When will school shootings stop?
A personal essay from Parenting.com
By Ana Connery - Parenting.com
My son’s principal just sent an email asking parents to come get our kids—and exactly where to find them, as soon as dismissal time arrives in 45 minutes. Only two doors to the school are open now. She mentions scary things like “copycat crimes” in the wake of this morning’s horrific shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut. Considering the similar mall shooting in Oregon earlier this week, the news is particularly unsettling, if not downright terrifying.
My son, Jav, is 7, the same age as many of the kids who were killed just hours ago. Like Jav, I am sure those kids love superheroes, too, and Disney Junior, and coveted their Wii, DS, Barbie or whatever object of affection they had at the moment they took their last terrified breath. I am sure that, like Jav, they, too, were waiting for Santa, perhaps many of them already sent him letters detailing their wish lists. Santa will now be forced to skip their home, and those letters will go unanswered, and in my mind, there is no seemingly good reason for this.
Details are still emerging as to who did this and why. Guns have been recovered. The age-old debate in America will make the rounds again. Some will emphatically defend their right to protect themselves and their families. Others will explain, just as emphatically, why they are opposed.
Whatever you believe, who protects our kids when they’re in the middle of math class or at the mall, shopping with Grandma? Are we all supposed to start carrying around guns everywhere, just in case? Are we supposed to teach our kids how to use one, the way we teach them to use an Epi-Pen, and send them off to school with one in their backpack? Ridiculous, right? But so is getting an automated voicemail from your school’s superintendent saying there has been a shooting at your child’s school. So is walking into a school with one and killing close to 30 people, many of them far from old enough even to have a Facebook account.
My boyfriend has a gun. He insists it remains tucked away on a shelf, too high for the kids to reach it, unloaded, and locked. It haunts me when we visit him. We never talk about it, but I know it’s there. I was a kid once, too. I was curious, careless--it’s part of growing up. Unfortunately that kind of curiosity can lead to death. I don’t want my kid to end up on the news.
When I drive to Jav’s school in a few moments, my drive will be far different from those parents who drove there just this morning only to learn their child was murdered. I will pray. I will cry. I will hug my kid and take him for that cupcake I promised him for getting a great grade on his math test this week. But my mind will be cloudy, confused, scared.
Of all the things that parenthood teaches us, how to deal with a tragedy like this rarely comes up. For a slew of parents today, the lesson will be forced upon them, and my heart breaks for them.
Photo: Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant/MCT via Getty Images
More from Parenting and MSN Living:
School shootings will stop, when prayer is restored in schools. If we notice, the world has gotten more evil, and these are the last days, whether the world want to see it or not. This Country, was founded on Christians values, now words like God, Christ, Jesus, and Our Lord, have become synonymous to unspeakable words.
My heart aches for the Parents, Siblings, Grandparents and others. As the Grandmother, of a loving and very intelligent 6 year old boy, is just unthinkable horror.
Please, let's get a petition to restore prayer in our Schools. Let's not allow the word under God to be remove from the Pledge of Allegiance
As I read this essay, tears started to well up! I don't know the correct answer. As a gun owner I don't want to be deprived of my 2nd amendment right. But I don't want guns to fall into the hands of criminals or individuals that are mentally impaired, I do know that Connecticut along with some other eastern states have some of the most stringent gun laws in the country; yet this tragedy happened! I am willing to support any legislation that would close any current loophole that allows the purchase of a firearm without a background check. To me that's only common sense! But how do we protect against a tragedy like the shooting that happened in Connecticut? Where a guy that was reported as "nerdy" and a "loner", but as of current reports, showed no signs that he would commit this kind of act! We have some systems in place. For example, the Colorado movie shooter was identified by a shrink before the shooting as an individual that might implode; but nothing was done! Medical professionals can override the doctor/patient privilege if they fear the patient is a danger to himself or society. In fact by law they are required to do this! But in Colorado this system broke down.
If I knew that banning possession of firearms would be a sure fire way of preventing gun violence in this country, I would throw my guns into a metal shredder in a heartbeat! But I know it will not. What I do know is that states that have adopted concealed carry have seen a reduction in violent crime! Some by as much as 25%! Again, my common sense tells me that you will never read about someone trying to cause this kind of tragedy by walking into a police station and opening fire! They always choose unprepared, soft targets.
We need to create a caring society, this would help in decreasing negative behavior and this would probably take many steps and new laws/requirements to stop the increasing violence in America.
Creating a caring community first starts with;
1. Good parenting, all new parents should be required to take parenting classes to help teach their children love, empathy, compassion and respect, because there are far too many children lacking the above mentioned traits.
2. As a 2nd stop gap measure, there should be mandatory school curriculum classes that could teach children love, empathy, compassion, respect and anti-bullying at each level of elementary, junior & high school. And at the junior & high school levels, sex, drug prevention and parenting could be added to the mandatory curriculum.
3. We need to take steps in reducing the number of children on welfare. There are millions of parents having multiple children as a way to have government assistance for most of their life. This type of parent is selfish and will most likely not produce loving, caring, compassionate, respectful children. I believe that a parent receiving government financial assistance for a child shouldn't be allowed to have anymore children. If they give birth to another child while on welfare, then they shouldn't be able to keep the child.
4. We should prohibit or reduce exposure to violent video games and movies to children under the age of 18.
5. There needs to be a ban on multiple round assault riffles to the general public and a mandatory mental health evaluation screening requirement before being granted a license to purchase a gun.
6. There needs to be increased funding for mental health care.
7. There needs to be job assistance, training, counseling and drug prevention programs available to released or paroled criminals.
8. There needs to be embedded sensors built into all fire arms that can't be removed and will trigger an alarm when entering a gun free perimeter at a pre-determined distance. This gun free perimeter alarm sensor could be installed in schools, malls, hospitals, commercial/retail buildings, jails, prisons, fire/rescue and police vehicles.
9. There needs to be ignition lock devices built into all new vehicles that will prevent drunk, impaired people from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle to prevent death & injury to the innocent.
10. There should be a way to embed hidden micro GPS trackers into our children's body, clothing or jewelry until age 18 to track and locate them in case of abductions.
There needs to be a sense of community involvement, there are too many people going around in public with their heads buried in their cell phone devises.
To all those "professionals" trying to talk us out of our rights, why don't we make it illegal for the press to report on school shootings, glorifying and making celebrities of these sick clowns? It's sad that the victims are being explolited to force a political agenda down our throats. Perhaps if the First Amendment was put into jeopardy they would think twice.
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