After witnessing on television the horrible massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, I felt compelled to do something in our community so that school-age children, their parents and teachers will be safe.
I have two children: A 9-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. Having seen this type of attack happening for some years now in the U.S., I have been concerned for several years for my children's safety at school.
Newtown is a small town. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. I do not want to pick up my telephone one day and hear that a lunatic has walked into one of my children's schools and killed dozens. To me, and certainly to thousands of other citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County, the safety of our children is a primary concern. We can no longer be complacent and believe that our children are safe when at school.
They are not, and we as a community must join together and insist that immediate action be taken, as an agenda priority in our City Council and county commission to "Protect Our Children," that the children, parents and teachers can live their lives in peace and comfort knowing that our public schools are safe and protected.
I composed sent an email to Mayor Terry Bellamy and all City Council members, as well as to Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, suggesting [ways] to start moving toward a long-term solution. I have started a petition asking our community leaders to take immediate action.
I know that this problem is attributed to multiple issues and it is complicated. We have to change many things in our society. In the meantime, our children deserve to be protected. I don't want to receive that call one day and know that I did not do everything in my power to prevent it.
May we not become complacent again, and may we do whatever it takes to "Protect Our Children.” To sign the petition, visit http://avl.mx/of.
— Mark Fields