Featured Letter: The phrase that made me shudder

An expert on surviving school shootings credits luck or God’s protection with keeping Long Island from a school shooting (“Expert: Adopt ‘run, hide, defend’ strategy,” April 28). “We have been either very lucky, or God has been protecting us here on Long Island, in that we haven’t had a mass school shooting here … We’re going to. It’s just a matter of time.” 

Schools across our country have been scenes of horrific crimes. Not because of bad luck or a lack of God’s protection. Lawmakers have abandoned our kids. Politicians with their own version of ‘run, hide, defend.’ Running from the issue, ignoring the desperation. Hiding behind the Second Amendment, misusing its intention from 1791. Defending their spineless inaction with exaggerations and lies about what sensible gun legislation would do. To keep intact their financial support from the National Rifle Association. 

Before there were laws requiring car seats for kids, at times they sat on laps of front seat passengers, putting them dangerously close to the dashboard and the windshield. Lawmakers acted to protect children, passing sensible car seat laws. Just as we’ve been asking for sensible gun legislation to keep America’s kids safe from the nightmare of running, hiding, defending. 

If any school is going to offer a program on strategies for surviving shootings, there ought to be a second piece to the program. A piece that includes civic lessons for higher grades. Lessons on finding voting records of their representatives. On organizing rallies. Overcoming feeling intimidated to call their representatives. On how and where to register to vote. And what some of the sensible gun laws are that can help keep them safe. 

“It’s just a matter of time” are words that made me shudder. Some say this generation of students will discover their power to affect change with their vote, with their activism. The babies on laps didn’t have to wait until voting age to be protected. Today’s kids shouldn’t have to wait either. We didn’t normalize children’s automobile injuries. We didn’t teach them how to hold on tighter in case of a collision. Sensible laws were passed — when we had lawmakers who did the work of protecting our country’s kids. 

Ms. Tomaszewski lives in Laurel.