If I Die In A School Shooting: These Are America's Children

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Houston's police chief and mayor, in cap and brown shirt, join the March For Our Lives. Photo by David Phillip/AP. On front, Santa Fe student Dakota Shrader and her mother Susan Davidson. Photo by Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily/AP

Another goddamn massacre in the only country that has them. The bloodshed in Santa Fe prompted the usual praying, spineless, noticeably wacko pols blathering the issue isn't guns but doors and Ritalin, but also some uncommon responses. As the first victim was honored at a local mosque, both Houston's police chief and mayor called bullshit, making it clear they've had enough. "These are our children," said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “These are our children and they are demanding that we do more than we have always done, and that’s nothing.”

Echoing him, Chief Art Acevedo likewise said that after dealing with too many dead children he'd "hit rock bottom." “This isn’t a time for prayers, and study and inaction," he wrote in an impassioned Facebook post that went viral. "It’s a time for prayers, action and the asking of God’s forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing.” Teen organizers also announced a National Die-In for June 12, the anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting, to protest and "be there for those that can't." It will include actions in D.C., Orlando, and “anywhere with lethal legislative inaction.”

Most searingly, kids are contributing to the fierce tragic hashtag #IfIdieInASchoolShooting. Some are sorrowfully quotidian: "#IfIdieInASchoolShooting i will never get married/ have children/ buy a car/ live...my dog will always wonder where i went...I'll never finally learn how to ride a bike...I will never become an EMT, Wife, Mother. Slowly my presence would fade away." There is talk of statistics, hashtags, heartbroken parents, impossibly poignant scenarios: "I will be a human shield over my students before I see (them) not get a chance to live past 8 years old."

Mostly, there is rage. "#IfIDieInASchoolShooting put my body in the parking lot of the NRA," writes one; others suggest their corpses be sent to the White House or Marco Rubio "with a bow on it." "Deliver my heart to Dana Loesch on a silver platter because she’s a heartless woman and clearly needs a new one." Repeatedly, they urge, "Politicize the fuck out of my death." They urge, "Make sure every person who supports the NRA knows  they're responsible...Please use my pictures, life, and story. Please use my stolen voice." And: "Pass some legislation for me. Waste no time. Do not cry but sing, sing songs of liberty. Songs of revolution and peace." Because this is America.

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