At what point are we going to actually do something to protect our children?
I remember the day, time and where I was when Columbine happened. The images of all of those children running from their high school or scaling walls to get out will be etched in my mind forever. That school shooting was unimaginable…unthinkable…rare.
School shootings are no longer rare. You hear people say, “there was another school shooting today.” And it’s said in passing…like it’s normal…like we’re telling people it may rain today.
I’m tired of the two-sided war…. “TAKE THE GUNS AWAY!” “DON’T TAKE MY GUNS AWAY!”
Can we, just this one time, stop. Not to have a kumbaya moment here, but can we come the hell together and figure out how we can protect our children? And to our lawmakers in DC, I’m not looking at you because quite honestly you’re not getting anything done except arguing back and forth and looking for your next viral sound-bite.
I think the communities and their own schools should have a meeting of the minds and find a plan that works.
We need to first pop the bubble. The “it will never happen here” bubble. I get it…I share the same sentiment. I live in small-town USA where when people smile and wave at you, it’s genuine. The thought that someone would walk into our small school and do this was in the back of my mind. Until now.
The sad and scary thing that we all know is that a school shooting can and will happen anywhere. This is our reality now. Kids are impulsive, we know that. They act on emotion and are unable to think ahead to any consequence. So who is to say the kid who is getting picked on won’t walk into a school with a gun because he’s fed up?
We can talk about stricter gun laws…we can talk about mental health…we can talk about everything in between. But we need to get off the Merry-Go-Round conversation that we’ve been having since April 20, 1999 and do something. Now.
Do we install metal detectors in every school? Maybe that’s the first step. We can’t fly without going through one…we can’t walk into a courthouse without going through one. I mentioned that before and someone said, “that will just scare our children!” Sorry, but our children go through active shooter training at school…they’re already uneasy. I’d feel better knowing that every backpack, coat, lunchbox or guitar case have been checked.
Before our children are born, we research every car seat…every crib…types of formula…baby carrier…gates. We childproof our electrical outlets…our cabinet doors…even our toilet seats. We have baby monitors and home security cameras rolling on every minute. As parents, we always find the way to keep our kiddos safe, don’t we? So why aren’t we doing it now? Why are we waiting on anybody else to protect our children?
This problem…this epidemic…needs an immediate solution.
Let’s bring our children into the conversation and ask them, “what will make you feel safe?” Let’s ask our teachers the same question. Our teachers should not have to worry about being a shield from bullets to protect our kids.
After that, the back-and-forth conversation needs to be over. We’ve talked long enough…and we’ve done nothing.
We need action.