This is for you, Uvalde. I first learned of your tragedy the evening of the day it happened. The very next morning when I started my car, these are the exact words I heard, “Oh very young, what will you leave us this time? You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while…”. I just sat there stunned with tears stinging my eyes. It is not the first time a pertinent message has come through a song on the radio for me.
I call it synchronicity.
When the timing of something such as music echoes what is happening, it is like a message from the Universe. This is the ONLY reason I chose to write this post. It feels as if the children want me to speak my truth.
First of all, I extend my sympathy for you, dear children. You had your lives senselessly snuffed short. I taught in an elementary school for thirty years, so I worked with students your age on a daily basis. You, who had so much potential – such horrific tragedy. Of course, you teachers are on my heart as well. You gave of your compassion and love for your students. No one should have to literally lay down their life to teach. Next, I absolutely hold you grieving parents close. While I also have lost a child, his life was longer and his death was from another cause. It is a different grief for a wicked mass murder. For you, Uvalde, your entire community has suffered a rip in time. Forever, your thoughts will be marking time with a before and an after of this event. Last of all, this is for us, the U.S. We all grieve as well….yet again. If you are feeling grief, here are a couple of my posts: BROKEN and Art, Grief and Life.
It is time to WAKE UP! Do it for Uvalde.
As a nation, we absolutely must create a safer environment with tougher gun laws. Here are a few stats from a very recent NPR article. Number of people killed by guns in the U.S., every day: 100. Number of children who die every day from gun violence in the U.S.: 12. For ten more stats, here is the link: https://www.npr.org/2022/05/27/1101774780/gun-control-debate-statistics.
In gun buy backs, guns are to be destroyed. Not only does this provide a safe way to dispose of guns, but it also keeps guns from falling into the wrong hands.
In this 2015 article, Australia held a gun buy back. They noted a significant reduction in homicides as well as suicides. https://www.vox.com/2015/8/27/9212725/australia-buyback
A recent California buy back offered $50 gas gift cards for turning in unwanted guns. The event was to last 5 hours, but they exhausted their supply of gift cards in 45 minutes. This shows that there is interest. https://www.npr.org/2022/05/23/1100683314/sacramento-gas-for-guns-buyback
“A look at 130 studies from over 10 countries found that restrictions on guns tended to be followed by a decline in gun deaths.” https://www.bbc.com/news/61599697
The article below echoes my thoughts on training armed teachers. Among the points that resonated with me are the difficulties in working with the shear weight of a gun, particularly for a person who has not previously handled one. Also, the simulation was contrary to giving compassionate care for the wounded. This article confirmed for me that arming teachers is NOT the answer to eliminating school shootings. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/arm-teachers-school-shooting-simulation_n_6290277ae4b0cda85dbc46ec In my book, the only arms teachers should have are the two with which they were born.
Speak out, let’s do what we can to make this world a safer place. We must place people ahead of profits and love in front of fear. I close with a song for you, Uvalde.