It’s Time for Pro-Lifers to Be Pro-Life

It’s Time for Pro-Lifers to Be Pro-Life May 25, 2022

Here we are again.

Twenty-one dead in a mass school shooting in Texas, including 19 precious little children. All senselessly mowed down by a crazed man with an AR-15.

Are you like me? Do you wish you were more shocked and outraged?

The fact that this was not shocking is testament to the fact that this kind of thing happens in the United States of America way too often. WAY TOO DAMNED OFTEN!

We should never become numbed or desensitized to the news of so many innocent little kids being murdered in one place. But, alas, we do. We hear the news, and it makes us sad and mad, but it doesn’t shock us. It’s something we’ve been trained to accept as the cost of doing business in a nation so hopelessly controlled by the NRA and the gun lobby. The United States is the only place in the world where this kind of thing happens on a regular basis. Yet, we do nothing to try to change that. NOTHING!

‘Tis the season to post trite messages on Facebook about how this time we need real change. It happens every time. The GOP and the gun lobby just ride out the storm knowing it will soon blow over until the next time. In the meantime, you can bet your bottom dollar that the gun stores are doing big business today. Far right gun nuts will be laying out stacks of cash to add more to their arsenal out of a sense of paranoia for something that never happens. They go and load up on more weapons in fear that there will be gun bans that never materialize. Let’s be totally honest here, mass shootings pump a lot of money into the gun industry.

This particular school shooting happened at such a time in our nation that it shines a full-blown spotlight on the hypocrisy of the right-wing Christian nationalists’ “pro-life” agenda. As the attack on women’s reproductive rights rages on, you can be certain that it will be the so-called pro-life crowd that will be first in line to block any meaningful legislation that might attempt to keep those kinds of weapons (rapid-fire death spraying machines as I call them) out of the hands of maniacs. They fight so vehemently to “protect the lives of the unborn,” but when push comes to shove, they always turn their backs on the little children who are so at risk by the very guns they fight to protect.

I understand that we are never going to completely solve gun violence with legislation. I understand that there are already hundreds of millions of guns out there that aren’t going away. I understand that as a progressive who owns some guns myself. But I also understand that doing nothing time and time again after these all too frequent mass murders is the only certain way to assure that things won’t get better.

We’ve done nothing already, time and time again, and it isn’t working.

I call upon all my conservative Christian friends to examine your hearts. I ask you to pray and ask for discernment. Ask yourself, if Jesus were your congressman, would he vote to protect the rights of citizens to buy these rapid-fire death-spraying machines or would he vote to make them harder to get?

I’ll close with this.

Three years ago, as I was watching my 8th grade class take a quiz, I had an article pop up on my screen about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. As a teacher, that day is one of the most gut-wrenching memories of my career. That a madman could stroll into an elementary school and slaughter 26 innocent lives–20 of them small children—was as inconceivable a notion as I could imagine at that time—tragically, it’s much easier to imagine now. One point brought out in that article I read really floored me. Those kids in Newtown by then would have been teenagers. I did the math and realized that many of them would have been 8th students at that point–just like the students I was watching at the moment the article notification popped up. That hit me pretty hard. Those 20 kids never got to be 8th graders.

I immediately started putting some words together in my head, as I always do when something affects me on a deeply emotional level. When I got home, I wrote down a poem and then it quickly became a song. What follows is that poem and a video of the song.

I dedicated it to the memory of those 20 precious children who never got to be teens and to their families who still mourn them.

Today, I revisit it and sadly add 19 more little children who won’t be teens.

God forbid I ever have to share this song again.

 

Twenty Won’t Be Teens

By: Shane Phipps

 

As I look out on teenage faces

Just being kids as they know how

I’m haunted by your fading traces

You would have all been teens by now

 

That awful day comes back to mind

That madman spraying death

Someone must have missed a sign

As a nation held its breath

 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

no longer alive

6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Won’t be seen again

11, 12, 13, 14, 15

They would all be teens

16, 17, 18, 19, 20

And one would be too many

 

You’d think that would have been enough

To anger us to change

Instead, we just accept this stuff

And blame it on deranged

 

When will we finally see the light?

So much pain from one machine

Kids shouldn’t have to run or fight

Those twenty won’t be teens

 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

no longer alive

6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Won’t be seen again

11, 12, 13, 14, 15

They would all be teens

16, 17, 18, 19, 20

And one would be too many

 


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