I had a lot of trouble writing this post. The idea’s been tumbling around in my brain for a week. And I’ve known exactly what I want to say. But knowing what you want to write and actually getting the words out are two different things and, frankly, I wasn’t sure I had the guts to actually put pen-to-paper (or, more appropriately, fingers-to-keys) on this one. So before we get too far along here, please keep in mind that all of what I’ll say has probably been said before, and has probably been said in better, more moving ways.
Today, I’m going to talk about school shootings.
I am not a parent. I don’t put children on their buses in the morning. I do, however, send someone I love beyond words, one of the most important people in my life off to school each and every day. My fiancé is a teacher.
When gun violence occurs in schools, it always brings up many, many thoughts and emotions. One of the most prominent is the knowledge that if something horrific like a shooting were to occur at my fiancé’s workplace, he would be expected to do everything in his power to protect the children in his care. Which he would absolutely do, not because he was expected to, but because he adores his students. He works unbelievably hard to create a safe, welcoming, and supportive learning environment for them. Teaching truly is his passion. Usually that means staying up until 2 am creating a boardgame to teach the importance of resource management and trading, or going online to buy blue raspberry Jolly Ranchers in bulk because they’re his classes’ favorite flavor.
But in an alternate, twisted scenario, that same passion for teaching and desire to do everything he can for children who are only entrusted to him for a single year, who are not biologically his, could put him in harm’s way.
Gun violence is a problem and I don’t know what the solution is. Anytime a shooting occurs, people from all walks of life come forward with solutions: better treatment for mental health, stricter gun control laws, security in schools, teachers carrying firearms, the list goes on and on. And despite all the talk, nothing happens and another tragedy occurs again. There have been too many. Enough is enough.
What can I do? Write to elected officials and legislators? Protest?
What can I do?