Amidst the rumors about Donald Trumps jacket while visiting the queen, I came across the articles of a couple of my favorite co-bloggers here at meso fusion media, so I decided to steal their inspiration and add my opinion to the topic.
I love painting pictures, so let me paint one here.
I live just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Columbine High, the famous school that triggered the growth in mass shooting here in our great country. Just a few miles away the other way is the famous movie theatre where a mass shooting happened during batman movie. Last summer, and this summer there were mass shootings at, at least 2 walmarts. Every day a new shooting occurs here. I sit back and remember when I first moved here, talking to my dad on the phone about what I read in the newspaper. The stats said 14 suicides were reported for that day, in the metro area.
It’s the end of the year at school for my middle schooler. The last stretch, and finals are near. You know that state aptitude test that measures your intelligence and passes you to the next level? I am on the way to pick my daughter up from school and when I arrive in the line of cars waiting to pick up other children, I get on my phone to scroll through facebook for the 15 minute wait, for her to make it from her class, to her locker, then to the car for the ride home. So, as usual I pull up news, facebook, and other social media. Usually I just like and share a few things or say hello to some friends, but the headline caught me by surprise and my heart dropped.
Several times during the school year they have a fire drill like simulation. The alarms in the school go off, and they make a plan in the classroom for a mass shooting or emergency drill. They discuss the things they can do during that time to avoid being killed. My daughter is 13 now and has been having these drills in the classroom for a few years now.
A long time ago I stopped believing that “It can’t happen to me” mentality, if it can happen, sure as day, it will happen to us. That is for sure, I definatley attract Newtons Law of “What can go wrong, will go wrong.” So I have come to learn to be prepared for anything and everything. So, every now and then I discuss with my daughter what to do in a situation if there is mass shooter in her classroom.
We talk about hiding on top of toilets, and in cuppboards, putting heavy books in her bag and wearing it on the front to create an added layer of protection should she find her self in a situation where bullets are coming her way. If she is forced to run in front of a shooter, weave. Yeah, we are not gonna be like Rickon from game of thrones, we weave. We have even discussed the use of tourniquets and using her dead classmates as human shields should a massacre ever happen in her classroom. If you are at the front of the door stay hidden behind the door, and keep your phone in your classroom. Always be kind, I tell her. Maybe if you are kind, they will not, or will hesitate to shoot you. Jump out of the window if you can, if you fall from a building maybe you can survive that, but not if you are shot. Always follow the directions your teacher gives first, but what if your teacher is dead? Then you are on your own with a shooter until the police find them. If you find yourself alone, go to a place where you can hide easily that the shooter wont look for. What if there is a frenzy of students and teachers in the classroom and you find yourself in a hallway? Then I go on the teach her to make a military style exit from the building, or to the safest place she can get to. Playing dead is another option, if everyone around her is bleeding and shot, get under bodies and roll in the blood so she looks dead too. I usually end with “Always follow the intructions for your teacher, and wait, this is only if the bullets are coming directly at you and your classmates, and you need to escape. The drill is there for a reason, but if your teacher is dead, you are on your own until the police arrive.
That day in my car I pulled up news of a woman armed and ready to execute a mass shooting at a school in Colorado, as she was obsessed with Columbine. We recived constant emails and text messages about how the children were being released from school that day. The next day 3 million children were kept home from school during finals, and on the 3rd day I decided to make her go back to school even though she was still afriad. She sat in her classroom and did her math test with worry about a school shooting. A couple weeks later, an actual shooting took place in a school in Colorado, and we didn’t get any notifications, just the news that some kids had been shot and injured. We don’t go to that movie theatre very often, though time to time, we can’t avoid it and we are left to drive there for a good movie we saw come out. There is a police officer manning it now. I hate to think that if I go shopping in Wal-Mart, I run the risk of being shot. It’s a place I frequent with my kids, and we have come up with a smiliar strategy for survival, should there be a shooting in another public place.
That’s what we live with every day.
I am a gun owner though. While I see that there is a threat, I will never be able to defend myself or my children against this, unless I have a gun too. “Shoot first, ask questions later” my dad always said. Guns are not the problem, mental health is the problem, lack of sense of community is the problem. Taking guns away from people is not going to solve the problem. Fixing their mental health is the problem, the vicious financial cycles that put most working americans in debt or on pay-check to pay-check cycle, preventing us from moving forward, access to higher education, access to better mental health services, as well as better regulated guns is going to help. No, I don’t want to take your guns. I want to keep crackhead steve and the guy that looks like domestic violence from getting one. I want to keep terrorists out.
I don’t think banning AR15 is going to solve the problem at all. I think that we need those too, because it is our right as citizens to rise up in revolt against the government, and we should be able to do so, should we need to.
But I also think it’s gone way too far when I have to teach my pre-teen kid a military style exit and survival strategies for when she is at school.
From a 13 year old Girl:
What do you think about School Shootings, and what do you think should be done about that?
I think it’s cruel to kill multiple people and children, or anyone. And, I think that some schools are not safe, and they should make better defense and security systems. The teacher should teach the students what should happen next if he or she should be gunned down, during drills.
Another thing, I think is that the police should keep better records of who has the guns, by checking the criminal background and asking a series of questions to help them determine why they need a gun.
Another thing to keep kids safe during a shooting is to put a better door on, and better locks, and to have an escape route listed on the wall from the top to the bottom floors.
And, I think there should be better anti-bullying programs at school, that actually work.