I’ve started and deleted this post dozens of times. This week there was another school shooting. I’ve written about gun violence on here before, and since that most recent post over 2 years ago we’ve had dozens of school shootings and nothing has changed. Honestly, I don’t know what I could write that hasn’t been said every single time there is a shooting.
It’s nice that politicians want to offer thoughts and prayers, but since they believe in supporting the NRA more than supporting what citizens want as far as gun control I really don’t care about their thoughts and prayers. A majority of Americans believe in universal background checks, not allowing those on the Do Not Fly list to have weapons, banning assault rifles, not allowing people with a history of domestic violence or mental illness to have guns, and to stop the sales of high quantity ammunition. But even though a majority of Americans want those things to happen, certain politicians feel like it would be wrong to prevent anyone (no matter their violent or mental health history) from owning how ever many guns they want.
Since the rights and ideas of the NRA are more important than the rights and ideas of citizens right now, I doubt anything will change. If having children shot in an elementary school couldn’t convince politicians that change needs to happen, I don’t know what will. And I understand that having some gun control regulations won’t stop all mass shootings, but they will stop many of them. The shooter this week had a history of mental illness and even posted on YouTube that he was going to become a school shooter. Yet he was still allowed to get a gun and the FBI did nothing about the warning they got from someone alerting them to the comment.
There are also some politicians who say that we need to respect the victims and survivors and not politicize this tragedy and at a later date mental health and gun violence can be discussed. But the students who survived this shooting are telling people to politicize this because they know change needs to happen. They know that if it doesn’t happen now, it will be forgotten and nothing will be accomplished. That’s what happened after Sandy Hook and Las Vegas. We were called rude and heartless for saying something needs to be changed after those tragedies. The Las Vegas shooting wasn’t even 5 months ago and people have forgotten about it because so many other horrible things have happened.
This is not ok. All shootings are horrible, but school shootings are just heart wrenching. I remember after Columbine (which happened when I was in high school) how scary it was and that was the only school shooting I was aware of. I was scared, but I also believed that it couldn’t happen to me because it was so rare. But now it seems like there are school shootings every week. There are some inflated numbers by how many shootings there have been in 2018, but the low number that even conservative news is using is that this is the 5th school shooting in 2018. There have only been 5 or 6 weeks of school in 2018 so far so that is about 1 school shooting a week. Why do some politicians think this is ok?
So many of my friends with kids have had to bring them to school after a shooting when their kid was terrified that they would be shot at school. I can’t imagine how horrible that would be. I remember after Sandy Hook being at a friend’s house and watching the news while her kids were playing. Watching them play while knowing that kids the same age were killed while at school that day broke my heart. I don’t know how you could have the strength to explain to a kid that they should be safe at school when you have no clue what will happen. Or how terrified you would be if you heard that there was a shooting in your city and you weren’t sure if your kid was ok. I wish no parent had to have that feeling anymore, but sadly I know that won’t be true.
I really don’t know what else I can say about this situation. And while I feel helpless, there are ways to help. The group Everytown has shared ideas of what to do to make sure we have politicians that will honor what the majority of the country wants in terms of gun control.
No matter what your political viewpoint is, hopefully you agree that gun violence is out of control. There are steps that can help reduce it that are not being implemented because the NRA doesn’t want them to happen. We cannot let the NRA determine what is best for everyone when a majority disagrees. And we cannot allow politicians to get away with claiming how gun control is getting rid of all guns. I know responsible gun owners and they agree that gun control is needed. It shouldn’t be easier to get a gun than it is to drive a car. If you are deemed a violent risk to be on an airplane, you shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun to use on the ground. If you have a history of hitting your spouse or partner, you shouldn’t have a gun so the next time you get violent you can kill them.
I agree with Everytown when they said we don’t have to live like this and we don’t have to die like this. We have the power to make a change if we are willing to take it.