“Parents are feeling compelled to send… their first grade children to school with bulletproof backpack plates.”

My girlfriend teaches first grade. And I think on Wednesday she told me about a co-worker, a fellow first grade teacher, who got an email from a parent of a first grade child. The parent was not upset, nothing really, it was a very matter-of-fact email. And she just wanted the first grade teacher to know that she'd sent her child to school with a backpack that had a bulletproof plate inserted in the backpack. And she wrote to the teacher to the tell her that she had spoken with the child, that it's not something you're supposed to talk about much and it's no big deal. It's just like the shield that Captain America uses, and you know, she just wanted the teacher to be aware that's - that it existed. And I just can't piece together and verbalize how many wrong turns we had to have taken as a society to end up in a place where parents are feeling compelled to send their kids to school with - their first grade children to school with bulletproof backpack plates and casually telling their teacher about it as though it's normal, you know, to protect her child in case of the next mass shooting. I don't know.

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“All night, I could just hear the sirens.”

Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio. Last night was the - last night was the active shooter at MSU campus. I remember last night getting the alert on my phone at 8:30. My boyfriend turned on the police scanner, and we were listening to that until past midnight, so for close to four hours. Three dead, five critically injured. I haven't even, like, processed it, really. I live just down the road from MSU. All night, I could just hear the sirens, and I could hear the helicopters flying overhead. The shooter - I went to work today and the road that I take to work brought me down exactly the road that the shooter took to get away from MSU. I saw where he walked. I can't even imagine what those students are going through. I was so scared that the shooter would come to my apartment. I can't imagine what the students are going through. And obviously every school shooting is bad, but I've never been this close to one. You know, if I probably had my windows open last night, I probably would've been able to hear the shots and some screaming. I was literally on MSU campus like three hours before this happened. When my boyfriend got home from work, he wanted to take a walk, what if we had walked onto MSU campus? My boss's daughter was waiting at the bus station when it all happened. She's okay, but s***'s f***ing scary. And, you know, nothing's gonna happen of this. It's just gonna be another shooting in the books. "Thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers. Everybody needs thoughts and prayers." Well f*** that. We need f***ing change. We need to protect people. I - my family - I have always grown up around guns. You know, whether it was pellet guns or hunting rifles. My dad really likes to shoot skeet, so we shoot skeet every Easter. We go out in the field across from our house that we own and we just shoot skeet for the whole Easter celebration. So I'm not a stranger to guns. I have my CPL. But nobody in this country or any country should be able to buy an assault rifle, AK-47, whatever, nothing that could cause mass death. It should not be allowed to be for sale. They…

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“… It just keeps happening over and over again.”

One of my friends teaches at Oxford. Apparently my minion's brother's friend, little brother, survived both Oxford and now Michigan State. There's not enough therapy to fix that. I was in Virginia when Virginia Tech happened. I worked for the commission that overhauled the mental health laws afterwards. Got mental health parity, all that good stuff. I did that. That got into the ACA because of the work that I helped do. I'm tired. Tired of this. Tired of the insanity. Oxford was just barely a year ago. And I'm sure I have an entry for that somewhere buried in here. Where I remember when someone put into one of the work chats that there was a shooting at Oxford. The first thing I did was text him. And in that - it was the longest three minutes of my life, just waiting for a response, 'cause I just didn't know. And, you know, in those three minutes, I'm looking at the news, I'm looking for what happened. That was a very long three minutes. I don't know how much worse this could've been if it wasn't a handgun. But as the saying goes about gun control in this country, if 26 dead white kindergartners can't get people to do something, nothing will. And that's where we're at. That was the building where the majority of my classes were in. That's the school I graduated from. And that's not something - this is not something that it should be in the spotlight for. Not because of a tragedy. You know, another - more tragedies anyway. This should have never happened. Yet here we are, again. That was three days ago and that was the 63rd mass shooting this country has had this year. We're not even 63 days into the year, and for no reason. Absolutely no reason. And it just keeps happening over and over again, for absolutely no reason. And I don't know what to do. I don't know. What more can we do? After Sandy Hook, after Uvalde, after Columbine, Monterey Park, after all of these. After Virginia Tech, after San Bernardino, Parkland, just nothing. Nothing has changed. It's not getting better.

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