I tell myself I’d throw my body in front of a killer intent on shooting my students. I tell myself that every time there’s another school shooting. That means I tell myself this at least monthly and usually more often than that.
The last month more than one student died throwing themselves in front of killers with guns. And both of them have been lauded as heroes.
They are. They are heroes. But they are victims too. And I am so sick of reading people post about their heroism while defending the unending gun culture in this country.
These young people died because we have a problem we refuse to address.
Yes, it’s evil. Evil is everywhere. But we’re the country where gun violence is the second leading cause of death for young people. We’re the country where a school shooting has to have a bigger story to even make the national news. We’re the country where states decide to arm teachers in answer to the gun epidemic instead of addressing the real gun problems. Where prosecutors press charges on bartenders who serve mass shooters instead of fighting to change the gun laws.
Yes, the students who died this month throwing themselves in front of gun wielding killers are heroes. But they’re also tragic reminders that we are perfectly fine letting our children die in schools, in movie theaters, in shopping malls, at concerts, in churches, instead of saying no more.
Guns do kill people. They’ve killed an awful lot of kids since Columbine. And we’ve done nothing to try to fix that travesty.