Yesterday's school massacre in Newtown, CT has left me shaken, heart broken and angry. To even begin to imagine what the parents are experiencing is beyond me. I've been thinking a lot lately about how it's almost time for Chickenhead to go back to public school. And when something like this happens, I don't think of him as an almost teen, but only as my sweet baby boy, and I want to do everything I can to protect him from the evil that exists in our world.
School is a place that we should be able to send our children to without concern for their safety. Shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, are all other places that we should be able to go to and live our lives without the fear of someone else ending it.
The Husband is a gun owner. He has a gun that's for the protection of our family, and he has guns that are for taking out to the shooting range to shoot. He is, like most other gun owners I know, a responsible owner. He's attended gun safety courses, as has Chickenhead. Going to the range and shooting targets is a way that they bond and spend time together and I've never had a moments doubt about their safety. Whenever they go again, I will continue to feel this way.
Unfortunately, not every gun owner is like my husband. Part of the big overall issue of gun violence here in the United States is that despite existing gun laws, a lot of people with undiagnosed or untreated mental illness have legal access to guns. The shooter in Connecticut yesterday used guns that were registered to his mother. The gun laws we have in place need to be enforced consistently. As a nation, we need to demand that our legislators put more money in to treatment for mental illness. The stigma needs to be removed from seeking treatment for mental issues. It shouldn't be taboo to get help. It shouldn't be cost prohibitive for someone to get therapy, treatment and medications that could help them, just like with any other illness.
I don't think banning all guns is the answer. Even if we did, people would still find a way to get a gun. I do think that we should ban extended magazines for guns, because nobody needs a shit-ton of bullets to shoot targets or hunt deer. If you're a good enough shot, it only takes one, maybe two bullets to hit the bullseye or take down a deer.
I don't think 'putting God back in the classroom' is necessarily the answer, either. Which god? Only the Christian god? What about the Buddhist, Hindu or agnostic child? Do they not count? I have no problem with religion even though I don't personally practice it. But a big part of the idea of the separation of church and state is exactly that, separate. If people want their children to pray in school, then send them to a parochial school where prayer and religious studies are practiced and learned.
When our founding fathers wrote the Constitution, our country was new, and obviously very different from the America we live in today. The Second Amendment is-" A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the
security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
shall not be infringed." Our fore-fathers could not have imagined the world we live in today. I personally don't know that we need a 'well regulated militia', that's what we have our armed forces for.
There are no easy answers to the questions our country faces right now. But right now is the time to face them. And for today, even for a few days, let's not be Atheist or Christian, Liberal or Republican, let's just be Americans. Let's look after one another, let's show some kindness for our fellow man and woman. Let's care not only about our child, but everyone's child. Let's re-learn compassion, because we have lost so much of it.