I suspect I am feeling the same emotion held by millions of parents around the world right now. I have no idea how I would cope with getting the visit that a lot of parents must have had today in Connecticut. I watched the news on my computer until I simply could not listen any more. So yes, this is personal.
I am filled with emotions and anger, but they're all feelings I had before this morning's news. We simply cannot let a piece of paper continue to stop us from being able to talk about ways to at least slow this horror of violence in the U.S. I would not claim to have an answer, but as long as the reaction to any attempts at curbing gun violence is to say that we cannot infringe on Second Amendment Rights - we will get nowhere. I think it's time that we have this discussion, and take it seriously. A few observations from today.
- News Media - is there really a news value to endless streams of terrified kids with their parents, or interviews with children who've just witnessed a mass murder? It's not helping my understanding of the story, and I cannot help but think that an of these kids could have been my own, alive or dead.
- The NRA - I don't think that the mood of the country is going to accept your "no compromise at all" attitude about guns. It's not about freedom. I own a rifle, I have many friends who hunt, and I understand that it's not likely that the U.S. will accept a ban on weapons. But there's a big difference between hunting and self-defense weapons and weapons that are only useful for causing mayhem. Can we at least start there?
- The first comment I saw from anyone this morning was the required statement that the answer here was to arm all of the teachers. I think I speak for quite a few parents by saying that this is not an answer we are willing to accept. So stop saying it, even though obviously the Michigan legislature must agree with you, since they just approved classroom concealed carry last night. I am pretty sure we will see an ALEC-fueled similar proposal in our own state next session, since it's another great diversion from doing anything useful about the economy.
- I am sick of this. Sick of heart, sick to my stomach, sick and tired of having it continue to happen while all I hear is that we cannot do anything about it because it's a matter of freedom. Nobody has the freedom to shoot my daughters. Or anyone else's. This is not an acceptable answer. It's time to have a serious discussion on this topic, and to accept the fact that there needs to be a balance between the Second Amendment and the continual carnage from guns.
- I saw a lot of posts today about how a deranged person in China went in to a school and injured 22 people with a knife. I don't know any parents who think that going to get your kid out of the hospital with wounds is equivalent to visiting them in the morgue. That's the difference here. Stop saying they're the same thing, or that the answer is to have everyone carry knives.