And 17 More In Florida

florida school shooting

I hardly know where to begin on this, the morning after the Florida school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Seventeen bodies and souls now gone from this earth, murdered in what should be the safest place for them to be at any given time.

I guess I’ll begin with my relief at the fact that by chance, my children do not have school today. By chance, at our school hundreds of miles away in Ohio, there was a teacher in-service scheduled for today and tomorrow. President’s Day is Monday, and so, for me, there is a reprieve. I have three whole weekdays and a weekend before I have to worry about my kids being murdered at school.

So hallelujah.

They were killed on Valentine’s Day, those seventeen souls. They were killed on  ASH WEDNESDAY. Today is the first day of Lent. What are we giving up for Lent? So many parents were asked to give up the ultimate yesterday, to give up the thing they love most, their most precious gift. Only they weren’t asked, and they didn’t give. Their children were viciously taken, struck down.

florida school shooting
Screenshot ABC News

What are we giving up for Lent?

Let’s give up, as a country, as a nation, let’s give up WHATEVER IT IS that is keeping us from protecting our kids at school.

Let’s give up WHATEVER IT IS that allows people armed with assault rifles and shotguns to keep coming into schools time and time and time and time and time AGAIN to MURDER our children and their teachers. Let’s give THAT up. Let’s identify that thing and then let’s LAY IT DOWN on the altar and sacrifice it so NO MORE CHILDREN have to DIE.

Is it the easy accessibility of guns? Is it access to ammunition? Is it fear of or lack of money to put an armed police offer at the front door of every school from 7:30 a.m – 3:30 p.m. every day? Cause I’l contribute to that salary. I will GIVE BACK MY TAX REFUND to protect the lives of our children. Listen, I am not saying any of THESE things is THE solution. I’m not sure what it is. But can we START TRYING to find one?? Because it doesn’t seem like we’re even TRYING to talk about a reasonable ROADBLOCK to put in the way of a homicidal person in search of some easy targets.

I’m not trying to “be political,” here, I’m trying to make sure MY CHILDREN DON’T GET MURDERED AT SCHOOL. Because if you wanna kill a bunch of people? I know where you can find a good-sized crowd of people who are unable to fight back or defend themselves. Five days a week.

Please, my fellow Americans, please. Pray for the victims’ families. And then ask yourself what YOU are willing to do, what YOU are willing to GIVE UP so that you are not soon one of them.

Five years ago it was 20 in Connecticut, and nothing has gotten any better. Yesterday it was 17 more in Florida. And today and tomorrow? I’m really glad my kids don’t have school.

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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.