( and Day 4 of Kwanzaa)
Herod the Great had been elected “King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate in 40 B.C. When the Magi told him of the new King of the Jews, Herod could think of nothing but wiping out the threat to his throne. The Holy Innocents are those children who were brutally murdered by Herod as he sought the Christ Child. At his hand, the Church receives their first martyrs, thereby this feast three days after the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
And because of Herod’s act of terrorism among his own people, Joseph had to fly by night to Egypt with Mary and the young child Jesus. Thus, Jesus himself became a political refugee.
Today we think of other innocent children ~ some killed as the unborn are or have been. We also think of those innocent ones gunned down Parkland, Florida and David Hogg, a survivor, and 2018 graduate, who has gone on to advocate for the end of gun violence. These are the statistics for this past year according to Gun Violence Archive . . .
After years of congressional inaction, a growing number of children are paying with their lives. In 2019, 3,371 American children and teens were killed with guns—enough to fill more than 168 classrooms of 20 (see Table 35).
Child and teen gun deaths hit a 19-year high in 2017 and have remained elevated since.
In 2019, nine children and teens were killed with guns each day in America—one every 2 hours and 36 minutes.
Guns killed more children and teens than cancer, pneumonia, influenza, asthma, HIV/AIDs, and opioids combined.
While mass shootings grabbed fleeting public and policymaker attention, routine gunfire took the lives of more children.
(Source: The State of America’s Children.)