I remember being 5 months pregnant with our second child, our first down for his nap, when my soap opera was in interrupted by the coverage from Columbine. Tears streamed down my face as I watched kids climb out windows and run. I remember thinking, “What have we done, bringing children into a world that could do this?”
On September 11, the boys were watching Blue’s Clues when I got a call from my husband telling the first tower had been hit. By the time the show finished and I got them playing in another room, I saw the plane go into the second tower. I spent days depressed wondering just what kind of world our boys would live in.
Last Wednesday, I heard about the shooting on the way home from school, and turned the TV on when I got home. I watched the events unfold just as I had before. And while I still feel scared, and contemplate life on a deserted island, I also have a different perspective.
Let me say, I am not a fan of guns. I have never held one that didn’t squirt water. We had a friend who brought one to our house while we were in college and I made him put it in his car. I have a healthy respect for them. But I am happy our Resource Officer carries a gun. We are an elementary school and the only entrance from outside is by buzzer. The kids are rarely out and about alone to let anyone in from side doors – something they would have no reason to do anyway.
Our youngest – the one I was pregnant with during Columbine – is now a Senior. My brain believes he is safe – my heart says a prayer every time I drop him off, and I make sure the last thing I say is, “I love you.” However, gun bans are not the answer.
Where would it end? I couldn’t begin to list all the guns that could be systematically eliminated. Those who propose a ban on AR15s would go from this gun to the next on the “list”. It isn’t the guns. Anyone who kills another person in anything but war and self-defense is, by my definition, insane.
I am so grateful that this senseless, tragic, killing in Florida is leading to more than just screaming on gun control. Those who believe in gun rights are pushing back against the easy, feel good fix. We could take away the guns, but it won’t change the killing – it will only change the method. No, this time we are forcing the conversation onto values, permissiveness, lack of family structure, and parental responsibility.
I don’t have any answers. (Remember I send my child to school with a prayer every day.) But I do know that real change will only happen with real conversation that includes True Values and Responsibility.
If we stand for nothing, our children will fall for everything. I want to do more than pray it isn’t in another attack that everyone saw coming.