I work at an elementary school in a very safe community in Central Pennsylvania. When I am at work, I wonder, "What if a gunman tries to get into my classroom?" I think about this multiple times a day. I'm not kidding.
After Sandy Hook, I cleaned out several cabinets in my classroom. I don't have a closet or a bathroom, but my walls are lined with floor to ceiling cabinets. Obviously I need this space for storage, but I got rid of some things in case I ever need to hide children. I can't hide a whole classroom of kids, but I have room for 4-6.
This is the world we live in. A world where elementary school teachers are clearing out cabinets in case they ever need to hide children from a crazy person with an AR-15.
I've been watching the news about the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida and in between my sobbing tears I am ANGRY. I am VERY FUCKING ANGRY.
But I feel helpless! What am I supposed to do besides call my representatives and vote in EVERY election to support candidates who are willing to work to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people?
Well that's a start, right? That is ACTING.
So have you called your reps yet?
Do you vote in EVERY election? (Please don't say "they're all the same". I am so sick of hearing that. You are being willfully ignorant if you don't vote because you think all of the candidates are the same.)
This purpose of this post isn't to convince anyone that we need commonsense gun control (as well as addressing mental health... let's address EVERYTHING!) Why am I not trying to convince you? Because you probably already agree with me! In recent polls, anywhere between 84%-94% believe in universal background checks to purchase firearms. That's just one example! Most Americans want to make it harder for crazy people to get guns.
What I am trying to convince you of is that we need to take ACTION. Knowing isn't caring. ACTING is caring.
What can we ACTIVELY do to stop gun violence? I'll start a list, you can contribute in the comments.
1. Write or call your representatives.
2. Vote in every election.
3. Run for office.
4. Support candidates running for office who are not in the pockets of the NRA.
What action are YOU going to take?
We cannot bury our heads in the sand.
This is the second mass shooting we've had in Broward county in the span of just about one year. I'm not a teacher but I think about what I would do and where I would hide when I go to just about any place right down to the grocery store.ReplyDelete
Action via votes is the number one thing we must do. I've called and written so many times and it seems to have made no difference with my elected officials.
Because so many people I know have kids who go to Parkland or know someone whose kids go there, my Facebook newsfeed has been full of the saddest posts. Yet the comments are still atrocious.
Yes the majority of people want commonsense gun reform but the gun rights advocates do not believe that it can be achieved without infringing on their "good guy with a gun" rights. They are totally uninformed, probably because this is such a hot button issue that leads to arguments rather than rational discussion... I suppose. It's the only thing I can think of because both Hillary and Obama were moderate on gun control.
A teacher friend of mine wrote a FB post similar to your blog post here. A comment from a friend of his, who is a gun owner, said this: "I think there needs to be moderate gun reform, but there is nothing moderate left in the country."
He went on to say there need to be tests so that old men with shaky hands can't buy guns, and that people with mental illness shouldn't be able to get a gun. I wanted to scream because that is literally the democratic stance on gun reform. JFC.
The democratic party is not doing enough to educate people outside of the bubble about what it stands for.
I think about it too! I think about it everywhere! It is nuts. Completely nuts.Delete
I hope everyone votes. It's so important.
The polls indicate those people making the atrocious comments are in the minority. The BIG minority. But they are the LOUDEST. They are louder than us. So we need to be louder than them and freaking vote in every election.
I agree, the democratic party needs to be BETTER. Organized and messaged and informative... Ugh.
I totally agree with everything here! The sad part is that even if our government does all that it can, it really comes down to the individual. People are responsible for their own actions and these crazy people with guns have got to stop making bad choices!! It's just like anything really, if someone wants something bad enough, they'll get their hands on it (look at all the problems we have with drug use). Just why oh why do people make bad choices???ReplyDelete
That shows real compassion that you thought to clean out a closet space to hide kids. You are a good teacher Megan!
I'd also like to add that I really don't even see a need for guns in our society. I think they should stop making them. I know hunters say they need them, but that's what grocery stores are for...haha (okay, maybe I'm a little extreme here)Delete
LOL I am not a gun person either, if they were completely eradicated from our society it wouldn't hurt me in any way as they are not part of my life. However, I really don't mind if someone has one in their home to protect themselves or has one to hunt. I just don't want a crazy person to have one. And sure, to your point, it is possible someone will "find a way" but I feel like we should at least TRY to make it harder for them.Delete
I always vote. It's not even a question.ReplyDelete
My sister is an elementary school teacher (in Germany) and they have their safety drills, of course, but I cannot imagine her thinking about gun men in her classroom! I feel so sick that teachers here in the US have to worry about that.
It is very sick and disgusting. I am so ashamed of our country when it comes to this issue.Delete
I also think about this all. the. time. I'm in a portable this year, and there's literally nowhere we could go to be safe. An AR-15 could shoot right through my flimsy walls. There are no cabinets or closets. I've run through a thousand scenarios in my head, and not one of them ends well. And it's horrifying that this is what I think about.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the call to action. My husband and I were talking about this yesterday, and I said, "I feel so helpless. What am i supposed to do? Call freaking Ken Buck (our worthless representative) again?" And you're right -- yes, that's what I need to do. And he's up for reelection this fall, so I need to not only vote, but campaign for his opponent.
Sorry to write you a book for my first comment in a long time. You struck a chord here. :)
I hate that you have to think about that and that your students have to. Did they have questions for you after FL? Mine didn't, but they are 5-10 years old.Delete
You can write me a book anytime. I know CO can be a purple state, right? Or no. I am sure they are very pro 2nd ammend. but they also experienced Columbine and Aurora. Do you think people would vote for a dem?
My kids didn't really have questions, but a lot of them are angry. I think we'll have a lot of participation in the walkout next month.Delete
CO is purple, and getting bluer all the time. It's a really divided state: the Front Range is fairly blue, and the east and west (the rural areas) are red. We have a Dem for gov right now, and our senators are one of each. My congressional district is pretty red, so I don't know if electing a Dem is feasible or not, but it's worth trying!
I am going to attend a protest. I am tired of shootings, and my heart breaks every time I think about my son at school, and the chances of him being shot at school... because those are real things that happen!!ReplyDelete
When we went to the movies and to the theater, I had to have a conversation with him about what to do if somebody came in and started shooting... it sounds like I'm a conspiracy theorist, but it is a sad reality we live.
It is a sad reality. Movie theaters creep me out nowadays. I heard there are going to be marches on March 24. I want to attend one, but ironically I am afraid of being shot at one.Delete