Opinion: Colorado school shooting and our divided nation:
Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director, Opinion Dearborn Press & Guide -May 21, 2019

The school shooting in Colorado is another painful reminder of the crisis of mass shootings in the US. It’s another shooting that claim innocent lives, while law-makers are barely thinking or making any serious effort to address the rapid increase of gun violence.

This mass shooting would have been more costly in human lives had it not been for the heroic intervention of Kendrick Castillo. As a society, we can do better than rely on the intervention of children to save other children. The gun violence issue and the long list of school shootings mandate a deeper conversation among all stake holders, schools administrations, parents, civic and faith leaders and the law enforcement agencies. Education, training and awareness are key to help prevent such horrific senseless crimes. Such partnership and collaboration will help save lives and help contribute to our common safety everywhere and at any place. No one is immune from being a victim and no entity is immune of being a target.

Hopefully, Kendrick’s sacrifice will spur action. We need sensible gun control laws in our nation. These ongoing tragedies merit serious attention, otherwise, people such as Kendrick will assume responsibility and pay the highest price in order to protect themselves and others from acts of such nature. The right to life is the most precious human right and all other rights are secondary.

The World Health Organization wrote: ‘In the past few years, firearms-related death and injury have been called everything from a “scourge” (1) to an “epidemic” (2), a “disease” (3) and a “preventable global health problem” (4). The biological analogies are not accidental or far-fetched.’ It is all of the above and the most important aspect of the problem is that it is preventable. Human causes the problem, human agency can prevent gun violence.

We urge our elected officials to rise to the occasion and honor Kendrick with a plan of action to save lives and not stay within vicious circle of politics as usual. Gun violence deaths are preventable deaths. We can do better.

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