June 17th, 2014
School Shootings, the Second Amendment, and the Safety of our Children
The most recent school shooting in Oregon made its way across my Twitter timeline with the same urgency of a story about the most recent baseball player to be the highest paid at his position. After a full day, I couldn't have told you the exact number of casualties, the names of those who died, or who the shooter was. In fact, I would imagine the majority of people reading this would have a better chance naming every starting quarterback in the NFL than one kid involved in the Oregon shooting. Compare that to Columbine High School, where in 1999 two young men named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire and killed 12 of their fellow students. For weeks, the Columbine story was all we saw on news stations across the country. The names and faces of the victims were etched into our minds, and the shooters' lives unraveled before us. As a nation we truly grieved.
Let us fast forward to 2014. School shootings are becoming so commonplace we, without realizing it, brush them off just as we would a mosquito on a soggy summer night. According to The Washington Post, since January 2013 there have been at least 74 other instances of shootings either on or near school grounds. Seventy-Four-in eighteen months. That averages out to one school shooting every 7 days. When I read that figure everything stopped for several moments...and the magnitude of one school shooting per week for the last year and a half sunk in.
This is not where I begin to try and sway you one way or the other in the polarizing debate our politicians have created over the 2nd amendment and what it means (or should mean) for gun owners. This is where I plead with you to consider the largest issue at stake here-the safety of our nation's children. Our sons and daughters are currently going to schools where, based on recent statistics, there will be a shooting next week. And the next week, and the next, and the next, until something changes. Please get angry about the amount of violence plaguing America's schools. Take that anger and contact your political representatives-local, state, federal-and let them know it is time to put party lines and egos aside, fix this problem, and protect our children.