Friday, February 23, 2018

We all want the same thing: for our kids to be safe

How do we keep our kids safe when "see something, say something" does not work? When school is a potential target for evil acts? I wish I knew the answers. My heart is still broken after so much school violence in the US, most recently at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida, just 45 minutes from where my niece and nephew attend school. 

"She must've texted me three times. Please call the police. Please call the police. Tell them somebody's hurt on my building in my floor." -Parent, Lissette Rozenblat who received these texts from her daughter that afternoon.

People on either end of political extremes will tell you the answer is simple. However, those of us who use critical thinking skills and reasoning know that it is not that simple.

Arm teachers with guns? 

I can tell you, I do not know one single teacher who wants to carry a gun. Teachers are trained to teach and support kids, not act as armed protective services. I do not think any of us, except our heroes who have served in war, could ever know exactly how we would react in a deadly situation facing an assault rifle. And sadly, MSDHS had an armed officer. He sat outside the building while students and teachers died by bullets. He was trained! However, when it came down to do-or-die, he did... nothing. He was not able to make a difference. How do you defend against an assault rifle, anyway?!

"As parents, we shouldn’t have to worry when we drop our kids off at school that it could be the last time we see them. But we do." -Kim, Duluth Moms Blog 

Beef up school security? 

It is a sad fact that kids need as much security as possible at schools. Security measures will take time to implement, and a lot of money. School districts do not have those funds. Most counties do not have those funds. I do not know where the money would come from. We need it. But on the flip side, you have to ask yourself... is someone who is hell bent on killing going to pause when the metal detector beeps? Or obey any other security measures? They can enter a building in some way, somehow, if they have the fire power.

"See something, say something" should have worked. There were so many warnings... and saying something to the police and FBI (more than once) completely failed. Having an armed officer on campus should have helped. All of the drills and practices and safety speeches should have helped. A "background check" prior to assault rifle purchase should have stopped evil. These things did not  keep teenagers and teachers safe. Now our country grieves. Again.  

What are we to do? I want to see it become extremely difficult to obtain an assault weapon. Really, really, really difficult. With a long waiting period, mental health evaluation, school records check, employment record check, and personal reference checks. Somehow, we need to review current ownership as well. I have to give my personal information to purchase Sudafed for a stuffy nose and I am prohibited from buying too much at one time. So please explain to me how someone, like the Las Vegas shooter, is allowed to own multiple weapons designed for human death? It makes no sense.

I am sad and I am angry. We all need this insanity and evil to stop.

I love my children.
I love yours too.
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