I have been crying a lot these past couple of days, as most of our country has. I am the mother of two, beautiful, young children. My daughter is 4 years old and will be going to kindergarten next year. My son is 2 1/2. Imagining what the Sandy Hook parents of those precocious, wonderful 20 children are going through right now is tearing me up. I want to scream, cry, yell at the world for allowing this to happen. I want change. I want justice. I want those young lives to be able to live, laugh, love again. But they won’t. No amount of screaming, crying, or yelling is going to bring them back. What we do need to do is have a conversation, a difficult one.
My husband is the polar opposite of me in many ways. They say opposites attract, and this is certainly true for us. I am an English teacher. He is a math/science based engineer. I am Type B personality, he is Type A. I lean left, politically. He leans right. I am anti-gun. He is pro-gun. You might ask how we get along at all! Well, the great thing about our marriage is how we discuss and compromise. Just this morning we had a great conversation, which admittedly did get heated for about two minutes, about gun control. Hubby is finally ready to admit that perhaps we need to limit the amount of semi-automatic assault rifles sold in the country. However, he feels that if the gun owners give up their (future) guns, then with each conversation they will give and never take. He’s looking for real compromise. I want guns out of the hands of mentally ill people and I want guns whose only purpose is to kill people off the streets. However, I respect the constitution and the founding fathers, so I do not want a ban on all guns. With all that being said, here was our discussion this morning. Hubby, because he’s also of the mentality that guns in the right hands can save lives believes that law-abiding adults should carry a gun in a school in order to deter monsters like that of Friday from thinking they have an easy target for their madness. Hubby has two thoughts on that, either train personnel to carry guns (more than one in the building and as a many as necessary to keep it safe) or remove the gun-free zone and allow those who already have a carry permit to bring their guns into the school. I have two thoughts myself. A school would have to be incredibly careful not to allow those guns to get into the hands of the students and if schools did Hubby’s Option 1, A LOT of training would have to occur which would cost A LOT of money. A lot of money which we do not have now– at all.
So, IF I were to concede that Hubby has a point, which I don’t necessarily do, where would this magical money source come from. It was this point in the difficult conversation where I figured out a compromise.
The NRA has millions of dollars to spend on lobbying. What if they were to put their money where their mouths were and help keep our schools safe by providing the training, the guns and the resources to help?
Interesting idea, right?
At least it’s the start of a difficult conversation.
Part 2 coming soon: mental health stigmatization