On This Issue I Can No Longer Keep Silent: Gun Control. Now.
I know normally I write about how relieved I am when the bus whisks my kids away, because they’ve been busy being jerks. Today was different.
My older son stayed home from school today while he gets over the flu, and it was actually a relief. You see, as my younger son got on the bus, I had tears in my eyes and an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I thought of all the parents who have sent their kids off to school on days like yesterday, unknowing that it would be the last day they would see their child alive. It used to be unimaginable that someone would ever come into a school and open hellfire upon children and their teachers. Or at night clubs and concerts. Or anywhere.
When I was a kid, we practiced fire and tornado drills, and that was the extent of what we needed to learn to keep ourselves safe in an emergency at school. Now teachers must practice going through hard lock downs with our children — to teach them what to do to save their lives if someone comes into the school to try to kill them. We are constantly requiring more and more of our teachers to educate our children. But isn’t it too much to require them to basically be soldiers to defend and protect our children from a murderer?
I normally don’t like to discuss politics. I loathe debate in general and when I have been daring enough to share my political beliefs, it’s taken its toll on a few friendships. But on this I can’t remain silent any longer. When are our lawmakers going to say enough is enough? I cannot for the life of me understand why it’s okay for people to be able to own semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
“But our 2nd Amendment Rights!!!” Well, you know what? When our founding fathers wrote that, AK-15s were something they hadn’t even imagined. The weapons people had then could be fired 2-3 times per minute by skilled soldiers. An average shooter today can effortlessly shoot a semi-automatic weapon about 2 times per second.
I don’t have a problem with responsible people owning guns for hunting or sport — I grew up in a home with shotguns and rifles, and I was even a pretty proficient trap shooter. My dad and brothers hunted as well. Before I ever shot a gun, I went through a gun safety course through the DNR. Guns in our home were kept locked up and the ammunition locked separately on a different floor of the house. Guns weren’t something you took lightly.
Some people feel the need to own a handgun to protect themselves in their homes. While that’s not something I’m comfortable with, especially when children could potentially have access to them, handgun owners aren’t out to commit mass killings. If someone feels the need to own an assault weapon for “sport,” I suggest they find another hobby. The only purpose of an assault weapon with high capacity magazines is for rapid, mass catastrophic devastation and murder. Plain and simple.
There is blame to go around the world 10 times. How about instead of spending our time blaming, let’s start doing something about this. This is not an all-or-nothing issue. Let’s start with semi-automatic weapons, high capacity magazines, background checks…and getting help for those who would not pass that check. Can we start there please? I am going to send these thoughts to my congressional representatives today. Let’s make our voices heard.