CWLA joins the country in mourning the tragedies of the past two weeks, first in Buffalo, NY, and now in Uvalde, TX. Once again, senseless gun violence strains our comprehension and calls into question what kind of country and society we want to become.

The violence that took the lives of 19 children and two adults in Uvalde on May 24th and 10 people of color in Buffalo on May 14th demands a genuine change in our politics and in our hearts. No child or parent should ever fear firearm violence in a school, church, or supermarket.

As a national organization that has worked for over 100 years to help ensure that children grow up safely, in loving families and supportive communities, with everything they need to flourish and with connections to their communities, culture, ethnicity, race and language, we know that this moment in our nation’s history is especially troublesome.

We will all need to redouble our efforts to make this vision a reality for all children, especially for those who are most vulnerable because of issues with immigration, education, housing, and health care, or because they live in communities where there is violence and poverty.

Dr Martin Luther King once said, “our lives end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Firearm violence is now the leading cause of deaths among children and adolescents. This matters, and unless every child has an opportunity to flourish in a country that recognizes that we are all part of the same community, we will never reach our full potential as a nation.

In his first inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln called on the wisdom of the “better angels of our nature.” That is what we must seek here today, a century and a half later. CWLA calls upon all Americans and Congress to do everything possible to address this violent epidemic.

By Christine James-Brown, President and CEO