Friday, May 27, 2022

“For the Love of Our Children, Let’s Not Shut Up”

Her parents came to her award ceremony that morning.

They took her picture and oohed over her achievement.

They went home while she finished her school day.

Then they spent their night waiting for news about her.

They had to give DNA samples and wait for the results because the bodies of these children were too mutilated to identify.

Late last night, it was confirmed she was gone.

Just like the teacher that made her certificate.

~ Katherine Lillian

Image: Amerie Jo Garza, 10, one of nineteen children shot to death by a mass shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.


Following is spiritual author, activist, and former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s response to Tuesday’s mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

5/28/22 UPDATE: Writes Marianne Williamson:

Millions of people have awakened to some truths that while deeply unpleasant, spur us to action if we allow them to. That unpleasant truth is how many powerful forces in our society really don’t care who lives or dies as long as their profits continue to soar. That immoral perspective belongs to many corporate interests in this country – gun manufacturers are just one of them – but a complete lack of ethics on their part is now a direct threat to our children. And we must stop them.

The vast majority of Americans want common sense gun safety laws, but we’re living at a time when Lincoln’s notion of government “of the people, by the people and for the people” feels more like a taunt than a political reality. Today we’re a government “of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.” When it comes to gun policy, it’s “of the NRA, by the NRA and for the NRA.” It is truly sickening.

There is a bill in Congress that all of us should know about. It is HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. The bill was originally introduced in 2019 by Democratic Representative Mike Thompson of California's 5th district and passed with some bipartisan support. The bill would expand background checks to be required on all firearm sales, closing the gun show and online sales loopholes. It would require background checks on firearms sales or transfers throughout the U.S. Background checks are not currently required for sales or transfers by unlicensed and private sellers.

Ninety per cent of the American people are on record for wanting expanded background checks, yet Washington does not now reflect the will of the people. The panic and upset about Uvalde seems to not have penetrated the walls of the Capitol. While HR8 passed the House in 2019, Republican Senators are blocking it in the Senate. When the leadership of one party is soulless and the other is spineless, there seems to be little that we can do.

And even that bill does not go far enough. As I discuss in the video above, we need a ban on AR-15 and AK-47 assault weapons. These guns are meant for one thing only, and that is to massacre people. When we had an assault weapons ban from 1994-2004, mass shootings went down 43%. After it expired, mass shootings tripled.

The NRA-inspired propaganda of the week is to distract us, arguing that the mental health issue on the part of the shooter is the only real culprit. But I get a sense that isn’t working quite the same way now. People more willing to protect their right to own an assault weapon than they’re willing to protect the life of a child are holding less and less sway over the American mind. America’s gun fetish is itself a mental health issue.

At this point, it’s up to you and me. There will be protests for gun reform in various cities on June 11, but it’s direct lobbying of our Senators remains most needed now. That is where the greatest pressure lies, and we need to make it happen.

The Capitol switchboard is 202 224 3121. For the love of our children, let’s not shut up.

Related Off-site Links:
Gunman Kills 19 Children, 2 Adults in Texas School Rampage – Acacia Corondo and Jim Vertuno (AP News, May 24, 2022).
Vote Out These Death-Dealing, NRA-Enthralled Republicans – Now – Thom Hartmann (Common Dreams, May 25, 2022).
Why Are We Here? When Are We Going to Do Something?! – Julia Conley (Common Dreams, May 26, 2022).
Republicans Don't Want You To Know The Truth About Texas School Massacre – Lawrence O’Donnell (MSNBC, May 26, 2022).
A Decade of Congressional Inaction on Gun Control – Mary Clare Jalonick (AP News, May 25, 2022).
Is Mass Death Now Tolerated in America? – Michelle R. Smith (AP News, May 25, 2022).
“A Uniquely American Problem”: Pressure Grows for Gun Control After School Massacre in TexasDemocracy Now! (May 26, 2022).
Mass Shootings: American Exceptionalism of the Worst Kind – Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan (Democracy Now!, May 26, 2022).
“Enough Was Enough”: How Australia Reformed Its Gun Laws and Ended Mass Shootings After 1996 MassacreDemocracy Now! (May 26, 2022).
U.S. Right-Wing Supreme Court Poised to Make US Gun Carnage Even Worse – Kenny Stancil (Common Dreams, May 27, 2022).
Science Journal Editorial Says “Minions” of NRA “Must Be Defeated” to Save Nation – Kenny Stancil (Common Dreams, May 27, 2022).

UPDATES: Real Change Will Bubble Up Not Trickle Down – Michael J. Illuzzi (Common Dreams, May 28, 2022).
As U.S. Mourns Shootings, NRA in Turmoil But Influence Remains – Lindsay Whitehurst, Brian Slodysko and Juan Lozano (AP News, May 28, 2022).
5 People Dead at Tulsa Medical Building, in the 233rd Mass Shooting of 2022 – Fernando Alfonso III (NPR News, June 2, 2022).
Mass Shootings at Home, Mass Arms Exports Abroad: A Look at Deadly Role of U.S. Weapons Across GlobeDemocracy Now! (June 2, 2022).
President Biden Calls for Assault Weapons Ban and Other Measures to Curb Gun Violence – Ximena Bustillo (NPR News, June 2, 2022).
26,000 Kids Could Be Alive Today If U.S. Had Same Gun Mortality Rate as Canada – Kenny Stancil (Common Dreams, July 8, 2022).
The Staggering Scope of U.S. Gun Deaths Goes Far Beyond Mass Shootings – Mark Berman (The Washington Post, July 8, 2022).
Nearly 400 Officers Raced to Uvalde School Shooting. Why Did It Take 77 Minutes to Confront Gunman?Democracy Now! (July 19, 2022).
Uvalde School Police Chief Fired Three Months After Botched Response to School Shooting – Camille Phillips and Dan Katz (NPR News, August 24, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Social Roots of Yet Another American Tragedy
Something to Think About – December 14, 2012
Paula Simons: Quote of the Day – December 15, 2012
“I Pray, I Pray”
Prayer of the Week – June 19, 2016
Jamelle Bouie: Quote of the Day – October 2, 2017
Discerning and Embodying Sacred Presence in Times of Violence and Strife
Questioning God’s Benevolence in the Face of Tragedy
Emma González: Quote of the Day – February 17, 2018
Signs of the Times
Jason Stanley: Quote of the Day – May 16, 2022
Something to Think About – May 26, 2022

See also:
Now Here’s a Voice I’d Like to Hear Regularly on the Sunday Morning Talk Shows
Marianne Williamson and Cornel West: “Two of the Most Dedicated and Enlightened Heroes of Present Day America”
A Deeper Perspective on What’s Really Attacking American Democracy
Marianne Williamson on the Tenth Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street
Cultivating Peace
Marianne Williamson on the Movement for a People’s Party
Marianne Williamson: Quote of the Day – June 2, 2020
Deep Gratitude
“A Beautiful Message, So Full of Greatness”
Marianne Williamson: “Anything That Will Help People Thrive, I’m Interested In”

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