With yesterday's horrifying elementary school massacre in Uvalde, TX, 2022 has seen 27 mass school shootings to date. Lawmakers have made zero efforts to stop them.
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We killed 19 children. Two adults.
And if we can’t own up to our responsibility here, we really need to think about what it is like to die. Not now. Not at 38 with a couple of kids. Not at 27 after receiving a well-deserved promotion. Not at 60 while considering retirement. Not at 74 after a long life with the best years yet to come.
Think about what it is like for children to die before they have even learned to read. Think about what it is like for them to die the day they changed their favorite color from pink to yellow. Before they could correctly pronounce their own last name. Before they lost their first tooth. Think about what it’s like to die before they understand that they are alive.
The fear. Someone is yelling. A lot of grownups are yelling. It smells different. Everything is scary. This room they’ve seen for 176 days is suddenly strange. Chairs flipped over, darkness, hiding, breathing. What is going on? Where is Mom? What is that loud sound? Why does this hurt so much? What is happening?
We killed them.
All of us, and we must take responsibility. We killed them with AR-15s because the Second Amendment says we can have one.
We, with our handguns because we’re afraid someone will break into our houses.
We, with our hunting rifles that killed the prize buck.
We, the libertarians who just want to be free.
We, who have never owned a gun, would never own a gun—we’re just not political.
We, who have fought to change our gun laws with petitions and rallies and protests, but have grown tired and weary in the battle.
We have killed 19 children. Two adults. And that was just yesterday. The full count is much worse. So much worse. And it didn’t have to be this way. This is what we must own up to. That it’s on us. We could have done something. Anything. And we didn’t. Over and over again, we did nothing.
Because I live in this country, and no matter what I have written, no matter how many protests I’ve attended, covered, quoted, I have failed. I live in this country. And this country’s laws allow for children to die.
They allow for children to die so that a bunch of grown Americans can have a piece of deadly metal for whatever reason they deem acceptable.
It is not just Texas. This is not just Robb Elementary School. It’s not just Newtown. It’s not just Parkland, Columbine, Santa Fe, Oregon, Alabama, Louisiana …
In my own kids’ school, just last week, a 15-year-old brought a loaded, chambered gun into the building in his backpack. Authorities found it at the end of the day, bullets ready to fly. My own children were in a building with a loaded gun meant to shoot children. For seven hours. How am I supposed to do this? How are any of us supposed to live like this? According to my twins, he had a list of people he was going to shoot. It was his mother’s gun.
She didn’t know he took it. I don’t care.
There have been 27 school shootings this year alone. One hundred and nineteen school shootings since 2018. Not shootings. Not mass shootings. School shootings.
Shootings of children who are trying to learn. Trying to grow up. Trying to get to adulthood without a bullet in their chest. Or skull. Or gut.
Shootings of children who have been told to hide in closets and throw staplers and flip desks to distract a person who is literally trying to kill them with a weapon that shoots bullets into their very bones. They have drills every month. That will save these kids. Bootstraps. Throw a school book, a pencil. Save yourself.
We “have to harden these targets,” Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R), said on Fox News Tuesday night. He wants us to turn schools into lockdown bunkers. Make sure no one can get in. “Maybe that would help,” he said. “Maybe that would stop someone.”
Nope. It won’t. You know what would stop someone? Not being able to purchase a gun at a Walmart. Ban guns.
The suspect bought two AR-15 style rifles two days before the shooting. Right after he turned 18.
I will say this again: The purchase was legal.
“As a nation, we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby,” President Joe Biden asked in an emotional speech where he sidestepped calling on Congress to act immediately and firmly. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone?”
And that sounds great, if you were middle management, but this is coming from the president. The buck stops there. Our backbone is our leadership, and we elected our leadership, and thus we are our own backbone.
“Democrats moved quickly to clear the way for votes on legislation to strengthen background checks for gun purchasers,” the New York Times bleats.
I don’t care. This is where we still are? With 19 children dead? Stronger background checks before people who kill people will get their killing machines? I literally do not care. Ban guns.
We all have blood on our hands. These babies are dying. And we don’t care. We let it happen again and again and again. We ask, what can we do? We say, this is horrible, devastating, beyond comprehension. We throw up our hands and ban some more math textbooks to make sure students don’t learn about racism.
What do we actually need to ban?
Ban all guns.
All of them.
We are the problem. We are the evil. We are all guilty. We killed those children. And now we need to do something about it.
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