'No one to blame but ourselves': Don Lemon explains why gun violence is 'a sickness that has infected the country'
Don Lemon (Photo: Screen capture)

CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday delivered an emotional monologue following a deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.

“This is a sickness that has infected the country, unchecked and unfettered gun violence.” Lemon told viewers. “Today, 17 lives are over. Seventeen families are torn apart. Parents who sent their kids to school this morning—imagine that, many people send their kids to school—just like they've done every other day for years. They trusted their kids would be safe. Teachers went to work this morning, trusted they’s be safe in their space, in their work environment. The way we all should be safe in our work environments, every day, everywhere in our schools. Our churches, our offices at concerts, at nightclubs. Do you feel safe tonight?”

“Every single one of us is just playing the odds at this point,” he continued. “The odds that, in a country of 325 million souls, that we won't be the ones who get hit by the next bullets that start flying. We won't be the one that gets that phone call about someone you love who did. Your son, your daughter, your brother, your sister, your spouse, or your parent, even a friend. Anyone you know. The phone call that changes your life.”

“Is this really who we want to be?” Lemon asked. “A country where anybody, at any time, could be shot to death. And then when a bunch of people are killed and lives are shattered, we are sad and maybe angry, and then we forget, and we move on, until the next time, with the tragedy remaining in the headlines for even a shorter time than it did before.”

“This is about lives,” Lemon said. “The lives of all Americans. We need to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”

Referencing arguments that it’s “too soon” to talk about gun control in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting, Lemon argued “the day to talk about it was weeks, months, years, or decades ago.”

“And yes, of course, we also need to make mental health a priority in this country,” Lemon argued. “But guess what, we can do both. we can do both of those things at the same time. If we don't, we have no one to blame but ourselves. This is America, people. Don't forget that. I know that we are better than this.”

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