This picture of my 8 year old daughter’s hair being swatted by the kitty while she and the dog hide in the smallest space in a cabinet, is adorable. It looks like a silly little girl playing with her best friends. It looks like they are having fun, and they are, but this picture came from a drill that my husband and I unfortunately had to teach our children. A drill, that we shouldn’t have had to teach them. A drill very similar to a fire or an earthquake drill, but this isn’t to prepare her for some unpredictable act of nature. We felt it necessary to drill her to be prepared for an unpredictable act from another human being. It’s a much scarier thought than an earthquake to me. We were teaching our girls to hide if they hear gun fire in their classrooms. We were teaching them, through fear, to play dead if they have to. We had to teach our little girls how to protect themselves from being shot! It’s absolutely the worst fear for me right now, besides them growing up. I can’t protect my little girls from a gun while they are at school. This fear is a reality for all of us parents now. I saw a quote that said “One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns.”-John Oliver
I’m not a overly political person, but I do have opinions that I mostly keep to myself. I feel that rational people don’t need to scream their political and social opinions to the world. Their everyday actions will show their beliefs, just by living them. That “Golden rule” idea. I also know that most people really don’t want to hear my opinion. Most people only like to hear their own voices and people who agree with them. I’m the same way. I fear confrontation, probably more than a lot of people. I’m the person who will give up my spot in line, just so some angry person can hurry up and go away. Being inconvenienced doesn’t bother me too much. People shooting at my baby in her classroom because they are angry or disturbed, is an inconvenience I’m not willing to make though.
Many of the people in my life have guns, love guns, hunt, and believe in their right to have guns. I personally, have never liked them and that’s just my heart. My husband has a gun safe filled with tons of different guns and bullets and I joke with him that he’s a redneck preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. I don’t deny him the right to have his guns just because I don’t like them. I’ve even shot some a few times and he goes over how to use it for me every few years, because I can never remember how to take the safety off. I personally would have more sense of mind to hop out of my balcony before I’d remember how to load the magazine and unlock the safety before a bad guy got me. I don’t deny him his guns, but I had to put my foot down on a gun safe for them. If we were going to have them in my house, they needed to be accessible to only him, because he’s the only one who knows how to use them properly. Now we have a huge, I don’t know how many thousands of dollars and pounds, gun safe. He’s happy, I’m happy.
I don’t pretend to know a solution to a disturbed person getting a hold of a gun if they really wanted one, but what we’ve been doing isn’t working. Why should my babies be scared to go to school? Why should my husband have to point out the exits at every movie we go to, and remind the girls to play dead if someone starts shooting at a public place? Why is my right to feel safe denied so that everybody who wants a gun can have one? I know it’s not guns who kill, but it’s a lot harder to kill if they don’t have easy access to guns and high powered guns, and magazines that hold tons of rounds, and more bullets than any one person could use in their lifetime doing just target practice. Why does any regular citizen need a semi automatic gun, unless they are a military personnel or police? Is there a whole army of people looking to break into your house in the middle of the night for a big screen tv?
My point is, it should be even more difficult to get a gun. If you are a legitimate, responsible gun owner, you won’t mind a few more hoops and regulations added in the interest of making sure people are safe. A bad guy can shoot a responsible gun owner’s children too. Gun and bullet purchases should be tracked and documented more so that if someone starts buying up a bunch of weapons, they get a friendly visit from the gun checkers. (I don’t know what they’re called, but somebody whose job it is to make sure people who have guns are doing it safely.) I have to have a home inspection to adopt a pet from the animal shelter. They are checking that I will be a responsible pet owner and that I have a good home for them. Why can’t a gun owner have a home inspection? Why shouldn’t a gun owner be willing to allow a gun checker into their home to make sure they have a proper gun safe? Why shouldn’t a gun safe be a requirement to owning a gun before you can buy a gun? If you are a normal same person, why wouldn’t you mind having a mental evaluation and proper gun safety as a requirement to owning a gun? Our police force requires all police to do that before they give them a gun. They don’t just “take it on their word”, that a newly hired police will be responsible.
I’ve seen the post going around that the Oklahoma City bomber killed more people a just as many children as Sandy Hook did. This is some way saying that if you want to kill a bunch of people, you will find a way, but there’s a problem with that. First, why just lay all the weapons, literally and figuratively, out on that table and let the disturbed person choose? Why can’t we limit a disturbed person’s ability to get access to a gun, just because he can figure out other ways? The fact is, after the Oklahoma City bombing, Congress tried to come up with legislation that would make people show identification when buying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and for sellers to maintain records of its sale. The chemical makeup of the things he used to make his bomb were changed, by the manufacturers, so that somebody couldn’t do it again. Those manufacturers took the responsibility on themselves to not let that happen again. They didn’t say “Oh well, bad things happen. There’s nothing I can do about it.” The government also started putting up permanent barricades to protect against a possible future attack at all government buildings. We’ve all seen them, and by now we are used to them. These are changes that took place to protect people. Some people didn’t like the ideas and tried to claim that their rights were being taken away just because some crazy guy made weapons out of things he shouldn’t have. His conscience should have stopped him. He had a mental illness. I don’t have mental illness and I would never do that, why shouldn’t I be able to buy all the ammonium nitrate I want to? This is America! I have to the right to do whatever I want and the government shouldn’t be able to stop me. But those changes that seemed like a big deal then, are now just part of normal life. What they thought was going to be a big inconvenience, really isn’t that big of a deal.
I just saw the new James Bond movie with my gun loving husband. He loved all the shooting and chasing, and killing. I loved that gun that could only fire for James, James Bond. What an amazing idea. There are plenty of things that 15 years ago you would have seen in a movie and you’d say to yourself “Thats so cool, but thats science fiction. That gadget could never be real.” Said every smartphone user. Why can’t the gun manufacturers put more safety measures into place so that if someone who’s not supposed to have a gun gets it, can’t fire it?
There has to be some way that people, our government, and our industry come together to find solutions that work to make killing our children harder to do. Bad people find ways to do bad things, but we need to fight a higher moral battle with them, not by arming ourselves with more guns, but by being smarter than a mentally disturbed person. Preaching that nothing should change is disturbing to this Mommy and I’m not afraid of this confrontation this time, because my babies are more important to me than your right to have all the guns you want.
I don’t usually give my opinion on social and political topics, because I know that my opinion makes no difference, but I feel like, if I say something, no matter how many people yell and scream that they hate my thoughts, at least I didn’t just lie there and let nothing happen. I’m not saying take guns away from all people. I’d be pretty upset if somebody tried to take away my chocolate because it’s making me fat. I’m saying there needs to be changes to our gun laws. It’s going to take time, but it has to happen before something like this happens again.