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And We're Still Grieving Over Gun Violence

know your facts undo the work May 25, 2022
protest march, a woman carries a sign that says #Enough

Last week I wrote about the mass shooting in Buffalo where 13 people were shot and 10 died while they were grocery shopping. My grief was raw. I was just starting to feel like I could breathe, again. Then yesterday, at least 19 second, third, and fourth graders were shot dead (the count isn't final) along with two adults at an elementary school in Texas. More are hospitalized. The 18-year-old shooter is also dead.

Politicians like Texas Governor Greg Abbott are offering false outrage and grief and rightly getting ratioed (when you get more comments opposing your post than likes on Twitter)

In June 2021 Abbott signed a law that removed the requirement for Texas residents to obtain a permit to carry a handgun if they aren’t prohibited by law from firearm possession. I don’t know how the gunman got the one he used yesterday. But because Greg Abbott and other second amendment fetishists value violent weapons more than life, innocent people continue to die.

Education Week has been tracking school shootings since 2018. Yesterday’s event brings the number of school shootings where people were injured or killed this year to 27. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 200 mass shootings in the US so far this year. Today is day 145 out of 365. There have been 212 mass shootings, meaning more than four people were injured or killed. Earlier this month, it took CNN anchors more than three minutes to list all the cities that have had mass shootings this year. (That was before Buffalo and Uvalde.)

In 2015 Abbott tweeted that he was EMBARRASSED (his emphasis) that Texas was number two in gun sales, behind California, and encouraged residents to buy more guns. The tweet gets renewed attention every time there’s a mass shooting.

Regular people and those with high profiles are calling out the Republicans who are holding up common sense gun legislation, but the minority still has the power to block it.

They're pointing out that the "thoughts and prayers" and "heartbroken and horrified" crowd gets more money from the gun lobby than anyone else.

It is literally easier to buy a gun in Texas than it is to vote.

I want you to compare these regulations. You can click and look on Twitter, but I'm posting here for those of you who don't click. Everybody needs to know this.

The hypocrisy...

You know how I keep saying everything is connected? It is. Even the origins of our gun laws are tied to slavery and racism. Check out this Twitter thread from Teri Kanefield. (If you don't follow her, I highly recommend that you do. Her threads are essential like @MichaelHarriot's and Heather Cox Richardson's Letters from an American newsletter). The three of them have a way of adding clarity and history to current events.

I want to write something angry and painful about how:

  • we need to do better
  • lives are worth more than guns
  • life is worth more than profits
  • the innocent and powerless are paying the price for the greed and disregard of the wealthy and powerful

I want to write something that will make people do something.

But I’m tired. And for my mental health, I’m going to stop writing and process my grief. I’m not giving up. I’m just pausing to take care of me before I get back to my activism. I hope you can do the same.

Download 7 Words to Know When Talking About Racism. Agreeing on what words mean is one step towards having meaningful conversations.
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