Today it is with heavy heart that I write to you. Yesterday the lives of 17 individuals were lost to senseless violence at the hands of yet another mentally inept individual. I will not say his name during this release as I wish not to give him glory for his cowardly actions. This miserable person took advantage of this country’s greatest weakness and in the process he has denied us all of some great minds and hearts. For the families of those who had today and everyday here forth taken from them, we weep with you. There is absolutely no excuse for the action of this person yesterday and as such I will not rely on some claims of mental illness, or other non-consoling fact. This person is a monster. His actions are the reason your children will not be coming home today. His actions are the reason you will not see them wed. His actions are the reason we will never see these beautiful children reach their full potential. I’m truly sorry that you and your family must go through this.

For the 14 individuals whom this person injured. I wish you a speedy recovery and that the actions of this pathetic individual do not hold you back in any of your life’s endeavors. His actions yesterday were those of a feeble individual. This person’s moral compass was so screwed up that he chose to do the unspeakable. Please hear me when I say, rise above. Rise above this individual’s actions and do not let his actions yesterday define your everyday. Live your life as though this has made you a stronger person, as it has. You have taken a journey through hell and come out on the other side.

To all survivors of this monster, injured or not, do not dwell on the fact you survived where others did not. Take pride in knowing this horrible person could not take your light away from you. Look forward to your tomorrows with a vigor that few have. You are truly all loved individuals. If you need help dealing with anything while you recover from this, look upward and out. Look to those around you. You are loved. Help is available to all whom seek it, you need only ask.

Now to the rest of America. I stated before this monster attacked our nation’s greatest weakness. We have become a nation filled with gun free zones. Gun free zones do not solve the gun violence problems in this country any more than drug free zones prevent overdose. The difference is that in drug free zones we have deterrents and means to inforce the area. It is time that we as a nation stand up and call on our legislation to pass true common sense legislation. Why do we continue to allow our youth, our future, to be a soft target? The teachers of our nation are the shepherds of our youth. They mold the minds of our youth and charged with protecting our flock. It is high time we offer these shepherds the tools required to do their job effectively. Today’s society respects force and by such only responds to force. Our teachers need to be trained the same as officers of the law in handling these situations. Put the tools of protection in the hands of the teachers. If our instructors are armed, and armed guards are implemented in every place of higher education, our children shall never again be targeted by cowards like the person yesterday. They select the schools and gun free zones to carry out their attacks because they know there is a low chance anyone will oppose them during the course of their crime. If we cannot pass legislation to protect our youth, then we need to elect new officials. The argument for more gun control began before the victims of this tragedy were even cold, but we need to face reality. Taking guns away from those who follow the law only makes each and every one of us a soft target. Criminals will always break the law; they will always have guns. You see, criminals are not afraid to break the law, that is why they are criminals.

Another thing we need to do as a nation is to stop sensationalizing the people who perpetrate these actions. We need to look at tragic incidents like this and raise up our heroes. Reward those that deserve it with the celebrity, and never give power to those who commit these acts. By making the criminals famous we tell others that this is a way to forever be remembered. Now in place of having 17 potential minds with the keys to cure cancer, we are left with someone who himself is a cancer. It is high time we cut this sensationalizing out of our culture. Its time we say enough is enough. Our children deserve our protection. If we do not protect our youth, there will be no future.