Earlier this week a 19-year-old child used a semi-automatic weapon to kill 17 people injuring a dozen more.
Unfortunately, as a 33-year-old woman, this type of news has become “normal” to me and as it is always sad, I’ve become extremely frustrated with the ongoing, cyclical rhetoric surrounding the issue. While waiting for my car’s oil change this morning, I scrolled through Facebook and immediately regretted it.
My newsfeed, like many of yours, is filled with snark and sarcasm instead of debate, ideas, and answers. What baffles me is that everyone seems to be so passionate when these incidents happen, but quickly we forget, we move on, and we just begin to complain about the weather and post videos of people cooking things in crock-pots again.
One of the reasons this blog is important to me is because I got tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching the degradation of our culture and communication. We’ve replaced action with passive aggressive comments, whit with sarcasm, common sense with ignorance, compassion with heart emojis.
I do. I care what happens to the children in our community. I don’t have children, but your children’s lives matter to me. I care what happens to the children in all communities across the country.
You should care because this type of violence permanently changes communities. You should care because there are children in your child’s school right now who feel alone and desperate and we do absolutely nothing to help them and to make sure they don’t harm themselves or others. You should care because some of these children are legal adults and can purchase firearms.
This debate is heavy. This debate hits people in their hearts and encompasses so many difficult issues that the only way to fix the problem is for people and communities to come together and figure out how to deal with it.
In Tennessee, the answer might be to have armed volunteers at schools ensuring the safety of students. In Colorado, the answer might be to add more metal detectors. In Wyoming, the answer might be some sort of software schools can use to keep up behavioral patterns of students.
The point is there could be a million answers to this important question: “How do we keep our children safe?” The important thing is that we begin those conversations on a community level and try.
Our representatives in Congress are SUPPOSED to have our best interest in mind when they conduct business. They are SUPPOSED to be our advocates, our voices. All too often, they aren’t. Don’t let that deter you from using your voice. Don’t let that deter you from protecting your community and your schools. This debate doesn’t have to come down to red vs. blue or right vs. left. This debate needs to be a collective of ideas and strategies.
what can you do?
- Start the conversation at your child’s school about this issue.
- Start a coalition in your community aimed at protecting children in schools.
- Bring ideas to the table with other parents and try to implement some changes that will improve the safety of students.
- Use your words to express how you feel about this issue.
- Talk openly with your peers about your opinions and ideas surrounding this issue.
If there is a person in Obion County, Tenn. who is willing to start a coalition to combat this issue, I will do everything I can to help. I will raise money. I will organize meetings. I will make presentations, videos, graphics, advertisements, social media posts. I will help in every way that I know how.