Credit: Courtesy of Stacey Wehrman Feeley/Facebook

Stacey Wehrman Feeley thought her 3-year-old daughter was innocently playing around as she snapped a photo of her toddler standing on the toilet seat in the bathroom of their home — but the real reason behind the child’s actions was heartbreaking. 

“I took this picture because initially I thought it was funny. I was going to send it to my husband to show what our mischievous little three-year-old was up to,” the Michigan mom wrote on Facebook on June 15. “However, The moment she told me what she was doing I broke down. She was practicing for a lockdown drill at her preschool and what you should do if you are stuck in a bathroom.”  

In the viral photo, which has been shared more than 16,000 times, the adorable toddler balances against the wall and stands with her bare feet on the edge of the toilet. “They are barely 3 and they will hide in bathroom stalls standing on top of toilet seats. I do not know what will be harder for them? Trying to remain quiet for an extended amount of time or trying to keep their balance without letting a foot slip below the stall door?”

Feeley decided to share the image as a powerful statement about the need for gun control. “No one thinks gun control will be 100 percent crime control. But maybe, just maybe, it helps 1 percent or 2 percent or 50 percent?” she pleaded. “Who knows unless we try? Why on earth are there not universal background checks? Where is a universal registration database?”

She urged people to sign petitions, rally and make their voices heard about the important issue so maybe in the future, children won’t need to practice lockdown drills. “I am not pretending to have all the answers or even a shred of them,” she wrote. “But unless you want your children standing on top of a toilet, we need to do something!” 

Her post came just a few days after the tragic mass shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse on June 12, which killed 49 and injured 53. On Monday, June 20, the United States Senate voted against four measures that would have restricted gun sales. Prior to the vote, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut led a filibuster for almost 15 hours to urge his fellow lawmakers to vote in favor of the bill and bring attention to the effort to make it harder to obtain firearms.

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