Another school shooting today. 294 mass shootings in 274 days.
My kids learned in kindergarten how to hide under their desks and wait for death.
I’ve spent an hour waiting in the school parking lot after the final bell for lock-down to be lifted so I could take my terrified babies home. Third graders and kindergartners are babies. My babies.
I was in high school for the Columbine Shooting.
The year before someone called in a bomb threat at my school.
I was studying at community college for the Virginia Tech shooting. My physics study group was camped out at the table in the math and physics office wing when we got the news. We went right back to our homework. Our prof chewed the class out that we didn’t stop to grieve for those kids. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU GUYS?!” he raved. But he still collected our homework and assigned more.
There was no time to grieve. How do you collectively grieve for collective death and trauma on such a wide scale? You say a prayer, and move on. Or do you? When do we say we’ve had enough? When to we call these acts terrorism? When do we work on solutions? When to we realize it is insane to teach five-year-olds to hide under desks alone and terrified and wait for death? When have we had enough?
These things happen. It’s just one crazy guy. No one saw it coming. Guns aren’t the problem; people are the problem.
Ya know what? That’s the truth. Guns aren’t the problem. People making money off guns are the problem. Politicians making money off people making money off guns are the problem. People supporting a culture of toxic white masculine violence are the problem. People blaming first graders for not hiding quietly enough are the problem. People not giving other human beings time to grieve for other human beings are the problem. People who think peace is waged with a war machine are the problem. People who think death is entertainment are the problem. People who refuse to give up their guns are the problem.
Lets just suppose that every time one of these tragedies happened we all insisted on a day off school and work to grieve? Oh, right, they happen more than once a day. And nothing ever changes. The NRA swoops in with cruel propaganda campaigns and politicians issue the same stock apologies and the media interviews the grieving parents like puppets. Every. Single. Time.
I want to grow up to be a professor. I want to teach young adults. I want to teach living young adults. Blood baths and dead bodies aren’t conductive to education.
I am a mother. I want my children to inherit a world a tiny bit better than the one I got. I want my children to go to school to learn and make friends. Not spend hours drilling how to hide and sob silently for their mother who’s anxiously, frantically, desperately trying to reach her babies.
Wake up, America. You value your guns more than your children. What the fuck is wrong with you?!
When will we have had enough? When will we insist on non-violence in all that we do? When will we quit laughing at murder in the movies? When will we cry? When will we quit making victims out of kindergartners? When will we expect better of ourselves? When will we realize we deserve better? When will we have had enough?
Me, I am outraged. I’ve had enough.
Do you, America, have the balls to break up with this lover who murders your children and holds you at gun-point and refuses to let you grieve your dead babies? Do you, America, really believe in God and family? Is your faith so faint you fear letting go of weapons that have no purpose other than killing people? Do you value families enough to keep children safe and end the terror they face?
Oh, America, you aren’t so beautiful covered in the blood and brains of murdered kids and tears of grieving mothers. Have you had enough? Will you do something about your problem? Will you quit saying you’re sorry and finally get some help?