Protherapeia (pro-ther-a-pei’-a): Preparing one’s audience for what one is about to say through conciliating words. If what is to come will be shocking, the figure is called prodiorthosis.

“The future is not ours to see.” The future was not theirs to see. They were cheerful. They were looking forward to lunchtime and hanging out with their friends–to eating lunch and joking around like they did every day. Noisy kids–a joyful noise. But now the lunchroom’s empty and silent. The hallways are empty and silent and our hearts are broken. Two wonderful kids are dead, shot down by a psychopath dressed in black. Where did a 16 year old get a .45 caliber automatic handgun? Who is to blame for that? We are at least partially to blame for our failure to move our politicians to take steps–to make it illegal to keep weapons unlocked when not in use and to make sure only the right people have keys or know the gun safe’s combination.

There is much more that needs to be done. When we are done mourning we must go to work to agitate for sane gun laws and see to it that our politicians hear us and take appropriate action. Otherwise, school shootings will keep happening. Innocent children will die.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

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