“We have to face the fact that meaningful gun control has to be a part of homeland security.” Jeh Johnson
I cannot stop hearing the sound of the gun as he walked down my hallway. I cannot unsee my classmates who were shot get carried out by police. I cannot unsee the bodies on the floor. Please keep in mind the horror of what we’ve gone through today. #prayfordouglas
— Morgan Williams (@morganw_44) February 15, 2018
This morning, as I scrolled through the heart-wrenching tweets posted by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, I was heartbroken. I am heartbroken for the families, friends, teachers, and many others touched by this terrible tragedy. It saddens me deeply that our schools are no longer the safe haven we once imagined them to be. We are in a war zone and our collective conscience must be moved to find meaningful, long lasting bipartisan solutions to this problem. How could we continue to stand by and offer hackneyed platitudes as mass shootings become ubiquitous in this great nation?
According to a Gallup poll, most Americans would like to see stronger laws and ways to handle the presence of guns in our society. So why are we not pursuing that logical pathway? Sure, there is a gun culture in America and those who collect and use guns responsibly feel that building in more restrictions might hamper their access to and use of their weapons. But where does an AK-15 and similar assault weapon fit into this conversation? Why does anyone need to own a gun designed to kill massive numbers of people in a few seconds? The formidable NRA and gun lobbyists feed off of the fears of their gun owner base as they battle to maintain the status quo. But how many more mass shootings will wake us up to the urgency many of us know is desperately lacking? Did you know that in all of the 20th century, we had 226 school shootings and that so far in this millennium we have had 212 shootings? How many more children, teachers, innocent bystanders need to die before we come to our senses that our present laws and efforts are NOT working?
With each deadly mass shooting, we gather and share our grief and prayers and a lot of folks ask for changes but not much gets done to prevent it from happening again. The numbers of innocent lives lost to gun violence continues to grow and the conversation that needs to take place must rise above our fears and address the stark and horrific impact that the use of assault weapons and access to guns are having on our society. Please read the articles below as they all make fantastic common sense arguments for why we need stricter controls in place. The debate on Gun Control is not about depriving responsible citizens from owning one. It is about having stricter checks and balances to prevent those who are not qualified, for a range of reasons, from owning them.
READ: SLATE – In 1996, Australia Enacted Strict Gun Laws. It Hasn’t Had a Mass Shooting Since.
Aging Millennial Engineer: “F**k you, I like guns.”
Mass Shootings Are a National Security Threat
“The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Why the stalemate on stricter controls? If you’ve read my post, you’d know that I make it clear that most of us who want Gun Control laws to be stricter have no desire to deprive responsible citizens of their guns. Yet, again and again, gun advocates skip that clear fact to go on their rant about why they want NO/ZERO controls. WHY? Think about why you keep arguing in circles. Studies show that America has a gun culture like no other in the world. For a country that is NOT at war internally, civilians own more guns than any other country in the world. Americans use those guns to kill each other and commit suicide.
If that isn’t enough, we rank at the bottom for so called first world nations and gun violence. We fit right in with so called third world nations and gun violence. It makes no sense to me that a modern nation would continue to leave the door open for its citizens to arm themselves as if they live in a war torn, war zone in a wild west never, never land. Spare me the rants please. If 60% of level headed citizens would like to see stricter gun control laws in place, why is it NOT happening? Ask the NRA and their shills in Congress. As an educator, I have zero interest in being armed. I have zero interest in owning an assault weapon, and I have zero tolerance for the BS excuses those who want to maintain the status quo keep spewing…
READ: BBC – America’s gun culture in 10 charts
WASHINGTON POST – The terrible numbers that grow with each mass shooting
NYTIMES – After Sandy Hook, More Than 400 People Have Been Shot in Over 200 School Shootings
NPR – Deaths From Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares With The Rest Of The World
“No American should live in fear of going to work or sending their kids to school. Let’s end the fear. Let’s enforce existing gun laws.” Charles B. Rangel
No words, no actions, no laws are enough until we end this epidemic of school shootings in our country. My heart is with the students and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 14, 2018
Every time the topic comes up, the defenders of the status quo give us the usual list of excuses …. people kill not guns, we need to arm ourselves against X and Y and so on. But no matter what costume you dress the facts in, what remains is that we need to find solutions to deter those who will harm our children and our families; we can’t do the work of stemming gun violence effectively until we have stricter controls in place. How can we find a middle ground and a common sense discussion on this?
If we are all armed to the teeth, how does that build a safe and just society? If we resort to vigilante justice by arming ourselves with assault weapons and collecting an arsenal fit for war, where will that end? If we resort to blinding each other in an eye for an eye mentality as we rush to arm ourselves to the hilt, how can we see or make room for peace? If you are not a trained law enforcement officer, making a split second decision to shoot and kill an armed assailant is not easy. My heart hurts as we see this carnage keeps happening, again and again, taking the lives of kids and teachers.
As a teacher and a parent, I cannot fathom the horror of being in a classroom and watching my students gunned down. Refusing to address this matter in a balanced and logical way, with stricter gun control laws in place and mental health support available to all is tantamount to a collective societal act of homicide. I’m brokenhearted! Condolences to all…
Have a peaceful and reflective weekend ahead!
This post was partly inspired by a WP Daily Post – costume – Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.
Positive Motivation Tip: Our children’s and all lives matter… Is putting off meaningful conversations about gun control and finding solutions worth more than a human life?