Monday, December 16, 2013

The Price of Inaction

Over the weekend, the nation commemorated a tragic anniversary. It's now been a year since the Newtown Massacre. Communities across the nation came together to mark the saddening anniversary, and to pledge to continue working for a better future for our children.

There was even a vigil in Southern Nevada. It was a chance for the local community to reflect on what's happened in the past year.

Licensed family therapist and retired teacher Linda Cavazos says she sees more fear and generalized anxiety disorder in younger children. Some of them are fearful of violence in their schools, she says, so parents need to talk to their kids often to assess their physical and emotional needs.

"The danger signals are there. They're calling out for help, but sometimes people stick heads in the sand," Cavazos said. She added that parents know their kids best and should encourage them to seek mental health treatment if necessary.

"I find if you do not answer their questions (about violence in schools), they (the children) become more fearful because they don't know what's going on. Explain it to them as simply as you can," said Cavazos.

Imagine hearing gunshots at your school. Wouldn't that be frightening? It certainly was for the students at Sandy Hook Elementary School... And for the students at Sparks Middle School.

Keep in mind that gun violence is not some faraway concern. It regularly occurs here, too. It happened in Sparks. It's happened several times this year on the Las Vegas Strip. And it continues to endanger communities across this state.

Yet when Senator Dean Heller (R-NRA) had the opportunity to do something to protect Nevada's kids, he just ran away. And when Rep. Joe Heck (R-NRA) had the opportunity to take steps to keep dangerous weapons away from dangerous criminals, he made excuses. And when the Nevada Legislature passed S 221 in an attempt to compensate somewhat for Congress' failure to pass the most basic gun safety measures, Governor Brian Sandoval (R-NRA) vetoed it and attempted to cover it up with legalese mumbo jumbo. They all had the chance to do something, but they chose to do nothing instead.

And now, we're all paying the price of inaction. And we all must relive the memories of horrific incidents of gun violence. And we all must continue to bury those who passed "before their time". The price of inaction is turning out to be quite steep.

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