Yesterday’s shooting, as they all do, left me numb and horrified.
This week, I’ve been working with a group of teachers from across Florida. I left Twitter and the atrocities of the Capital Gazette shooting and went to lead them in a walking tour. While everyone assembled, we started to talk about the shooting and I realized: For journalists, this is the first such attack on American soil. But for teachers? That’s just Thursday.
That’s. Just. Thursday.
This is madness. Not because it was a newspaper, not because one of the victims was the brother of a Florida icon, and not because *this* shooting hits too close to home. But because it has to stop.
No one should be accustomed to shootings and murder.
No one. Not journalists. Not teachers. Not students.
But we are. Welcome to this brave new world. This is our America. This is what America looks like.
This can’t continue, we say… but it will. We’re not doing a thing to stop it. No one, from President Trump on down the line to your local city council, is doing a damn thing. Fortunately, the NRA has sprung into action. They have people running scared that we (read: liberals) are going to take your (read: good Americans) guns.
I’m not exactly certain what the NRA’s doing to make sure people who own guns can keep them, but if it’s “arming white men who have no business owning a firearm and may shoot up a newsroom/store it in a manner that their kid can get it and kill a bunch of their classmates” well, well done, guys. I mean, OK, so you’re kind of stepping on your point, but you’re doing it thoroughly. One must applaud that level of dedication.
I can say this, though: The NRA is right. Barring some sort of sensible gun reform — background checks, psych analysis, making it illegal to own high-powered assault rifles, allowing your doctor to ask, when you tell him you’re having violent thoughts, if you own a weapon (thanks to Governor Rick Scott, in Florida, that’s illegal) — I can tell you what solution I’m comfortable with.
No. Guns. Not unless you’re law enforcement or active duty military.
Yeah, I hear you yelling about needing to protect yourself. Tell the NRA to donate its money to local LEO so they can do it. You don’t need a gun. Not a single damn one of you used your guns to stop the shooting at Pinellas Park High School, Columbine, in Texas, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, at the Capital Gazette… or at any of the other shootings that happen more regularly than I go to the gym.
You know who stops mass shootings? Not good guys with a guns.
Law enforcement officers.
It’s almost like the people who undergo the most training and evaluation before being allowed to carry weapons are the ones best suited to protect Americans.
But go ahead. Sleep with that gun under your pillow and do nothing the next time there’s an active shooter. It’s not your fault you’re doing nothing. After all, there are so many shootings, and you can’t possible be there with your gun to save the high school students/battered woman/journalist/random concert goers. But the next time it happens, sure, go ahead and send some more money to the NRA so liberals like me don’t take your gun.
After all, America’s a dangerous place. Gun violence is no longer an anomaly.
It’s just Thursday.