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What Does Mothers Day Mean When Our Children Are Being Shot?

On this Mother’s Day, we want to salute all of the women who have taken up the work to love and raise up a child — Moms, Grandmoms, Aunties, teachers, counselors, school aides, and all of those neighbor ladies you could turn to for some care and nourishment. I’m thinking a lot this Mother’s Day of the mothers of the children who were assaulted by a gunman at Highlands Ranch this week. I’m thinking a lot today of the mothers of those children who did what they were supposed to do — keep their children safe and loved and then get those kids an education. I’m thinking a lot today of how we continue to fail these mothers — who do what they are supposed to and yet we can’t find a way to meaningfully address gun violence specifically pointed at our children.

One child died as a result of the gun assault at the Highlands Ranch school — because he took it upon himself to rush one of the shooters so that others could escape. This was a heroic and grown-up act — but an act that leaves his mother grieving this Mother’s Day.

Image result for Kendrick Castillo

12 year old Nate Holley is a survivor of that shooting. You can hear him describe his experience to a CNN reporter here:

This 12-year-old had a plan to survive, a plan to fight back in this situation — because the grown-ups who can refuse to do the work to protect him and kids like him. And let’s just try to imagine the trauma this child has suffered and imagine the trauma all of the kids who went through this suffered.

And yet, we are living in a society that prioritizes its guns over its children. Caring for our children is supposed to be how humans survive. Caring for our children is supposed to be the work of civilized societies. Yet we have children specifically targeted by and dying from gun violence and we can’t seem to figure out a way to address that. Majorities of Americans want common sense fixes and we still can’t find leadership that will ignore their NRA funding to get us there.

It doesn’t say much for us as a society that we are willing to sacrifice our children — specifically keep them in harms way — because of the wishes of a well-funded lobby. It certainly isn’t mainstream Americans who want to keep throwing away the lives of our children here.

Today I want to send love and light to the Moms of the kids assaulted in Highlands Ranch this week. I want to lift up young Kendrick Castillo and his family. I want to support the children traumatized by one more shooting in a place whose safety is supposed to be sacred.

And I want to remind everyone that these children (who the grownups who could change this have specifically left to their own heroism to survive) were braver than our local Senators McBride, Poore, Paradee, Hocker and Cloutier who killed vital gun safety bills this week. Especially Senators McBride, Poore and Paradee who made commitments to Moms Demand Action and others that these gun safety bills would get to the floor this session. These three need to explain why the safety of our children and our communities are not important to them; why they would leave our kids to their own devices to survive gun violence; and why they can’t be the grownups in the room our kids need.

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