Tanya Parker Mills: Republicans will protect the unborn but not living children

Who comes first? The child in the womb or the child in the room?

(Jae C. Hong | AP) Two Texas Troopers light a candle at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing several fourth-graders and their teachers.

The same people who will do anything to protect an unborn fetus are doing next to nothing to protect living children in our nation’s classrooms.

Conservative legislators and Supreme Court justices twist the Constitution to protect a life not yet realized while they refuse to pass and affirm common-sense gun safety laws that would lower the killings of children in our country.

Such laws would have likely stopped that 18-year-old loner in Uvalde, Texas, from massacring 19 fourth grade students and their two resolute teachers. Or 20-year-old Adam Lanza from mowing down 20 six- and seven-year-olds plus six other adults at Sandy Hook Elementary.

(Both perpetrators were under the age of 21 — too young to drink and kill with a car, but not too young to load and kill with a gun.)

Have you not had enough of this insanity?

This isn’t about gun control, it’s about gun safety. It’s about our public health. As stated in our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

There are now 21 more Americans, mostly children, who no longer enjoy any of those rights. No more life. No more liberty to run around and play. No more pursuit of happiness. At least not on this earth.

Instead, they join the ever-expanding list of victims of gun violence in our country. Their names now mix with those from Newtown, from Buffalo, from place after place.

Have you not had enough?

It’s not as if the American public stands in the way of enacting these laws. A poll from Morning Consult and Politico taken only days before these latest Texas killings found that overall 59% of respondents said it was “very” or “somewhat” important that elected leaders in the U.S. pass stricter gun control laws. A 2021 poll from Pew Research Center revealed that 87% of Americans support preventing those with mental illnesses from buying guns. And 93% percent of Americans, including 89% of gun owners, favor universal background checks for gun purchases.

So, why isn’t the Senate acting on HR8, a bill to require background checks, already passed by the House?

Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, had it right. Senate Republicans care more about their own power and position than “the lives of our children and our elderly and our church-goers.” They are beholden to the gun lobby.

Sen. Mike Lee, where is your spine? Where is your backbone? Have you not had enough years in the Senate already? Is your position of power more important than the lives of all these innocent children?

Sen. Mitt Romney, in response to this latest mass shooting, you said your offer of prayers and condolences was “grossly inadequate” and answers are needed. Wonderful. Fine. Be the answer. Listen to your conscience again and work with your Republican colleagues to help pass HR8 rather than stand in its way.

I despair for our republic. What will it take for Republicans in the Senate to act for the good of our country instead of the party? They are 100% unified when it comes to protecting the unborn, but when it comes to protecting the living, all they offer are thoughts and prayers.

Who comes first? The child in the womb or the child in the room?

Tanya P. Mills

Tanya Parker Mills is an author and owner/manager of The Book Bungalow bookstore in St. George.