I’m struggling to find words today. And most of us would say that’s understandable. Death and violence is traumatic. I had started a post this week to talk about trauma, but it was taking longer to write than usual. But today’s struggles is not about finding words. It’s finding words that haven’t already been said. Because we’ve been through this already. We've been through this too many times. In 2022 alone, this was the 30th shooting. In the US, death by shooting has been listed as the leading cause of death for children ages 1-19 since 2019.
This is not acceptable. It’s not ok, we’re not ok!
My youngest daughter is 9. She’s in 3rd grade. She said “Mom, I’m scared to go to school, I don’t want to die.”
My oldest kids are de-sensitized. That's even more frightening.
No child should have to fear this, no parent should have to lie to their kids and tell them that their safe. I don’t know she’s safe. Our schools have contingents to protect them- the doors are locked, there are police guards. None of this reassures me though, even in NYS which has strict gun laws.
There are no words because we’ve said it all already. It’s not a mental health thing. Every other country in the world has mental health problems, many with the same unconcerned, poor attitude about mental health, and they don’t deal with insane number of shootings that the US does.
It’s not about banning and taking away guns from responsible owners, it’s not about the education system. Yes, that needs work, but that's a different story. It’s about accessibility, it’s about making sure guns don’t get in the wrong hands- like 18 year old boys that struggle with their emotional maturity! And I don’t say 18 year old boys to be a misandrist- I say it because the last two shootings were 18 year old boys!
Right now, there are no words because it feels like no one is listening to anything except the all mighty dollar. Politicians and lobbyists sleeping in their bloody bed of money, putting “right to own a gun” over the lives of our children. This, coming from a party intent on saving clumps of cells while stealing away the bodily autonomy of women. They simply do not care.
“Stop with the politics, let the nation mourn.” NO. It keeps happening because we won’t talk about it. The politicians throw out their “thoughts and prayers” and then vote to keep the blood of our children filling the schools. You want change? Keep talking about it, from the moment it happens until change is made.
But what can we really do?
Vote. This is the number one thing we can do for change. Start voting out these people who scream “My gun rights” while ignoring the rights of the children and families to go to school without fearing being murdered.
Write, call, petition our politicians and law makers. March. Hit them where they feel it- their wallets. Learn which companies are speaking out against school shooting and gun irresponsibility- both with the voices and with their money. Are they taking a stand on gun violence?
And while this does nothing for the actual process of stopping shootings- stop and honor the victims. They deserve at least that much. As a pagan, I pray for their souls to pass gently. It’s hard, to look at their pictures. As a mother, and as an empath, I feel this pit of despair and pain, thinking about how their precious lives ended. There is a rage there, that someone would be so cruel to harm such innocence, and more that this keeps happening. Knowing the truth, that wasn't just a shooting, that it was absolute carnage, and that families had to give DNA i order to identify their babies- I know that is a hard thought for anyone to deal with (and if it's not, please seek therapy. Hell, seek therapy anyways, this shit is hard.) but it's true and something to think about. Are we really ok with guns that can do such damage in the hands of just anyone? That's why I bring it up, despite the pain that thought brings. The truth is not beautiful.
Aid their families by working to get our corrupt and idiotic politicians out of office and competent ones in. These families will not be alright. And it'll only get worse for them with right-wing nut bags that will drag their names and their dead children's names through the mud and worse. They are about to get tormented more by the psychopaths that think that everything is a conspiracy. Send a hex in their direction.
Say their names. (I will update when I get the rest of the names, at this point, I’m not even sure where we are at in terms of numbers…)
Tess Marie Mata
Amerie Jo Garza
Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez
And say a prayer for their teachers.
And stay mad, stay angry- if we do nothing, nothing will change. Don’t ignore it, don’t stop talking about it. Take a break if you need to- self care is important, but don’t let anymore children die in vain with inaction. Do not let this rest- if we want change, we're going to have to work for it.
Keen, weep, wail for the children covered in blood
Murdered keen, weep, wail for the families that loved them
left behind may those that can prevent this and didn't feel that pain, feel that fear and know that we will not keen, weep, wail for them
Keen, weep, wail
that doesn't come
keen, weep, wail
that will never be
may our children
for not doing a thing
keen, weep, wail
for the dark future
we've granted them
(Liminal Raven Ministries, 2022)