By Kathy Blalock Molinar

I have been a mother in the Lone Star State for more than two decades. I’ve proudly raised my children in public schools and public universities. 

Kathy Blalock Molinar

But I have sat on the floor in the dark with my fourth-grader in a lockdown drill, knowing there would be nothing any of us could do to shield those babies from bullets. I have wanted to vomit from fear when my sons were in a lockdown from a gun scare in high school. I have worried as their colleges were put on alert and parents argued about wanting their child to bring guns to campus. 

I cringed when the parents of their classmates posted Christmas photos with weapons. I’ve been to peaceful political gatherings where grown men with AR-15s were trying to scare a crowd full of children and the elderly.

Rev. Rob Schenck, an evangelical minister and fierce advocate of gun reform, is right. We are a nation that values the Second Amendment over the Second Commandment. We choose a warped interpretation of a phrase about militias and twist it into an outright worship of a graven object designed for killing. 

Despite the fear mongering from the NRA, no one is trying to take away the right to self-defense or to hunt. But we must try to separate those needs from the wants of those who seek unfettered access to every weapon, every time, for everyone. All rights have limitations.

Yet what have Texas leaders done to protect our children’s rights? Absolutely nothing. They made their lives more perilous every single year. 

Eliminating gun training. Allowing weapons on campus. Refusing to regulate weapons of war like the AR-15. Encouraging open carry. Loosening restrictions for ownership by passing permitless carry. Texas politicians encouraged more weapons, less training and more extremism.

Texas leaders paid teachers less, cut school funding, caused turmoil in the classroom and the school boards, cut assistance to the poor and access to health care. Our governor did everything he could to demonize and torment immigrants, ignore a winter storm and electrical grid failure, and encourage outright hatred toward the very teachers and administrators who keep our kids safe.

We are Texas mothers, and we have had enough. Texas has utterly failed as a pro-life, pro-family, pro-children state. And we are mad as hell. The mothers of the Lone Star State must stand up for our families and elect new leaders from our governor’s mansion to our state house that TRULY respect life. And that is not the crowd of heartless, politically self-serving, misguided faux religious zealots we have in power right now. They worship money and power; not God. They sacrifice our children at the altar of greed, guns and gamesmanship.

But we aren’t going to return violence with violence. We will take our righteous anger, our anguished lamentations, and put them to work. We will pray but also work for change, because the Bible tells us faith without works is dead. 

We will vote. We will register others to vote. We will write, call, protest and speak our minds and hearts as though our families’ lives depend on us. 

Because the mothers of Texas are descendants of the strong frontier women who came before us. They scraped out a home in this harsh and unforgiving land to raise their families under God and the Texas skies. And we will not cede, we will not give up, we will not rest until families, women, and children are saved from those who actively work against our basic rights to life, liberty and happiness.

We are peaceful children of the Lord, but we will rise up and stand up for those we love, as we are commanded. This is a battle of good versus evil; darkness and violence versus peace and light. It is time to choose a side.

May the peace and comfort of the Lord surround all those in Uvalde who grieve, who care for the injured, and who will carry the scars of this abominable tragedy. As we call for God’s mercy, let us also put our prayers into action.

Kathy Blalock Molinar has a blog on motherhood, politics and faith. She is a former El Paso business broker and appraiser.