, please complete this survey: Milpitas Call 2 Action Survey
Milpitas Resident & Milpitas Unified School District Board Member