musings, Random

It’s Time

It is not often I share personal opinions on my blog as it is safer to write about food or travel or art. The recent tragedy at Parkland High School, however, compels me to speak out because it is silence that keeps change from happening. One thing I know for sure is that these senseless killings must not continue and our voices must be heard.

Americans own more guns than people in any other country.  We’ve not had them in our house, and in these parts that may be the exception rather than the norm. Now I have no problem with regular people like you and me owning guns provided they are gotten through appropriate channels and used primarily for recreational purposes. That does not include shooting aimlessly into a crowd of people. What I do have a problem with is the seemingly easy access to high powered automatic assault rifles.  Couple that with mental illness and there is a recipe for disaster as evidenced in the mass killings that have occurred since Columbine.

Why politicians have been so slow to address these tragedies with more than a sympathetic comment or two is beyond me, but maybe, just maybe, the current response of this country’s teenagers will get their attention. This is not a time for left vs. right or Republican vs. Democrat. It is a time for every effort to be made to stop these acts of uncalled for violence that rock the country. For sure, there must be more rigid controls and background checks that make it harder for anyone to buy weapons, but that alone will not prevent another tragedy. 

In the near term, maybe we as individuals can have an impact by supporting those businesses like WalMart and Dick’s Sporting Goods that are pulling assault rifles from their inventory. We can choose to acknowledge our approval of and do business with those like Delta and United airlines, Hertz, MetLife, Wyndham and so many others who’ve withdrawn their support from the NRA. We can let our elected officials know that it’s time for them to take action.

It is time for all of us who call America home to come together to help create a safer place to work, go to school, attend concerts, walk in the park. I’d like to think that can be done without arming teachers who have no experience with guns. Am I an idealist? Yes, but I believe in the goodness of people and think that together we can help right some wrongs. Won’t you join me?

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Let’s Talk

question markPick up a newspaper or news magazine, turn on television or radio and the subject is quite likely to be guns and gun control.  Now, I don’t know what the answers are, but one thing I find very disturbing  is the idea that teachers should have handguns in the classroom and be trained to use them.

No doubt this notion evolved from the recent Newtown massacre which broke our hearts and gave rise to much of the recent discussion.  Could a teacher held gun have prevented the incident?  Somehow I think not, but that’s not the whole issue.
As a one time teacher, I can’t imagine having a gun in the classroom, either on my person or hidden away.  Let’s suppose a wildly firing person came into my room, could I get to the gun fast enough for it to do any good?  And, if I did, doesn’t two people shooting increase the potential for uncontrolled mayhem?  Would that keep children safer?  So many questions.  Aside from these are others, like where does a teacher keep a gun to ensure that no child has access to it?  
With questions such as these rolling around in my head, I worry about the decisions that will be forthcoming.  Gun control is a serious issue yet there seems to be no control.  It is amazing that guns are so readily available to anyone, yes anyone, who wants one.  No  attention is given to the mental stability of the buyer or his intent.   That apparently can be attributed to one’s constitutional  right to bear arms.  I wonder, though, do the arms have to be assault weapons such as those used in Colorado and Connecticut?
Whatever laws are eventually imposed will most likely come from Washington, and in this matter I hope that our elected leaders will present a united front and not, as so often happens, base their responses on political affiliation.  They have a responsibility to us all to treat this issue with respect and common sense.
I am not a gun person which is not to say I object to other people having them provided there are guidelines for possession.  What I really wish right now is that we could sit down together, share our opinions and offer our ideas for sane solutions.  No matter how we move forward, there’s no guarantee that we will not experience other tragedies committed by someone whose wires are unfortunately crossed.  That in itself leads to another whole topic, mental illness, for discussion.
Such weighty thoughts for a Sunday afternoon.  I hope you will share yours. 
i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind