I co-authored this Op-ed with Dean Donna Nickitas from Rutgers-Camden Nursing and Donna Mazyck, Executive Director of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).
MLK wrote about the “fierce urgency of now,” a message that rings as true today as it was when he shared it more than 50 years ago. Addressing the public health crisis of gun violence requires that sense of fierce urgency and action. This Op-Ed, published today, the very weekend following the aftermath of yet another mass shooting, gives a school nurse’s perspective on this uniquely American crisis.
“The fierce urgency of now,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently put it, calls on us to take immediate action in order to address gun violence for what it is: a public health crisis.
Whether it’s an active shooter ravaging the safety of our nation’s schools, or the slow mass shootings that happen in communities across the country, our children are suffering. Violence and revenge are partners in wreaking havoc on innocence and, when coupled with access to weapons, cause death and destruction in the most innocent of spaces.
It is time to stop and recognize the fierce urgency of now to address the heinous outcomes of gun violence that cause our children to lose their lives and deprive them of their futures.