Monday, February 19, 2018

Gun Violence: And It Continues

**Originally Posted in February 2018, this brief comment was about the Parkland High School Shooting in Florida. As a former high school teacher who had often worried about violence on campus, I was grateful to be safely at home that day. In 2007, I had experienced the Virginia Tech mass shooting (my daughter worked on campus at the time) through my computer messages while trying to remain focused on a clasroom of talkative young women.  It, now,  seems unbelievable that these words are just a applicable now as they were then. Sadly, this was only one of four school shootings that would lead up to Valentine's Day that year.  (See addition in RED)

There is already one post about the senseless shooting of young people on this blog and it would be better for all if that were the extent of it.  But the country is dealing with yet another act of violence on school grounds. (2021-Wikipedia now documents the vast number of school shootings in multiple lists. The first school related shooting took place in 1853 according to those lists) There will be much blame spread around and many excuses like every event before it.  The one thing that may be different about this time, is the anger of the victims themselves.  Instead of mourning and moving on. these young people have decided that their voices will be heard.  Unlike their parents and grandparents who, for the last 20 years, have tried to work within the system to make things better, these young people will join with hundreds - if not thousands- and they will take their fight public.  They will expect those in charge to explain how the rights of one person to own a gun can outweigh the lives of all those who have been killed by them.  Instead of watching the ineffective government stand by the constitution to protect them from making decisions that might be unpopular to gun owners and lobbies, they will vote for those who see that the world is a different place and one in need of change.  They will be heard and with any luck, this WILL be the last time a school shooting occurs.

Parkland High School Students Protest Gun Violence On Campus

****As hard as the Parkland High School students worked and as creative as they were with their approach, the majority of state and local governments, still, permit guns to be readily carried.  While the COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed shootings at public events, the toll on individuals and families has been high.  This week, two gun violence trials will further highlight the use of firearms in inappropriate settings.  Is our Constitution right to protect ourselves more important than the safely of innocent people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?