I wanted to know more about the victims of today’s horrifying massacre, and since the media’s information wasn’t quite specific enough, I took to Facebook to look for them.

What I found was this playful, innocent status written by a student of Peshawar’s Army Public school. You can just tell how much these kids loved being at school.

Mubeen Shah, the boy at the end, uploaded his cover photo a while back with this quote: “We are a nation of beauty and great grief. Our smiles are much stronger than your guns.”

Mubeen and his other three friends in this picture were all killed by the Taliban today.

And, as much as I want to, I don’t know how to look at these kids and tell them to “Rest in Peace”

Because how can they “Rest in Peace” when every article covering their massacre is riddled by Islamophobic comments?

How can they “Rest in Peace” when they, the victims, are categorized alongside their oppressors?

You do not have to be any particular religion or political party to mourn alongside Pakistan today. Muslim, Christian, Democrat, Republican: it doesn’t matter.
All you have to be is awake.

2

Today marks 2 years since one of the darkest days in recent American history. A man armed a with military style gun entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and shot dead 20 children and 6 adults in a disgusting act of violence. The gunman also killed his mother before the rampage. As gunshots rang out, and children fled for their lives, a new day dawned in this country - the day of ‘since Sandy Hook.’ In the 24 months since Sandy Hook, 94 shootings have occurred at schools in the United States, some of these shootings were accidents, some were heated arguments which spiraled out of control or gang related, some of them attempted suicides/suicides and some of them were planned attacks. And those are just shootings at schools, that does not include the senseless shootings which plague our city streets daily. Despite these atrocious tragedies, nothing has been done to curb the violence, and prevent this sort of act in the future. On every level, common sense protections and regulations have failed due to this country’s obsession with guns and the delusion of necessity.

When Australia faced the Port Arthur shooting in 1996, they took action. Despite hesitation and heavy resistance, the government implemented bold steps to stop mass shootings and since then, zero mass shootings have taken place. ZERO. Australia is ranked 3rd in personal freedom for 2014 despite their gun laws, the people are free and happy, many who opposed the changes to gun laws now admit the fear was paranoia and ignorance, and the United States? We are ranked 21st but people claim sensible gun control will only limit freedom.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a choice, we can stop this, we can retain ‘freedom’ while protecting our schools and communities from gun violence, but you must educate yourself and speak up. We must stop this senseless slaughter and end the ‘since Sandy Hook’ days behind. This is not about politics, this is about lives.

In loving memory of…

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Noah Pozner, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Jesse Lewis, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Dylan Hockley, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Olivia Engel, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Chase Kowalski, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Vicki Soto, 27
Mary Sherlach, 56
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Rachel D’avino, 29
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Nancy Lanza, 52