A mile-long procession of school buses are headed to Sen. Ted Cruz’s home in Houston on Thursday, July 14.
Thursday’s roll-out is the official start of The Yellow Bus Project and Cruz’s house is the first stop for the NRA Children’s Museum, which is coordinated by Change the Ref, according to a Facebook post. Change the Ref is a non-profit aimed at spotlighting mass shooting awareness and reducing the NRA’s public influence, started by artist Manuel Oliver and his wife Patricia. The Oliver’s son Joaquin died in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“To commemorate this horrific historic moment, we are showing American voters the toll these politicians have taken on our children’s lives with this all-too-real archive,” Manuel said in a press release. “And this is only the beginning. We will not stop with Sen. Ted Cruz. To every politician who has stood by, taken NRA money, and refused to listen to the people they represent: the museum is on the way to honor you next.”
The 52 yellow school buses will be empty and the 4,368 empty seats are meant to honor the number of children killed by gun violence in the last two years. The bus at the front of the procession will include a display from the NRA Children’s Museum, filled with photos, videos, audio recordings, and personal memories of the children who have died from gun violence since 2020.
These people have put together a caravan of 52 school buses and called it the “NRA Children’s Museum.”
Change the Ref said that Cruz will also receive “a gift” when the procession arrives: a letter written in 2013 by Joaquin when he was 12 years old.
“Dear U.S. gun owner, I am writing this letter to talk to you about how were [sic] going to solve this gun law movement. Most of you have a problem with the idea of a universal back round [sic] check. Why are you mad that there’s a back round [sic] check it’s for your own good maybe you are fond of having crazy people with death machines. You shouldn’t have anything against back round checks [sic] if you’re innocent. Thank you, Joaquin Coral Springs.”
This part floors me.
Joaquin Oliver wrote a letter criticizing gun owners as “fond of having crazy people with death machines” five years prior his death at Parkland.
The whole family has been preparing for gun control activism since he was a child.
It’s hard for me to criticize a father who lost a son, but I get the suspicious that he gained a martyr for the cause that’s infinitely more valuable to him.
I went to the website for the NRA’S Children’s Museum. Here is what they have to say:
Since 2020, firearms have overtaken car accidents to become the leading cause of death in children, taking over 4368 lives.
With the advent of this horrific moment, we’ve built a mobile museum made of 52 empty school buses representing 4368 victims. Some of the buses feature an exhibit of artifacts, photos, videos, audio recordings, and personal memories of these children who have lost their lives to guns.
The Yellow Bus Project invites kids across America to demand stricter gun laws.
The powerful visual of a school bus will become a vehicle for change everywhere in the country.
Change The Ref gives the kids of today the tools they need to be empowered to make changes to critical issues that affect our nation through education, conversation, and activism. It uses creativity to bring focus to the NRA’s corrupt maneuvers to buy lawmakers, while inspiring solutions which are essential to healing mass shooting victims’ families’ lifelong grief. Change The Ref’s ultimate goal is to give the young generation a disrupting voice to help lead the way to change — a more peaceful future.
The Parkland and Uvalde shootings were watershed moments in the gun control debate.
There is no middle ground between the sides.
There is no point of compromise.
In both Parkland and Uvalde we saw how law enforcement, who swore an oath to protect children at school, utterly refused to do their jobs, costing lives. They had all the gear, all the training, all the funding, all the morale patches and windows decals, and everything else, and when the shit hit the fan their balls shrunk up into their throats and they set up a perimeter like chicken shit cowards.
Both shooters were previously known to the police and FBI, and had a history of violent mental problems, and at no point did any of that make them prohibited persons.
We’ve seen how these shooters, and countless other kids from across the country, go to deferred punishment or other programs that don’t fix these kids and cause their behavior to get worse.
We saw the exact same think in Highland Park with the 4th of July parade shooting.
There are now two sides.
One side looks at the entire system and says:
There are millions of law abiding gun owners. There is this handful of problem people who repeatedly act like a problem with escalating bad behavior. Our system utterly fails to nip these problem people in the bud and then absolutely fails to respond necessarily when they do the ultimate evil. How does restrictions on the law abiding do anything when the system is complete incapable of dealing with the handful that cause all the problems.
The other side says:
It’s the fault of the NRA and gun lovers who would allow gun bans and universal background checks.
These positions are incompatible.
All the want to do is shame and harass gun owners because they don’t like them.
Not one gun law is going to get cops to respond who don’t want to.
Not one gun law will stop a problem person from getting a gun is the system keeps kicking the problem people down the road.
Fifty-two a school busses and not one letter from a kid that says:
“When one of my classmates writes fiction about shooting up a school then gets in trouble rather than send him to deferment, you throw his ass behind bars forever or until he’s no longer fucked in the head.”