On Valentine’s Day, we lit 1,217 candles to honor and in recognition of the anniversary of the Parkland school shooting.
The candles were for the 1,200 children who died of gun violence in the United States since Parkland, plus the 17 murdered in that orgy of preventable, senseless violence.
We could have added 35 more for all the mass murders including Aurora, Ill., and 106 more for the school shootings in the last year. We salute the courage of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, their families, teachers and staff and others who have organized to call out legislators for their inaction, and the NRA for fueling that indifference.
If there is any doubt that the NRA represents domestic terrorism take a hard look at their history, check out their website and recall the rallies, led by Charlton “out of my cold dead hands” Heston, after tragic shootings in Colorado and Michigan in flagrant indifference of grieving families and traumatized communities. We have questions: Is militarizing our schools and arming teachers the best we can do?
What of politicians, well paid by the NRA, who offer “thoughts and prayers” instead of responsible, compassionate and reasonable actions? Why are we the only country in the developed world where these acts routinely happen and are routinely ignored? What does it say about us, a society that willingly terrorizes and accepts the murder of its own children?
And the Second Amendment? It was primarily there for killing Native Americans and to respond to slave uprisings. We support the students in their fight for safe schools. And pray for a shift away from greed and fear towards common sense and compassion.
Gary A. Piazzon