During the bottom of the sixth inning at Saturday night’s Washington Nationals game against the San Diego Padres, shots rang out, abruptly ending the game and sending players and fans scrambling for cover.
The shootout, which authorities believe was between armed individuals in two cars outside the stadium, left three people wounded, including a spectator caught in the crossfire.
Once again, there are calls for gun reform. On Sunday, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Mark D. Lerner, managing principal owner of the baseball team, came together to condemn the shooting, saying they “stand together against senseless acts of gun violence in the city we love.”
“Gun violence — no matter where it occurs in our city — is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
While the majority of Americans are dissatisfied with current U.S. gun laws, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports “a federal ban on assault weapons, measures to address gun trafficking, and encourages safe firearm storage”, we continue to wait for any significant reform from our elected officials. Currently, House-backed gun control bills that strengthen background checks expect to face Republican opposition in the Senate.
The lack of movement on gun reform is frustrating on so many levels, especially when coupled by the harsh reality that our children must grow up knowing that, at any time, they might have to run for cover due to the threat of gun violence. At a baseball game. At school. At the movies. Anywhere.
Eight-year-old Faris Nunn was sitting at the third baseline with her parents and younger brother when she heard gunfire. In an interview the following day, Nunn told a reporter for WUSA9 in Washington, DC, “It was my second shooting. So I was kind of prepared… because I always am expecting something to happen.”
Nunn’s response is confident and matter-of-fact, because this is what she, and every child growing up in America, understand to be a normal part of their existence. Simply put, her words sent a chill down my spine. I ache for her and every child who accept that the threat of gun violence is simply a part of their every day life.
8-year-old girl on Nationals game shooting: ‘I was kind of prepared’
During the interview, Faris’ mom, Lora Nunn, said a man was shot to death outside of their Northeast D.C. recreation center in November, while they were at a toddler playgroup.
“We just tried to reassure her that this is not normal, that nobody’s targeting her, that it’s — it’s just a really stressful time right now with the pandemic,” Lora said.
This is what we do, as parents. We tell our children that they are going to be okay, that this is not how things should be. We know that talking to our kids about difficult subjects is part of our job as parents. And yes, bad things happen. But we are drowning in unnecessary death due to gun violence in this country.
No one should have to accept this, least of all our children.
Will it take the words of a child for our elected representatives to make positive change?