School shootings are a reality we can’t continue to ignore

School shootings are a reality we can’t continue to ignore

“Saying gun control hurts our freedom is a false argument amounting to propaganda. Gun laws don’t curtail freedom any more than speed limits or seat belts. You still get to drive your car and have guns, we’re just trying to save lives as you do.” ― DaShanne Stokes

On May 7, 2019, an 18-year-old student was killed in a school shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado after two fellow students entered the school armed with guns and intent.

The student was just three days away from graduating high school and starting a life filled with promise, hope and opportunity. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family who I’m choosing not to identify out of respect.

School shootings greatly concern me on a very personal level. You see, my wife has been an educator for almost twenty years, and I always thought she was in a profession where I never had to worry about her coming home safely at the end of the day.

But in today’s day in age, I fear her safety in an environment both she and students should always feel secure.

The topic of school shootings is a very divisive issue that seems to have no gray area. Obviously, there is no discussing the issue without including the NRA – a special interest group with supposed ties to many Washington politicians.

I keep hoping that the NRA and Washington will stop making excuses and start coming up with solutions. Acknowledging a problem exists and then coming to a compromise that honors those who have lost their lives in school shootings to date, while making our current educational institutions feel cared for and even respected.

But the excuses abound it seems. Here are just some of the things the NRA blames for school shootings. I wonder if those card-carrying members believe the same.

  • We live in a culture of violence
  • Godlessness
  • There are too many doors in schools
  • Unhealthy diets
  • Ritalin and overmedication of children
  • Our culture is too progressive
  • Mainstream media
  • Masculinity stereotypes

While I don’t disagree that some of these may very well be responsible for the mental instability plaguing youngsters today, I find it rather convenient that of all the areas they’ve assigned blame to, none of that blame falls on their shoulders.

I’m not at all trying to attack the NRA with this post. However, you can’t very well be a part of a solution if you refuse to identify yourself as part of the problem.

Perhaps that’s why very few solutions have come from the NRA when it comes to school shootings, as they continue to support the antiquated mantra that “guns don’t kill people – people kill people”.

But writer and lawyer Michael Shammas has an interesting take on that belief. “The “guns don’t kill people” argument is flawed because it sidesteps the debate. The issue is not whether guns can spontaneously kill people on their own. The issue involves how incredibly easy a modern weapon makes killing.”

Let’s face it, guns are the weapon of choice for a reason over knives, bombs or even bow and arrows. Guns get the job done quicker and often with greater casualties. Surely gun lovers across the country must understand and agree with that conclusion.

Our government was elected to protect its citizens – that is the oath and responsibility they all agreed to when they took office. Yet it’s been sadly replaced by greed and their own self-conservation.

What happened to the courageous men and women in our government who aren’t afraid to stand up to big businesses and special interest groups and instead do what’s right for the people they lead?

Why is the subject of school shootings not being discussed by every presidential hopeful and on the Senate floor in Washington on a regular basis?

Why are we so willing to turn a blind eye to school shootings as though the massacres of young children and teenagers is simply a way of life we must now accept?

The answer to all of the above is that our government lacks the moral courage to stand up for society and empty their pockets of those who control them. For as Peter Drucker once said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Perhaps if the young children of an NRA member or NRA supported politician were brutally gunned down in school shootings, then perhaps they might start to engage in a constructive discussion on how guns most definitely play a role in the violence. And I pray that they never have to experience such a heart wrenching loss in their own families.

While I’m sure they’d argue otherwise to the point above, opinions change drastically when that which you have adamantly supported has suddenly taken the life of someone you loved dearly.