Let Everyone See Them…

As of June 6, the Gun Violence Archive reported 247 mass shootings in 2022. These mass shootings represent the deaths of 402 children ages seventeen and under.

IN contemplating the senseless violence hailed on school children in Uvalde, Texas, this quote by Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley rang resoundingly clear in sharing her reason for an open casket funeral for her son: “I think everybody needed to know what happened to Emmitt Till.” After another mass shooting of children in school, these children need open casket funerals to spur America into action.

At Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, nineteen children and two adults died in a mass shooting by an 18-year-old. News reports detailed how the shooter purchased the assault rifles legally, shot his grandmother in the head, and how students heads were blown off and only identified by their DNA. America needs to see the carnage, and maybe a change will come.

As of June 6, the Gun Violence Archive reported 247 mass shootings in 2022. These mass shootings represent the deaths of 402 children ages seventeen and under. Still, America continues to embrace the Constitution’s second amendment as a fundamental and non-negotiable right in the face of ongoing slaughter of innocent lives. No place shelters these innocents, not houses of worship, grocery stores, or hospitals. Since the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, congressional leaders stuck in partisan gridlock seem content kicking the can down the right from one tragedy to the next

In response to a mass shooting that killed thirty-five people Australians passed the National Firearm Agreement within 12 days. Major provisions of the National Firearm agreement included “tight control on semi-automatic and fully automated weapons, a national registry of firearm owners, and a buyback program so that Australians could sell guns back to the government.”

Noted public health researchers, Elena Andreyeva and Benjamin Ukert from University of Pennsylvania and Charles Branas from Columbia University concluded that the National Firearm Agreement led to a decrease in firearms homicide since 1996. Yet, America failed to see a sense of urgency.

At the Dunblane Primary School mass shooting in Scotland that killed sixteen students and a teacher, National Public Radio reported June 1, 2022, that Britain “banned private ownership of most handguns, as well as semi-automatic weapons, and required mandatory registration for shotgun owners.” Since 2016, there have been no mass shootings at schools in Britain. Yet, America embraced the historical right of the second amendment, despite the purpose of the second amendment in 1791.

Americans are content representing self-interests at the expense of life when it comes to mass shootings. America is satisfied blaming mental illness as the death toll continues to rise from mass shootings. And the faith-based community at large advocates more for the unborn child than children whose voices are silenced from mass shootings. 

Open the caskets of these children and instead of stubbornly remaining numb for more than 20 more years, maybe more Americans and members of the faith-based community will do something. 

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Edward Woods, III is the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty director for Lake Region Conference and the Conscience & Justice Council chairperson.

 


This article is part of our 2022 July/August Issue
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