Tuesday, February 27, 2018

My thoughts on gun control

As a recovering rule follower, I may skirt the edges of social issues, but I have long avoided unwritten social taboos with friends and family. That most definitely includes politics, especially in this polarizing climate. But when does not saying anything, my inaction, speak just as loudly as action? When is silence interpreted as contentment with the status quo?

So while my opinion may be unfavorable, I owe this to my children. I won't stay silent any longer. The issue of guns is a politically charged one and seemingly complicated one for some, but why? Hasn't it truly become an ethical issue? Does anyone, healthy, stable, depressed, suicidal, need access to an assault weapon and fifty rounds of ammunition? A "right" to own a gun for sport is not more important than my right to safety. There is no sport that requires a weapon that will shred your organs, rendering the shot fatal every time (read more on that here).

Arming teachers or security guards is not a solution, it is dangerous. It will likely discourage good teachers from teaching (an important perspective here) and personally, I don't want my children in a school where weapons are allowed period.

I am not naive to think that banning these weapons eliminates gun deaths and school shootings, but our country is begging for immediate response to stop the literal bleed. Only then can we begin to repair the national health crisis and family and moral disintegration in society. 

I shook my head in shame as I watched Waukesha's superintendent make national news. My hometown declared a walkout over gun control to be "disruptive" and the participating students "would face disciplinary action." A mass shooting is disruptive. Young children worrying about safety and participating in practice lockdown drills is disruptive. A walkout to commemorate the lives lost in Florida's shooting is honorable.

Texas superintendent is threatening a suspension for any participants. "A school is a place to learn and grow educationally, emotionally and morally. A disruption of the school will not be tolerated." 

School should be a place to learn and grow, and one where children worry about math tests instead of personal safety. But what better way stimulate growth, spirituality and maturity than to encourage children to empathize with families who lost loved ones to mass violence. Inspire children to form their own opinions about gun regulation. Furthermore, we know violence begins with disconnection; in our schools, our communities, our families. Don't deter children from connecting with one another to support a cause they believe.

As parents, we teach our children to question and stand up for unjust and amoral behavior, even if that behavior is currently "acceptable" under the law. While adults and politicians hash out various sides of the argument, our young students are taking a stand against gun violence in our country the only way they legally can. I applaud them for using their voices to encourage positive change and I hope one day my own children will do the same.

It's silly, but over the course of the last week, my mind keeps going to the last scene in Wonder Woman (although not normally my movie genre, I highly recommend it). Aries, long thought to be the source of evil, admits that while he influences humans with ideas and weapons, they start wars on their own. I had not considered humans to be so self-destructive until recently. Yes, we can still choose to see the good in our daily lives, but our children our looking to us to save them and fight for a world we know it to be. On a personal level, that begins in our own homes; on a national level, that begins with gun control.

Post a Comment

© Lake House Effect. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.