Mandalay Bay

Mandalay Bay

Kids, remember Mandalay Bay? Our hotel during our Vegas stay. Remember the aquarium? Rooms and rooms of tanks populated with brightly colored fish swimming past pretending we didn’t exist. Daughter, you spent an hour filming them. You held your lens near the glass and gasped whenever a shark swam past. It wasn’t the first time danger held your glance, and it wouldn’t be the last.

Four years and ten months ago the two of you sat by the bathroom door asking why I had locked myself inside, crying. I could barely tell you about the twenty children your age who disappeared into death’s maze that day and did not live to find an exit.

“It won’t happen to you,” I had promised. “Stricter gun laws are coming soon.” I didn’t know then what a liar I was.

Kids, remember Mandalay Bay? Last night a shark entered the glass case of fish and picked them off one by one until 50 lives lay scattered among the debris of rocks while hundreds more floated by, their bodies in irrefutable disrepair.

This wasn’t the first time since 2012. Hundreds of others including kids have been broken and butchered by bullets flying past, small sacrifices for 2nd amendment rights – a week of headlines then on to the next. Each year we stop and ponder, when will it end, when can we feel safe again, but it never does and we never have.

Kids, this is the aquarium you are swimming in. Remember the danger you live with, yes; but also, remember you share the peril with millions of fish. Together you can move currents; combine fins to form a formidable prey who rides over the top, sinking threats like stones at the bottom of the glass floor.

Your fins are buoyed by coordination and action; life cannot sustain merely from thoughts and prayers or standing by the glass watching, impartial, as our so-called amendment rights take another deathblow bite from our nation.

— Erin Passons, 10-2-2017
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