You could feel the heaviness in the air at drop off. Parents hugging their kids a bit tighter, holding on to them for just a moment longer before sending them off into the school building. The day after the massacre at Robb Elementary, parents everywhere were putting on brave faces as they sent off their most prized possessions into what used to feel like a safe place, but has now turned into a potential war zone.
I could never come close to imagining the heartache, brokenness and grief the families are experiencing as they are laying their precious children to rest. I grieve for them as they left the school empty handed to homes with empty beds, an empty chair at the kitchen table, a pair of shoes left on the floor to never be worn again. I grieve for the parents who rushed their babies out the door that morning because they were late and didn’t get that last goodbye hug. I grieve for the parent that snapped at their kid on the drive to school and never got to say they were sorry. I grieve for the parent who instead of making summer plans, is now making funeral arrangements. It’s hard to watch all the stories and interviews about what took place. I find it hard to look at the pictures of the precious lives taken. But I do. And I must. We must remember each innocent face. We must feel a sliver of the grief these families are experiencing to realize we must do something.
But what can we do? Pray. Yes. Absolutely. Pray for the families. Pray for the community. But also pray for change. America has become a breeding ground for monsters and we can no longer be complacent with how things are. I live in Texas. Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong state, or country or whatever because I often feel like a fish out of water. Our state is so progun it’s getting ridiculous. You can open carry just for fun. What I’ve seen a lot of growing up in Texas is this whole macho manly thing about gun ownership. It goes beyond just the have a gun to protect your family. It’s become a whole identity for people. People who feel the need to parade around open carrying their weapons need some mental help in my opinion because it’s typically to feel cool, intimidate others, or perhaps overcompensate for a lack of something in their pants. Moving on.
I do not think that we should ban all guns. I absolutely 100% think we need to ban assault rifles. At the very least, stop making them. Stop selling them. When has a civilian even needed an assault rifle to protect themselves or stop a bad guy with a gun? You’ll have those who will say well I could have stopped it if I were there with my gun. Well guess what? You. Weren’t. There. And you won’t be for the next school shooting or the one after that. Even the cops have a hard time taking down these shooters because they have military grade equipment. We as average citizens should not be able to out-gun our own law enforcement. The security guard at the grocery store shooting in Buffalo shot the gunman, but it did NOTHING and the security officer is dead. The gun problem is not solved by more guns. Unhinged, evil, people are purchasing these mass killing machines so easily. We have to make a choice on what we value more. The lives of our precious children or our “rights” to own any type of mass killing machine we choose because our 2nd amendment says so. Your freedoms should never trump the safety and well being of others.
We are raising our children in a scary time. We sat down with our 9 year old and 7 year old the night of the shooting. We didn’t want to tell them about what happened. We didn’t want to scare them, but we worried the things they may hear when they went back to school the next day so we very much glossed over any specifics and just told them there was a shooting at a school far away from here. The gunman is dead and we don’t have to worry about him. The truth is we don’t have to worry about him. But there are hundreds even thousands of potential other “hims” walking amongst us with deadly weapons easily accessible at any given moment. My five year old who still puts his shorts on backwards half the time is being taught at school how to hide and what to do in case of an active shooter. “What if I’m in the hallway?” “What if I’m in the potty and can’t get to my classroom?” Explaining to my children how to stand on a toilet and hide in a stall from a shooter is something I never dreamed of having to tell my kids. “If you hear sounds that sound like a bunch of popping balloons, run the other direction and hide.” What are we doing America? Why are we allowing our children to grow up in a society that values their gun freedoms over the lives and protection of our children.
It’s time our lawmakers start taking these issues seriously. I pray that the conviction of the Holy Spirit take a hold of these politicians and law makers that are more concerned with lining their pockets with money from the NRA and other pro-gun lobbyists and start taking the gun epidemic more seriously. We need stricter gun laws. We need more rigorous background checks. We need to stop selling military grade weapons and protective gear to civilians. We need to stop pretending that Jesus was some machismo, gun toting dude that would care more about his right to bear arms than to stop the plague of violence against our children. Jesus doesn’t care about your dang guns and your dang rights.
From a Texan who wants to see her children survive elementary school.