Tuesday, October 13, 2015

This shouldn't be my first reaction

Imagine this, if you will.

You are sitting in your office during prep time, eating a quick snack and checking e-mails.  Suddenly, out of the silence, you hear screams.  Terrified screams.

Your heart leaps into your throat.  In this day and age with all of the school shootings, you imagine the worse.  Someone has a gun in your building.

You freeze.  You don't know where the screams are coming from.  Do you barricade yourself in your office?  Do you try and make a quick getaway down the stairs that are across the hall?  Has the unthinkable actually happened to your school?  You wait for the unmistakable pop of gunshot.

Then you hear laughter.  You calm down and realize that there is no threat and everything is safe. 

This scenario happened to me today.  My office is on the second floor of our three story building, directly across from the stairwell.  Upon further investigation of this scenario I discovered that the students in the computer lab on the third floor directly above you are playing pranks on one another on the computers with scary Halloween stuff.  All is fine.

All I could do is shake my head.  Why is it that my first reaction upon hearing terrified screams is that there is someone with a gun in our building?  It shouldn't be my first reaction but in this day and age, it is.  As of four days ago, there have been 52 school shootings this year in this country.  52.  That's roughly 1 1/2 shootings per week on average.

When is something going to be done about this?

Before I delve any further, let me say that I am a proud supporter of the 2nd amendment.  I believe in the right to bear arms if you are a law abiding citizen.  My family hunts and we fully have every intent of purchasing a handgun to eventually have for protection.  All firearms in my house are locked away and the key's location will be known only to my husband and myself.

What I don't understand, though is why nothing is being done about this.  So many politicians are raging against our current system yet few have done anything.

What I also don't understand is why it has to be so black and white.  Many who support the second amendment feel that any restrictions take away their rights, therefore there shouldn't be any regulations.  Many who don't support it feel that all guns should be banned.  Neither is the answer.

As with anything nowadays, there needs to be middle ground.  Guns do serve a purpose when used properly.  Protection and for hunting are the major ones.  However, we are required to have licenses and registration for cars, why are people so afraid of that for guns? I agree that guns are not the problem.  People are the problem.  But because people are the problem, we need to be open to regulations of the requirements of gun ownership.

I'm not going to dive anymore into the political side of this problem because honestly it shouldn't be political.  Students (and teachers) should feel safe in the environment they spend the most time in other than home.

In reading this scenario, did your mind go to the same place mine did?  I had a few colleagues who heard the screams that had the same reaction. 

That is so messed up.  Think about it.  School shootings have become such a norm that hearing screams sends your mind there first.  School shootings should not be a norm.  They should be a rarity, even non-existent.

Something is wrong.  Something needs to be done.  We can't keep sticking our heads in the sand and wishing it goes away.  Imagine your school or your child's school is next.  Would you still hold the same beliefs?

I don't want to be scared anymore.

School shootings since 2013.  From vox.com


  1. I must admit that as a French woman, I don't understand how you can possibly still support the second amendment...The feeling you describe is just unimaginable to me. How can you live and work with that fear? I imagine it is part of your culture and of the way you were brought up but in my view, nothing can justify the right to bear a gun. No guns, no shootings. It is not just a case of mental health. Not all the people who committed crimes are mentally ill although it would be much more reassuring for us to think so.

    1. You are definitely correct that it is a cultural thing. First of all, logistically, banning all guns now would be a huge mess.

      There are truly people in this culture that rely on them for their livelihood. Many (including my family) hunt for food. I also live in Wisconsin, and there are a lot of deer here. If we didn't hunt them, they would take over and people would hit them all the time with their cars. People also have saved their own lives by having their own gun and being able to protect themselves. Guns can be used for good as well as harm.

  2. People also hunt over here but the right to do so is strictly controlled. Je dois dire que je ne comprends pas du tout l'argument de la self-defense...it is a vicious circle. I read a very thoughtful and intelligent article of the New York Times on the subject the other day, it is really worth reading. I can't copy/paste the link here for some reason but the title is "To Ban or Not to Ban, A New Way to Tackle Gun Deaths".