“Who is the slayer, who the victim? Speak.” —Sophocles
Please don’t respond again with the outworn phrase, “This is not who we are.” This is exactly who we have been and have become. Once again, we, as a nation, are faced with murder—multiple murders and woundings of our children and staff, while attending and working at school—the most vulnerable of populations in our society.
A few years ago, the American College of Physicians, representing more than 150,000 internal medicine specialists nationwide, issued a position paper imploring stricter gun-control legislation. The National Rifle Association “cautioned,” in a letter to that physicians’ organization, to “stay in their own lane.” Perhaps the NRA might like to join us now, in our lane following the hearses—and to watch as the victims are laid to rest!
A few years ago, the last words of Sandra Parks, a 13-year-old Afro-American girl, may have been, “Mama, I’ve been shot!” as a “stray bullet” came through her bedroom window, killing her. This was another incident resulting from our country’s love affair with firearms, especially to “settle” disputes. What is especially tragic, was that Ms. Parks received an award two years prior, for her essay regarding the toll that violence had been taking in this country, specifically against children, in which she wrote:
“Little children are victims of senseless gun violence … I sit back and I have to escape from what I see and hear every day. When I do; I come to the same conclusion … we are in a state of chaos.”
“Our first truth is that we must start caring about each other. We need to be empathetic and try to walk in each other’s shoes … . We shall overcome, when we love ourselves and the people around us. Then, we become our brothers’ keeper.”
Truer words were never spoken … and from the mouths of babes! Amen!
And now, the question remains: Can we stop talking politics, and start listening to one another as if our childrens’ lives mattered?
Or, will their blood continue to stain our hands?