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Growing Up in the 'School Shooting Generation'


The mass shootings keep coming and innocent people keep getting gunned down. In fact, every day 110 people are killed by guns. On Feb. 14 it will be the five-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, when 17 people were murdered and 17 others injured.


Yet, the politicians do nothing. Today’s Lean to the Left podcast episode looks at that through the eyes of Gabrielle Zwi, a young woman who wrote a song she created from her own experiences. It's called "Guns to a Playground Fight."


Late last year Gabrielle, a 22-year-old singer-songwriter, educator, and community organizer based in Rockville, MD, graduated from Columbia University, having safely made it through elementary and secondary school without being gunned down in her classroom.


The day after the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 21 people, including 19 third and fourth grade children and two teachers were killed and another 17 wounded, Zwi was moved to write her folk-pop protest tune which examines what it means to grow up as a member of the “school shooting generation.”


Gabrielle's song was released December 9, just before the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting – you know, the one that Infowars founder Alex Jones claimed never really happened and since has been ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion to the families of victims there.


Her song was released in partnership with Lives Robbed, an organization founded by the parents and grandparents of children whose lives were lost to the shooting at Robb Elementary. All of the profits from streaming/downloads and associated performances are being donated to them.


The shootings never seem to stop. Less than a week into 2023, a six-year-old student allegedly shot his teacher with a handgun at a Virginia elementary in what police described as an “intentional” shooting. He reportedly used his mother’s legally purchased handgun to shoot his 25-year-old teacher, who led her students out of the classroom after being shot.


Where did her song's title come from?


"Bringing a gun to a playground flight has that double meaning in terms of the power imbalance and the fact that they (members of Congress) have, so much power yet are not using it to protect the children who are on the playground," she explains.


"But also playground fight, referring to just the ridiculousness of it all. And that line comes after they fight back at us as they chant pro-life. And when I wrote this song, it was right it, was in late May and early June. It was when the abortion of in the Supreme Court go in and everything was happening and of just putting together the fact that they're claiming to protect life. And the fact that they're absolutely not doing that by focusing on things that are so unimportant."


During the interview, Gabrielle describes growing up -- from kindergarten onward -- and routinely being required at school to participate in shooter and bomb threat drills, huddling in safe places away from windows and hiding from potential shooters.


Here are the lyrics to "Guns to a Playground Fight," which Gabrielle sings on the podcast:


I’ve never lived a single day

In a world without mass school shootings

With Columbine in ninety-nine

You’d think by now I’d be desensitized

Sandy Hook when I was in seventh grade

How naive was I to believe things would change

(They never change)


‘Cause that’s the America that we live in

That’s the America we grew up in, don’t you know?

That’s the America that we fight for even though

They fight back at us as they chant “pro-life”

Bringing their guns to a playground fight


I graduated college just last week and I think about how

I was lucky enough to make it all the way through

With just bomb threats, and shooting drills

And hearing from friends at Magruder and Great Mills

And seeing it on the news, and the grief and anxiety

But never the real thing

No never the real thing


And that’s the America that we live in

That’s the America we grew up in, don’t you know?

That’s the America that we fight for even though

They fight back at us as they chant “pro-life”

Bringing their guns to a playground fight


And my friends, they never hear the end of it

And I fear we’ll never put an end to this

How many lives of children will be lost to it?

How many times?

How many times?


‘Cause that’s the America that we live in

That’s the America we grew up in, don’t you know?

That’s the America that we fight for even though

They fight back at us as they chant “pro-life”

Bringing their guns to a playground fight

Bringing their guns to a playground fight


Listen to the interview:

Watch the interview: https://youtu.be/K6NHAvQS_hA


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