Gun fetishists insist that dead children is just the cost we have to pay to protect the enumerated right of gun ownership. Freedom isn’t free, and children have to pay the price.
Children can’t fight that. They don’t vote. They have no lobby.
But I’m taking heart today in the words of Kyle Stephens in her testimony against child rapist Larry Nassar: “Little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”
The children we are training to run, hide, and fight–they are going to grow up and look at us and ask why we were so selfish with our guns and so careless with their lives. The dead ones won’t greet us in heaven, because people who defend guns deserve to go to hell. The ones who live with injuries will send off to die on the last of the icebergs. The ones who held their friends’ hands as they bled out will let us die alone. The ones who lived in fear every day will vote against us and our interests.
And when the mass shooters turn their guns toward nursing homes and senior centers, football stadiums and the Toby Keith farewell tour, bingo halls and the Silver Sneakers aerobics class, they’ll let our bodies rot where we fall.
Above, 15 year old Bailey Holt is one of 150,000 students who have experienced a school shooting. She was murdered by a classmate with a gun, parents who refuse to secure their weapons, a gun industry that preaches the fear that drives parents to leave guns always at the ready, and members of Congress who refuse to act.
We deserve no better.
UPDATED: In response to reader concern that a previous remark in this post suggests violence against member of Congress, I’ve removed a reference to imprecatory prayer (a rhetorical device in which a person prays for that God will destroy their enemies if he won’t change their hearts) so that it doesn’t distract from the key argument here. Members of Congress and their families also suffer from the threat of and reality of violence, and I should have been more kind in considering their experiences. –Rebecca