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.
Another day, another mass shooting. I’m writing this more than a day after a gunman walked in with a Rugar AR-556 rifle and slaughtered almost 30 innocent people as they wrapped up service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX.
And in hours since I’ve heard “there’s nothing we can do about this except arm ourselves” more times than I can count.
As if more guns is a real answer for anyone other than gun manufacturers making huge profits on the loss of innocent lives.
It’s time for us to talk about real gun regulation in this country. I’m sure we won’t. Instead we’ll talk about thoughts and prayers and armed guards at the doors of our churches and open carry in the coffee shop, and politicians will scream about the “politicization” of a gunman mowing down innocents–as if the politicization of everything from oatmeal to socks wasn’t their stock in trade. And we’ll see a surge in gun sales for these kinds of guns and the magazines that allow this kind of killing and the contraptions that turn these lethal weapons into machine guns all of which will continue to be legal because “the 2nd Amendment, man. The 2nd amendment.”
And I’ll still get messages about why we need to be armed in case our government tries to take over our government. And it’s all Obama’s fault. And guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
And there will still be the dead and dying in a tiny Texas town. Which will be in the news for maybe another day or two. Or maybe a week or two. Or maybe, if we’re really lucky, a month or two. Until the next mass shooting causes the same questions and non-answers and we do it all over again without ever really doing anything about it.
Heart broken and so, so tired of writing this post.