OK, I give up. I have to write this before I explode or implode, whichever comes first.
I don’t watch the news, typically. It’s all about shock value and there is no real substance anymore. Sorry to all my newscaster friends but that’s how I feel. I get most of my news via social media platforms, like so many of my friends do.
And yesterday shook me to the core.
I can’t wrap my brain around it. I don’t want to. I can’t go “there”. It hurts too badly. And this is coming from someone who, on occasion, gets upset by news but then can usually shake it off.
I can’t. Not this time.
I’m a mom.
Little kids whose parents gave them breakfast, kissed them, told them how much they were loved and then sent them off to school.
Like what we do, every single weekday morning.
But, unlike us, these parents will never see their kids again.
And that kills me. I can’t stop thinking about this. I can’t stop the lump in my throat from forming.
I’m a mom.
I have this obligation, this need, this urge to protect my children from harm. It’s the Momma Bear thing. The force is strong.
I also have this false sense of security that, when I send my kids to school, they are as safe as they would be when they are home.
Well, maybe not THAT safe. But, still.
I realize bad things can happen. Despite that, I have myself fooled into thinking that it won’t happen to my children. Or in my community.
It’s time to remove my head from the sand, I’m not an ostrich.
The fact is, it CAN happen in my children’s schools. In my husbands school. In my community.
Because Michigan now has given “adults”…18 years or older, the right to bare arms wherever they want. In schools. In daycare centers. In assisted living homes. In houses of worship. Wait, sorry, you have to be 21 to carry a concealed pistol but 18 year olds can have rifles, shotguns and anything that can’t fit into a pocket.
Wherever. They. Want.
Places that were off-limits at one time are now a free-for-all. Hello, Wild West.
And, I’m not OK with this. Not at all.
Granted, there are probably more good guys packing heat than bad guys. I really, really want to believe that. But regardless, there are still bad guys. Guys with guns who are mentally unstable. They are walking around in the same places my children are.
I read something about the fact that most of these senseless tragedies…the guy with the gun had a license to carry.
I don’t need to go into detail about what that means. It’s obvious.
I feel helpless.
I feel like, in the end, I really CAN’T protect my children.
Once they leave the bubble-wrapped confines of my home, I feel like they are walking, moving targets.
Yesterdays events shattered me. Finding out about the Gun Law modifications in Michigan made it worse.
I feel almost like I did on 9/11.
Right now, I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel like my children are safe.
I know, in time, I’ll adjust. Just like I did after 9/11.
I just need to wrap my head around all of this.
And hug my kids tightly. Very tightly.
Like most civil American’s, I too weep at what occurred yesterday. However, I have to ask you to “fact check” a detail you “threw out there” . . .
“I read something about the fact that most of these senseless tragedies…the guy with the gun had a license to carry.”
This is utterly false & misleading. Assuming you were talking about school/movie shootings and not “all gun violence”, having a “license to carry” and legally obtaining a gun are 2 different things. While this varies from state to state, in general a “license to carry/concealed carry permit” refers to handguns. And there are studies & articles which absolutely refute what you “threw out there” as fact. Please cite a single case where a “shooter” at a school was licensed to carry.
As a father I completely agree with you and had so many other similar feelings you described in your post.
Now, about this whole gun control thing. I’m not up on Michigan’s laws. I don’t want bad guys to have guns. But laws are not going to stop that. So let’s get our head out of the sand on that fact too. I don’t want drunk drivers to have cars either, but they do. To put it another way . . . if you had to be somewhere and didn’t have a car, what would you do? Say forget about and stay home? NO – YOU’D FIND ANOTHER WAY. You’d call a taxi, ride your bike, walk, call a friend, etc. That’s exactly what these idiots would do too. If they are hell bent on killing someone, they’ll do it. Case in point, the same day this happened, 22 kids in China were attacked by a guy with a knife.
My approach to this problem (and it IS a problem) is to try understand why people feel this is an acceptable “reaction” or course of action to an issue/problem they are having. What has changed in the last 100 years to lead to this “epidemic”? It’s societal in nature (if that’s a word). We have extremely violent video games that many kids and adults play for hours on end. Movies & TV sensationalize the violence and sex too. What we’ve got to get back to is a sense of right & wrong and consequences when the wrong choices are made. I stongly feel that this is accomplished best in the family unit, at home. It should be reinforced at school, churches (whatever your religion) and in sports. No more “everyone’s a winner” BS and it’s OK if you lose. Maybe that’s not your stongest “subject”. Learn from that and explore other things that you are better at. I digress.
Bottom line – we need to deal with the root cause here. The individual and the issues, not the instrument used. I hope you take my comments in the way I intended them – constructive dialogue based on facts and exploration of any real solution to this situation. I’d LOVE to be part of a way to solve it.
May God bless all those affected by yesterday’s tragedy and give them comfort in this, their most dire time of need.
I completely agree with your entire comment. I think I took it the way it was intended so no worries there! We DO have a problem and it’s not guns, it’s some of the individuals holding them. This was a very emotion-driven post more than anything. Thank you for your comment!!
I just want to add that first I’m no fan of Snyder so this isn’t sticking up for him. But the new revisions to the CPL laws don’t allow just anyone to carry in those places. Someone with a CPL who wants to conceal carry in a church,mall etc.will have to go through extra training and get special certifications to make it legal. Now I have no idea how many CPL holders you know but all of the ones I know will either get the training and certification required or continue to not carry there.
I’m 100% a gun enthusiast and believe totally in the right to bear arms.But I do agree there are changes that need to be made. However the CPL laws are not it. Gun show back ground checks yes, waiting periods sure, I’m even ok with psychological evaluations.But I don’t believe CPL laws are the problem at all, people who are going to commit these crimes aren’t the type to go through the trouble of getting a license, especially since their weapon of choice is usually a high capacity rifle. Mental health treatment also needs to become more available and easier to access, because at the end of the day the people who do these things could have benefited from some kind of real help before it was to late.
With all that said I also feel were you were coming from with this post. As a parent of a 1st and 5th grader I hate the idea of sending them off on Monday morning, I hold them a little tighter and honestly want to cry everytime I look at them and think of the parents who wont get that chance again.
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It’s refreshing to have a civilized discussion about this very real and emotional topic/problem – so thanks for the opportunity for that. Here’s a good article where we can begin to have discussions on the root cause and possible solutions that can actually have an impact.
FYI – for me personally, everything is on the table but we need to make sure that everything that stays on the table has merit. I’m not pushing for an agenda (either way), but rather a solution to stop this nonsense.