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Compassion before politics

February 23, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

In the wake of adversity, in the wake of tragedy, in the wake of the very worst that fate or man can throw our way, Americans have always paused and come together, if only briefly, to mourn those lost, to show respect for those sorely affected.

Until now.

The reaction of far too many in the aftermath of the carnage that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has been appalling in its callousness.

The floating, "liking" and "sharing" of meritless conspiracy theories victimizing survivors - child survivors - for political coinage jingled from the top down.

Attacks condemning the assumed and assigned motives of survivors - child survivors - who dare to cry "enough, please, enough."

The regurgitation of the should'a, would'a, could'a blame game from those circling the wagons on both sides of the political divide before these children - God love us, these children - were buried.

Where is our compassion? Where is our collective soul?

It is not with those in Parkland in their hour of need.

Today, let us remember the fallen.

Today, let us share the pain of their families and friends.

Today, let us stand with the survivors and respectfully hear their messages whether they align with our views, with our proposed solutions of choice, or not.

And tomorrow?

Among our local representatives, state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, perhaps, said it best: "Floridians have a reasonable expectation that their children are safe when they send them to school. We must, and will, do better."


Better safety, greater protection, is, in fact, what those criticized child survivors, and the young protestors nationwide who support their cry for action, want.

We need to hear - and heed - their plea.

This legislative session.

Among the proposals here in Florida, according to Sen. Benacquisto, is money to harden school campuses, to provide additional armed resource officers on every campus as well as funding - up to $100 million - for mental health training, screening and counseling.

And on the federal level?

President Trump has suggested raising the minimum age for buying certain rifles, "Comprehensive Background checks with an emphasis on Mental Health" and a ban on "bump stocks" used to convert rifles to automatic fire.

Compassion - and action.

Both are heartbreakingly overdue.

- Breeze editorial



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