Our hearts go out to MSU and we hold the students, their families and the entire MSU and East Lansing community in our hearts. The past 24 hours have been incredibly difficult for me personally. We are all feeling broken by this now all too familiar experience of bullets and bloodshed in our schools and campuses. MSU is part of me. As a student, I attended many classes in Berkey Hall, a few in the same classroom where part of this senseless tragedy took place. These were students sitting in history class on a Monday night. As I watched the pain and panic on students’ and families’ faces on the campus that I know so well, it’s difficult to convey just how badly it hurts. It is challenging in these moments to not feel powerless.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough to keep our students, educators, and families safe. Thoughts and prayers are simply empty words. We must do more for our children and our communities. Gun violence in our schools and places we should inherently feel safe has become a staggeringly common experience and the solutions we have tried are insufficient. I am not a proponent of excessive restrictive gun control laws, but it is time we do more than send our thoughts and prayers, and take serious steps with common sense reforms, beginning with red flag laws and robust background checks.
Throughout the pain and powerlessness I’ve felt, I have also been moved by the heart and humanity our MSU community showed as it came together in response to the tragedy. Hundreds of law enforcement officers and first responders gathered from across the state in a deeply complex operation. I continue to be inspired and grateful to be part of this strong Michigan community. Today, we grieve the senseless loss of life with our neighbors at MSU and send our profound condolences to those affected by the tragedy. I hope that change and action come about to honor their legacy. Today we are all Spartans.