“Live with Kelly and Ryan” host Kelly Ripa gave a moving speech on how gun violence and school shootings affect kids Thursday morning, saying that her own three children were afraid to go to school the day after a shooting at a school in Florida left at least 17 people dead.
“The news coming out of Florida yesterday is devastating,” Ripa said to co-host Ryan Seacrest while visibly upset. “I don’t know how many times it has to happen for a school shooting, a mass shooting, of this caliber before somebody does something, before people really get into it.”
“And people are gonna say, ‘Oh, you’re a talk show host, shut up.’ In this moment, I am a mom of three kids that go to school and I had to talk my kids off a ledge this morning because they were afraid to go to school,” she continued.
“What do you say to your kids?” Seacrest asked.
“I said to my kids, follow the instructions of the school, you have these drills in place. Unfortunately, my kids have grown up having these drills in place — they don’t just have fire drills anymore, they have active shooter drills which is so tragic to me,” she said. “It’s such a tragic thing.”
“And the fact that our country has such unparalleled mass shooter violence is staggering to me. Somebody needs to have a conversation that is larger than in this moment,” she continued. “And again, I just say it as a concerned citizen and human being that something needs to change. There needs to be a bigger, better dialogue because we are failing in this area.”
“And offering thoughts and prayers are not enough anymore,” she said. “And I can’t imagine the horror of the parents of that school.”
Ripa added that it gets difficult to reassure kids when shootings happen so often.
“You don’t want to mislead your kids and say this is never going to happen, you hope and pray it doesn’t happen, but when they are inundated with these images every day, day after day, all the time, you start to feel like a liar, and I don’t like feeling that way.”