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
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Crazy people don't pay any attention to gun laws, this mental case was on a mission, no gun control could have stopped him. Security at the school, an armed guard, a bullet to the head could have stopped him. Taking rights away from the sane will not stop the crazy or mentally ill from breaking laws or commiting these type of horrific crimes.
The shooting will stop when we stop having "gun free" zones. Can you think of any mass murders that happened outside of a "gun free zone"? I can't. When cowards know they are unopposed, they have the courage to kill innocent people. When they know or believe they will be opposed, they move on.
In my heart, I know that if the Principle of that school had been armed, she could have and would have stopped the murders. Would that have prevented the children from being slaughtered? Maybe not all of them but, it might have saved some. Maybe, just maybe, if we had our teachers and staff at any number of these school tragedies armed up, lives might be saved.
Pass more gun restrictions? May I again point out that these tragedies all occurred in places where guns were already restricted. Gun restrictions do nothing to prevent the lawless from breaking said law.
An armed society is a polite society and nothing stops a bad man with a gun better than a good man with a gun. In my humble opinion, more guns, not more gun laws, best serve the public.
1) It is locked and that makes it harmless.
2) Teach your kids to respect others property and it becomes a non-issue.
3) Have your boyfriend show you where it is and how it is stored. That is how my better half learned to live with my firearms.
I have 3 kids in my house (15,12 and 10) and 8 firearms. They know where and how they are stored. They don't have access to them unless I am there. They would need to break 3 locks to get to them. 2 doors and a trigger lock. Then another lock to get to the ammo. Fear is all about lack of education and experience. You owe it to yourself and your child or children to get past unwarranted fears. You should ask your boyfriend to show you how the firearm works, how to disassemble it, how to load/unload it. You may have no interest in the thing, but these acts will take the mystery away from it. One can never learn too much.
I'm sitting here crying while I read this, trying to figure out how I will talk to my own two precious boys about this tragedy (my youngest is in kindergarten). I shouldn't have too - no child should ever have to hear about another child being killed or molested or otherwise harmed. No parent should ever have to go through this horror. Children are our most precious resource - a source of joy and hope and love.
I don't blame the guns, we have guns in our household - locked safely in a metal, fireproof gun safe with ammunition locked up safely elsewhere. My oldest went on his first turkey hunt this year. We eat wild game, talk about the privilege of being able to hunt and the respect that the animals deserve. Recently there have been two serious incidents of child molestation in our area - one involved a death. Guns were not involved.
I'm more worried about a society where people who are insane or so sick and evil are allowed to exist without help and as a danger to the rest of society. We are failing to treat the mentally ill or failing to teach compassion and empathy, something is vitally wrong.
Hug your children, talk to them, teach them to care for others and to have empathy. Teach them to be responsible for their actions. Be aware of signs of mental illness and take action. Banning guns won't help - the insane or evil will find other ways to cause harm. Creating a caring community and society might have a chance.
If someone is crazy enough to want to walk into a school and start killing innocent children, they would do it whether they had a gun or not. Maybe they would build a bomb. Maybe they would use some other form of weapon. The fact is that PEOPLE are where the problem is. PEOPLE are the insane, mentally unstable ones. PEOPLE are the ones who are hurting and reaching out in disgusting forms of anger.
The root of the problem is PEOPLE. Not guns. Let's focus on the real problem.
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