Brave doesn't even begin to describe J'Nay Bailey. The 11-year-old threw herself over two younger students to shield them from gunfire. Gunfire. If that isn't a hero, I don't know what is. She is truly inspiring and deserves all the admiration and congratulations we can offer. But sadly, that is overshadowed by one simple fact.
An 11-year-old should not have to dodge bullets on her way home from school. The fifth grader at Montview Elementary in Hunstville, Alabama, was walking home with a kindergartner and a first grader when two dozen shots were fired. The quick-thinking kid immediately pulled the little girls to the ground and tried to cover them with her body. By the grace of God, they were not hit.
To me, that is our national shame. Everyone is freaking out about Obamacare, but that is really the least of our problems if things like this keep happening. It's actually an epidemic. According to the Children's Defense Fund, more American children suffered gunshot injuries than all the US soldiers in Afghanistan in 2010. And 93 percent of the kids under 15 killed by guns in 26 industrialized nations live in America. What kind of sense does that make?
I'm not going to pretend to have the solution. I don't know whether that is more gun control or just more cops on the street. I just know something needs to be done. It is unacceptable for our children to grow up this way.
How do you think we can make communities safer for our children?
Image via Elizabeth/Flickr