Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Looking for common sense

Since the horrible events of last Friday there has been much talk about how change is needed in this country. No one seems to be sure of what changes except those who want guns are sure they don’t want their right to own them changed in any way. I respect that and have no desire to take guns away from responsible citizens. I just want to know who they are so I know whose house to stay away from. I realize I’m more likely to be hurt by one of their guns than I am the “bad guy’s”. My next-door neighbor and member of the United States Air Force, was outside two weeks ago after dark wielding his firearm because he heard a noise. My dear friend who took the necessary training and now has a concealed weapon’s permit almost shot her brother-in-law when he rang her doorbell after dark. So I just want the names and addresses of all those individuals licensed to carry guns as well as anyone owning weapons so I can protect myself from them.

I realize that people feel the need to protect themselves and their property. The problem is the bad guys have the element of surprise on their side. Unless you are sitting in front of the front door cocked and loaded the likelihood of you protecting yourself from anyone is pretty slim.

My nephew-in-law’s aunt and uncle returned home from church and decided to take a nap. The uncle fell asleep on the living room sofa and his wife in their bedroom. Uncle was an avid gun collector. He believed in owning a gun to protect himself and his family. However, the intruder who had hid in the kitchen pantry waited patiently until everyone was asleep and then preceded to enter the bedroom where he gagged and raped the sleeping 64-year-old woman. He then exited the bedroom window without a shot being fired.

But our country will always have guns. The good guys are armed and the bad guys are armed so I’m under no delusion that we will ever get rid of them.

What I would ask every single person who owns a gun to do is to go home and make sure your weapons are secured. Don’t be under a false sense of security that, “Your child knows not to touch a gun.” The day after the horrible event in Connecticut a three-year-old nephew of an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman was visiting his uncle and the child accidentally shot himself in the head with his uncle’s firearm. It happens every day all over the country. Invest in a locked gun case or better yet a gun safe. Make it at least a challenge for thieves to steel your guns. Most homes are burglarized when no one is at home.

Next, take a look at the video games your children are playing. Do any of them glamorize killing? Be objective when you do this because we have all become desensitized to violence. These war games are so realistic they are used by the armed forces to help train soldiers. What are you training your five-year old to be?

Then we need to thoughtfully examine all the incidences of mass shootings that have transpired in this country. Look for all the common denominators. If automatic weapons or mental illness are common denominators than those issues must be addressed. Are services readily available to the mentally ill? Are we so caught up in protecting the privacy of individuals that innocent individuals remain unprotected from the psychotic actions of the mentally ill? When teachers identify at risk children are services readily available for the child or family? Rather than more police officers or more metal detectors in school how about just making education the priority it should be. Schools need money in order to provide smaller classrooms, special education programs, the basic resources needed to address the needs of children.

We are asking way too much of our teachers. They no longer have the time or opportunity to teach. Every child with a disability does not necessarily belong in a mainstream classroom. But if they are then provide the additional support to make them successful. Don’t expect a teacher to give that child the extra attention they require and still focus on the needs of twenty-three other children.

Now a State Rep. Mark McCullough from Oklahoma announced his plans to file legislation that will, among other things, allow CLEET-certified teachers and principals to carry firearms at school and at school events. Really? Now my daughters are expected to be armed? If they had wanted to be in law enforcement they wouldn’t have gotten their degrees in education. I can’t think of anything safer than 24 four-year olds and a loaded gun. Why not use the money to hire off duty officers to patrol schools. Having a kindergaten teacher pack heat along with her lesson plans is not the answer.

Is common sense absent in this country?


Olga said...

It really is time for our country to get a grip and start listening as well as talking about solutions.

kenju said...

When my daughter was married to her first husband - a hunter - she required him to put all his guns in the attic after their first child was born. I was very pleased about that, and since their attic could only be entered by using a tall ladder, I thought my babies were safe. Nowadays, I don't want a gun anywhere near me.