If I had young children, I would leave the country…
It wouldn’t be enough to move them to a “safer” school or educate them at home, I wouldn’t want them to grow up in a society that spawns such cruel violence, that enables mass killing and then condones it by failing to pass any meaningful regulation. We can already guess the response of Texans: more guns, more armed guards. So that schools become prisons. No, I wouldn’t want that for any child. Not that I’m safe — any time I might walk into a grocery store or a bank or the post office and be shot. None of us are safe from the violence that’s become pervasive in our country — that’s become the norm. Gun violence, mass shootings are the new normal. And who knows the cause — is it the violence of films and television? Is it hate-generating social media? is it politicians whose grip on power means toadying up to gun owners and firearms manufacturers? Is it the fault of absent or unconscious parents? Or is it a deadly combination of all of the above? Plus, some evil twist, some poison that defies understanding. I don’t know, I don’t even care — I just don’t want to live here any more.
It’s not that we’re the only country to experience mass shootings. No, we don’t have a monopoly on hatred. Look at New Zealand — they had one. Look at Norway — they had one. Yes, just one. Then the society said: “What’s happening? Why is it happening? What can we do about it?” And they responded with sweeping gun regulation laws and with social programs.
Also it’s not that this country is incapable of action. Recently my state experienced terrible wildfires — the response (local, state and federal) was amazing — so swift, coordinated, and effective. What’s detestable about the US is our lack of action in regard to gun control or rather our push in the opposite direction. I said what Texas will do or not do but they’re not the only ones. Republicans across the country will be clamoring for “NO CHANGE” — no expansion of background checks, no limit to the type of weapon that can be purchased, no control of how or when or who can carry a weapon. As if it didn’t matter. As if these 19 lives don’t count.
It’s this total disregard for human life, even the lives of children, that I find so repulsive. It’s why I wish Ted Cruz’s or Josh Hawley’s child or Mitch McConnell’s grandchild or that of any Republican lawmaker had been in that classroom. I want them to suffer, I want them to see the consequences — not just see but feel the intolerable grief of losing a child, a sister, a parent, a friend. As long as it’s “other” than they can talk but they won’t or don’t act. They only offer prayers. Here is the prayer I think they should offer:
Dear God, please forgive us for not protecting the innocents. Our desire for power and money has blinded us to understanding and compassion. It’s caused us to fail in our duty to those we promised and were elected to serve. Give us the courage to see the sinfulness of our path and the strength to change in spite of obstacles. Open our hearts so we can understand how gun violence is a plague upon our land that can be abolished when there is the will to do so. Please hear this plea in the name of the people of the United States of America, especially those who have suffered because of our errors and iniquities. Amen.
Really, in the face of such pain and senseless horror, how can anyone respond except by asking God to forgive us for not protecting children and black grocery shoppers and everyone across the country who’s been and remains vulnerable to guns — and really that means all of us.