I’m thinking if we replace the words “the shooter” with “our student” or “my child” we might get a whole different perspective on things.
Let’s protect ALL our students.
I’m a teacher. I’m not a Marine. I do not want to have to make the choice to shoot one child to save another. I don’t want to be put in a position where I might be responsible for “collateral damage” that might include my own students. I don’t want to have to walk around my class with an assault rifle slung over my shoulder while I’m teaching a lesson on cosines and tangents, or Shakespeare, or the geography of Asia – a gun might be kind of a distraction to my students, you know? Do not think that you are solving the problem of school shootings by arming teachers. Frankly, that is one of the most ludicrous, insane, nonsensical propositions I have ever heard.
Did you all see the video clip of the high schoolers protesting at the White House today? Young people are not going to put up with crap. They aren’t going to put up with homophobia, racism, corporate greed, self-serving politicians or the NRA. Our young people give me hope for this world. They are articulate, educated, informed, and they know how to “spread the word” to each other.
The times they are a-changin’.
And it’s none too soon.
“Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
“Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.”
– Bob Dylan
A friend of mine – a brilliant and thoughtful young man – someone who describes himself as “conservative” – who’s currently serving in the United States Navy and dedicated to protecting our Constitution – sent me a really articulate message the other day. Because he’s someone who knows guns and has been trained to use them in service to our country, I thought he offered a valuable perspective. I asked him if I could share his thoughts. He gave me permission. (Because of his position in the military I’m going to keep his name anonymous.) Here’s what he wrote:
“Hey Karen. I know this is a scary time for all of you teachers, especially with what happened. As you know, I am more conservative, but I think you would agree with my view on gun control: the Constitution explicitly states: ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’ Most conservatives miss the important line: A WELL REGULATED MILITIA. To me, that does not mean random citizens stockpiling weapons in their garage, or people buying high-powered weapons to simply play with. It means well-organized, trained, local security groups with standardized training and security practices, and that training should be coming from standardized government entities, such as the National Guard. At least, that’s how I interpret it. So when the NRA loudly states that ‘all civilians should be able to buy guns and that they need guns if the government tries to take over their rights’ I can’t help but laugh. Because if the government even tried to do that, the military would be obligated to protect the citizenry against the government due to its oath to the constitution and the country. That is my view. Gun control solutions and mental health solutions must be pursued at the same time. There are so many mental health resources out there that schools and hospitals simply don’t take seriously or under utilize.”
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war…”
This might help you understand where I am right now: This morning as I was getting dressed I debated whether I should wear my Danskos or my Skechers. I decided on the Skechers. If I need to be able to move fast, help my students get out of the building, and jump for the tree outside my office window, I think Skechers would work best, right?
Yeah. God is Love. Love will protect. And so forth. I believe that. But Love also provides us with the wisdom, and Mind provides us with the intelligence, to take the sensible steps we need to take in our human lives. Just as Jesus didn’t leap out of the tower when he was tempted to (“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”) – I believe we need to not throw ourselves out of 12-story windows to see if God will save us. And we need not make available to private citizens the type of guns that were designed to kill large numbers of people in a very short time. Common sense, people. Common sense.
Someone commented on one of my posts that more people get struck by lightning every year than have been killed in school shootings. About that: If you choose to stand on the top of a hill holding a metal rod during a lightning storm your odds of being struck by lightning increase a lot. And if we, as a society, choose to allow these types of guns in the hands of people who have no business owning them, we shouldn’t be surprised if a lot of innocent people die.
We need gun control now.
Click here to see a map of the mass shootings since Sandy Hook.
We could have a world where
children – all children
went to school and were safe
and didn’t need to worry
about losing their lives while
they tried to get an education
We could have a world where
all people – of every gender and race,
religion and age and political party
were treated equally, without bias
or discrimination or prejudice
or bullying, or bigotry
We could have a world where
everyone cared about protecting
the environment and the creatures
who share Earth and no one
tried to take more than they
needed, and people shared
We could have a world in which
we pooled our resources to feed
the hungry, and heal the sick,
and shelter the homeless, and
educate the ignorant, and reach
for the stars
– Karen Molenaar Terrell
“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.”
– Mary Baker Eddy
When I drove home from work yesterday I noticed the flag was flying at half-staff again. I knew then there’d been another shooting. When I got home I learned two students had been shot and killed at a school in New Mexico. The story of the shooting came at the end of the news program. Death by gunfire at a school is now so commonplace it’s not considered top news anymore.
The NRA stinks.
And now a poem –
The flag is at half-staff again
I can’t remember the last time
I saw it waving from the top
of the pole.
Days? Weeks? Months? Years?
Someday it will rise again,
someday when we put our fears
to rest, and begin
to trust each other once more,
put down our weapons of words
and steel, and pour healing
love into our nation’s wounds.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Brush of Angel Wings
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war…” – Ecclesiastes 9:18
I’m so beyond debating gun control. While we’ve wasted time back-and-forthing the pros and cons we’ve lost more lives. Guns do not belong in the hands of terrorists and people who are mentally unstable. This seems like one of those “duh” things to me. Assault rifles – designed to kill large numbers of people in a very short time – do not belong in the hands of anyone except law enforcement officers and the men and women in the armed forces. Again – this seems like a “duh” thing to me.
Last weekend my community experienced tragedy when a rifle got in the hands of the wrong person.
This morning Houston is experiencing tragedy.
When is this insanity going to end?