Scott Beigel, 35; Alaina Petty, 14; Peter Wang, 15; and Martin Duque, 13

Before we get too wrapped up in the important work of pushing for changes to our stupid, stupid gun laws, let's take a moment to remind ourselves what the ready availability of deadly, military-grade weapons has gotten us: seventeen graves, seventeen grieving families, a high school whose name will now be associated with blood and pain and loss, and only secondarily with an environmental crusader. There's absolutely important political work to be done, since it was the political work of the NRA and the Republican party that led to an environment where there are more guns than there are Americans. Here are four out of seventeen out of thirty-three thousand reminders a year of why we need to do something about guns:

Three of the students killed last Wednesday, Alaina Petty, 14, Martin Duque, 13, and Peter Wang, 15, were all members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's Junior ROTC program. Peter Wang had planned on making a career of the military: His lifelong goal was to attend the Army's military academy at West Point. Wang was wearing his JROTC uniform -- and holding a door open for others to go through -- when he was shot to death. To honor the slain JROTC kids, the Army Cadet Command awarded all three the JROTC Heroism Medal, awarded to the family of each at their funerals.

An online White House petition asking that Wang be given a military funeral with full honors received more than the 100,000 signatures needed to be considered by the White House; Florida Gov. Rick Scott directed the Florida National Guard to attend the funerals of all three kids.

In addition to the JROTC medal, Peter Wang was also granted postumous admittance to West Point, which named him a member of the US Military Academy's class of 2025:

A statement from West Point said the posthumous appointment

was an appropriate way for USMA to honor this brave young man [...] West Point has given posthumous offers of admissions in very rare instances for those candidates or potential candidates whose actions exemplified the tenets of duty, honor and country.

Peter Wang was buried yesterday wearing his JROTC uniform, with the Heroism Medal pinned to it; a Cadet Command spokesperson said a copy of the medal was also given to his family to remember him by. The criteria for awarding the medal specify it go to cadets who perform acts of bravery that are "so exceptional and outstanding that it clearly sets the individual apart from fellow students or from other persons in similar circumstances[.]" That fits, and you don't have to be "pro-military" or a HOOAH type to tear up.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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