It is all over the Internet, on social media, and the center of conversation this past week due to the terrible shooting tragedy in Oregon. Guns. Should guns be banned? I am not one to get into politics on this blog and I respect all (or most opinions) but it is starting to feel like there is not a place in the US that is actually safe. As a 7 month pregnant woman, I think about these things differently now.
What will it be like for my little boy to go to elementary, middle, high school and college? Even separate from that I think about it in grocery stores, movie theaters, malls, and almost any public area. Whatever the conversation is about banning guns, focusing on mental health, making more laws about having licenses and permits, or classes and training — something has to change. I am not going to get into solutions or politics. Whatever the solution (there has to be one) that can mean that Americans can still feel free. That is what concerns me the most — the fear of going about your daily life when shootings continue to increase. How is that freedom? Whether it is a shooter that kills one person or a shooter that kills many, the act of shooting a human with a gun does not equal freedom for the innocent victims and their families.
Among quite a few organizations that are trying to raise awareness for gun conversations, I came across “Not One More.” It is an organization that shares the stories of those who have lost loved ones through gun violence. Not One More is fighting for safer communities. Who does not want that? Who does not want to feel safe and free? Regardless of our political views we should all want the same end goal. Freedom and safety for ourselves and our loved ones.
I had to wait a day or two to formulate my thoughts about the shooting in a local Troutdale, Oregon school. Social media sites are being bombarded with statistics about the number of school shootings all across the United States, and comparing them to other countries. Maybe I am thinking about it more because it happened less than 30 minutes away from me, or maybe I am sick and tired of watching innocent children be injured or die.
Bulletproof blankets for schools at the low price of $1000 a blanket, metal detectors in all school entrances. What has it come to? I do not really care about your politics or your personal opinions on gun control. I want to talk about the real issue, which is whether our children are safe or not in schools. Children go to school to learn, to trust, to push our boundaries. How can children learn when they are afraid of their fellow students? When they might fear that those that bully them might kill them to? It scares the crap out of me to think about sending my future kids to school. Will all parents have to start home schooling because we do not have the proper security and safety in our schools? Gun control, gun rights, politics, bearing arms aside, what are we going to do to protect our children?
I am angry.
What are we doing as a country to handle and resolve this issue? There was a visual icon on a friend’s Facebook page that said: “NOT ONE MORE” in support of finding a solution to school shootings. We all remember Columbine. We remember Virginia Tech where it was a massacre of lives. We remember Newtown. Are the shootings where one or two kids are shot not as important, or does the large volume of schools where incidents have occurred (fatalities or not) matter? They all add up do they not? There is a real issue, and we need to resolve it.
What are we going to do? What are you going to do? What am I going to do to step up and be apart of the change that needs to happen? How long are we going to continue to watch the news each day, and continue to be desensitized to the issues with guns? This Bill Moyers article lists the actual gun deaths or injuries in schools by date since Newtown – a shocking 79 in the last 18 months.
I am shocked. I am disappointed. I want answers. I want solutions.