Friday, October 09, 2015

Gunning for a fight

I was gunning for a fight I just didn't get the one I was looking for.
I'm very angry about the number of guns showing up in schools. What do we do about it?
ALL life IS sacred.  
I started a fight on Facebook. As we've proven in my fb posts, people get FIRED UP when it comes to the rights of the unborn and you should! I promise I can sympathize with both sides and will continue that discussion if you want but I want to know what we are going to do, as a nation, to protect the people who have already been born and should be SAFE at school!
A few weeks ago, a student at an alternative high school near my teens' high school brought a gun to school. No one was hurt and it was a blip in the local news.
Last Monday, a student at a large high school very near the alternative brought a gun to school in his backpack. Still just blocks from my kids' school. No one was hurt, thank God, so just another blip in the news. Two days later, at that same school, two students spray-painted threats in a school bathroom saying there would be a shooting "like Columbine." They were caught and hadn't planned actual violence but after hearing about the gun at their school, thought their threat would cause school to be closed for a day. They just wanted a day off and over 300 students were kept home, just in case.
I'm angry that CHILDREN have GUNS in their BACKPACKS.
I am very angry that CHILDREN HAVE GUNS IN THEIR BACKPACKS.
No one was hurt in these cases and no one made a big fuss.
But CHILDREN have GUNS in their BACKPACKS.
In a Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, people were killed. They weren't "children" but every one of them was someone's child. My oldest attends our local community college in the mornings before she goes to high school. It's far away from Oregon but the tragedy still hit close to home.
Today, we had two school shootings. TWO shootings on college campuses on one day.
If you bother to look at the national statistics, somebody's child is shot every day in this country. Every day. Shootings on a school campus should be shocking! Any shooting should be a wake-up call but TWO in ONE day? We cannot afford to just shake our heads and light candles. We should pray, of course! All of us should be praying right now but my prayer includes a plea that someone has an idea. Maybe not THE answer but AN answer!
A bunch of moms got together after too many children were killed as a result of drunk driving. MADD is now a national organization that has saved countless lives. Yes, we still have drunk drivers. But they didn't ignore the problem. Someone stood up and did something.
We need to do something. Gun registration for all is a start. My car is a lethal weapon and I must register it and have a license to drive it, even though I don't plan to run anyone down with it. People buying handguns may hope they don't use them but they aren't buying them for any other purpose than to aim them at another human being. Register those suckers. Lock them up. I'm not trying to take them away from you but I want you to keep them from your children. Please!
I'm not asking hunters to give up their rifles. I'm not asking people who have that gun by their bed to give it up. I am asking you to put it away. In the unlikely event an intruder enters your home, it is far more likely that you or your family will be hurt by that weapon than the intruder. But that is another argument, too.
Children have guns. Teens have guns. Young adults have guns. America, our children are armed and dangerous. It is time to take action.


6 comments:

Good Food and Happy Days said...

Lorayne! Thank you for your comments. It is a vital dialogue and some answers must be found. Life is sacred and failing to protect those already here is a grave sin! I liked the analogy of the car as a deadly weapon. It must be registered and you have to be licensed to drive it. I don't know about the US but in Canada, it must also be insured in order to be registered. Perhaps gun ownership should also require insurance. At least that would assist the bereaved and injured with costs and treatment to overcome the senseless brutality of gun violence. I don't know that it would stop it but it would be another deterrent. It is alarming that gun violence has been become so common place in the US that it is a everyday non-news item. At least where I live, people are still alarmed and outraged when a firearm is even discharged unsafely let alone someone being shot at. Laws regulating gun ownership DO work and people feel safer not having guns around at all. People are more likely to be killed by the guns that they have in their home legally than they are by people carrying them on the street. I wonder what it is like to have your child killed by a gun that you own or how it feels to have your child kill someone else with your gun. Horrible! Why are personal weapons needed? Do they really keep you safe or is that false confidence?

Life is sacred so look after those who are born as well as those awaiting their time here! And while we are at it, let's ensure that they have their basic needs of food, shelter and love met. Let's provide affordable and accessible educations and a social safety net to address social problems before they happen. Take away the need to carry weapons! Countries that do this have much lower crime statistics and have been able to start to dismantle the expensive prison systems! The answer is not to shoot first and then ask questions. Planning and being proactive is always better. Justice must be consistent and fair.

It is appalling that gun violence is so common place that it doesn't make the news or children think that it is a way to get out of school for a day. It just makes me sad and angry.

Good for you for speaking up!

Thérèse said...

Clear backpacks help, one of the schools our boys attended required them. Many stores require them of employees to cut back on theft. Check bags on the way in, schools can do it, Disney does it. Anything at this point would be a help!

Lorayne Cupero said...

Good Food, thanks! I completely agree with your comments. Regulating guns won't stop violence but it's a start. "Let's provide affordable and accessible educations and a social safety net to address social problems before they happen." YES! These shootings are symptoms of larger problems. We have much work to do!

Thérèse, clear backpacks! Brilliant! That is a great idea!

Lorayne Cupero said...

This is why we need to have these discussions. The answers are out there if we can discuss things, civilly, and ask for help.
Thérèse, how many backpacks have I purchased over the years? Yet I didn't really realize clear backpacks were an available option. A quick Google search and I've found them in every color, size and shape! You can still get that pink or green backpack--just transparent!
I also just got a quick glimpse at how many schools across the country already require these. I have been living in a safe little bubble.
These are the kinds of things we can do to help without amending laws. Why don't all schools require these? I can see some kids complaining as they like to express their individuality but there are still lots of ways to do that while still having a transparent backpack! Besides, I've noticed that the more my kids squawk about expressing themselves, they usually express their uniqueness in a way that looks a lot like what their friends are doing. ;)

My kids are already required to wear uniforms. The Catholic high school my teens attend just began issuing laptops last year and required that we all purchase the same backpack to carry those laptops. Every student has an identical blue backpack. They can have initials embroidered, etc. but the school has already required that we purchase a particular backpack. Going forward, why can't we require they also be transparent? (Outside of school, I can see an issue where the rest of the world can see that you're carrying a nice laptop computer but I'm still excited about this idea!)

Diane Botello said...

Clear backpacks are one way to keep guns out of backpacks, but I think we are missing a much more important issue... why do our children feel the need to bring guns to school? This is my second year teaching in the Jacksonville area, my first year in the 'hood'. And in less than 6 months two of my former students were in grown up jail for bringing weapons (a gun and a knife- separate incidents) to school. True some of the kids involved the shootings on campuses were from happy loving families and mental illness is not like a broken arm or leg, it is not so easy to detect, but many of the children bringing weapons to school are children who are lacking so many things in their lives.
Do I have a solution? Unfortunately, no. But I think we need to show our children that we love and care for them, we need to teach them other non-violent ways to handle disagreements and to teach them that every life matters, including theirs.

Diane Botello said...
This comment has been removed by the author.