As with many things in life, the people to listen to in difficult times is the people who have first-hand experience. From Gabby Giffords:

The victims are young and old — but always with so much life ahead of them. They are white and black, Latino and Asian, and Native American. They are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and straight. They are Christian and Muslim, Jewish and Sikh. They are veterans and government workers and union members. They are rich and poor. They die by murder, they die by suicide, and they die by negligence. Often, they don’t die, but they carry the scars, and their lives change forever.

For many SLPs, injuries by guns are not unfamiliar. Whether you work in medical settings or in the schools, many of our patients have been affected by gun violence. One of the best things we can hope for in our work is that our patients are able to go on and make a difference. Gabby Giffords inspires me both with her activism and her continued determination to keep talking.

Speaking is difficult for me. But I haven’t been silenced. And neither should the American people. Their Representatives must vote to prevent gun violence.