UPDATED: We posted this on February 22nd 2018. It's now May 18th 2018 and we're seeing the headlines of another horrific school shooting in Texas.
My 8th grader came home from school today and told me about the conversation they had in Home Economics.
Her teacher told the kids that if they ever had an active shooter in their school, that in her classroom, they would arm themselves. They would grab knives, throw microwaves, do whatever they could, and that she would go down fighting for them. She told them that she would take a bullet for them.
And in that moment, when I’m thinking to myself that I wouldn’t mind if her Home Ec. teacher had a gun, and just as all we seem to be hearing is that if we would just arm our teachers and schools and that it would take JUST ONE trained person with a gun on site, we see this headline:
As Gunman Rampaged Through Florida School, Armed Deputy ‘Never Went In’
“He never went in,” Sheriff Israel said in a news conference. He said the video showed Deputy Peterson doing “nothing.”
So there was a trained, armed deputy, literally standing outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while shots were being fired — who did nothing.
That one TRAINED guy with a gun, who by the estimation of all of the NRA backed politicians, should have been able to stop that whole thing.
And maybe, just maybe that one trained gun owner knew deep down that he was no match for an AR-15. Have you read about what the AR-15 does? You should.
But you know, why would we ever want to limit access to those weapons? It’s our right.
Oh, and here’s another good reason to not do anything about those weapons . . . my Utah state Senator Mike Lee says that they are just too hard to distinguish from hunting rifles. GO HOME MIKE.
I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I’m registered as an Independent. And at times like these, I’m wishing like the rest of America that there was some moderate, logical, sensible voice of calm to address these issues.
When I hear from the mouths of politicians “It’s not TIME to talk about gun control” my head falls off. I guess you’re right, it’s not time, the time HAS PASSED. And this isn’t just about gun control, it’s about ALL THE THINGS related to this problem. Let’s talk about all the things. All the ways to solve it. I’m sure there are some great ideas on both sides of the aisle.
This problem touches everyone. I sit here, in a really nice, safe, suburban neighborhood. I can look just one street away and find a woman that I know who’s daughter was shot and her grand daughter killed in a mass shooting at a mall here in SLC. One of the dad’s on my son’s soccer team was shot at random in a restaurant less than 15 minutes from our house. Just two years ago, our streets were locked down as an officer had been shot and killed in a regular traffic stop. He was shot two doors down from the house I grew up in and just a couple of miles from my home now. My children helped line the streets to honor him during his funeral procession.
The summer of my junior year of high school I went to Europe with our Art History class. I got a haircut in London, and the girl cutting my hair asked me about living in the United States, and if I was afraid of guns. That was 1995. I laughed. I told her no.
It’s 2018, and YES I’m afraid of guns. I, like many others, think about it when I go to the mall, when I go to the movies, to concerts, to church, and now more than ever, when I send my kids out the door to school.
I get it, there are people with problems using the guns. Let’s talk about how to solve the people problems. We glorify violence and gun use in our media. We have a media and entertainment problem. Let’s talk about that. The ease of access to guns and the types of guns being used are a problem. Let’s talk about that too. Honestly, HOW CAN WE NOT TALK ABOUT THAT?
What other preventative measures and protections do we need at schools and in public places? Let’s talk about that too. What kind of early interventions can we put in place to identify and diffuse those who are a risk to the public? Let’s talk about that too. EVERYONE needs to be talking about how to fix this problem. Not the right, not the left, EVERYONE.
Your time has PASSED.
You’ve failed us. You’ve failed our children.
Stand for something — or leave your office and replace yourself with someone who is built to do this kind of work.
Those are the people we need now.