Alison Berkowitz, who describes herself as a teacher and doctoral candidate from Baltimore, Maryland, in her Twitter profile, posted a picture of a little girl’s arm covered in marker. The words, in childish purple script, read: “Love mom and dad.” Berkowitz writes that the child’s mother, Shelley Harrison Reed, asked her young daughter why she’d written that on her arm.
Her answer? Their school had had a “genuine lockdown” earlier that day. “In case the bad guy got to us and I got killed, you and daddy would know that I love you,” Reed says her daughter explained.
In an extended Facebook post, Reed explains that the cause of the lockdown was a bomb threat. While everything was ultimately okay, her children were understandably frightened. When they got home, Reed says they talked about it together, but it wasn’t until later in the evening that she noticed the text on her daughter’s arm.
So my kids school had a genuine lockdown today. Some whack job called in a bomb threat ???????? Police came and everything…
Though this specific situation was a bomb threat, most people on Twitter who responded to the thread discussed gun violence and gun safety. Some of the tweets are really heartbreaking.
I’m so sorry. Two years ago during our lockdown in school, I got sent home a letter tht said to “Practice staying still” with my then 6th grader- he shook to much. This makes me so angry and so sad . Pls hug ur kiddo. And yourself-
— Stacey (@nursegalmom) February 12, 2019
I'm so sorry. Here in the UK I send my kids off to school every single day & zero percent of my brain is wondering if this will be the day they are shot. They have never had an active shooter drill or needed a bulletproof backpack.
Freedom comes in more than one flavour, America
— Ben Stephens (@stephens_ben) February 12, 2019
Convince her to vote. Convince her friends to vote as well. We've got to make sure this new generation of kids understand the power of such things and how it can change the world for the better.
— Nintari (@Idolsofautum) February 13, 2019
Dear god. Why do are children have to live in fear of going to school and never seeing their parents again. This is complete insanity!
— James Smith (@jymbo916) February 12, 2019
I’m 17. I have panic attacks about not surviving my school day. I shouldn’t have to live like this.
— Mary McNeill (@Mary_McNeill_) February 13, 2019
Universal background checks, along with child-access-prevention laws, are some of the most effective policy changes to reduce gun violence, according to a major study publishede by the Rand Corporation.
What do the actual numbers look like when it comes to gun violence in youth? Extremely grim. More than 26,000 kids and teenagers were killed as a result of gun violence between 1999 and 2016, according to mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A full 85 percent of these fatalities occured in adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17.
Since 1999, 142 kids and teens have died by gun violence during legal interventions with police officers; almost all of them were teens over 13.
While we hit a low of 1,258 child fatalities in 2013, we’ve been on a disturbing upswing since. As of 2016, the number of children killed by guns had increased by 30 percent. This breaks down to about four deaths per day. And yet the NRA still wants people to stay in their lane.
Sign if you agree: Enough is enough. We need gun safety laws now.