I have been unusually quiet after this school shooting. Normally, I’d have been all over this like stink on a turd (I had a huge blog after Columbine), but I needed this time to keep the emotion out of it and sort things out for myself, mentally.
As you know, Johnny and I have avoided Valentine’s Day like the plague, but this year we decided to live on the edge. (There have been several Valentine’s Day posts since that blog.) We actually pulled off a “normal” V Day this year. We had amazing grilled steaks, potatoes and salad, we got each other coffee mugs, and he was a doll and ran me a hot bath after supper, as I’d lifted as he was starting the grill. (I’m back under the bar and into the gym.) No illness, no injuries, so YAY!
While I was soaking, he turned on the news and that is how I heard about the school shooting in Florida. 😦
In the week that’s passed I have heard everything from gun control, to mental health to better background checks, et al.
I had a really good conversation with my mom, who is never going to have a conceal-carry license or even own a firearm of any kind. I can respect that, even though she lives in a larger city that has a ridiculous crime rate and a crap-ton of gang activity. At the very least, I’m hoping to get her an alarm system for her home. That said, I told her that J and I were looking into handgun purchase and conceal-carry classes, and she was telling me about an editorial in the local paper from a high school student pertaining to the most recent school shooting. She sent the clipping and I received it today. It was very well written and conveyed a lot of emotion, one of which was fear. And I get that.
Here’s my take, for what it’s worth:
- Yes, I absolutely agree that mental healthcare in this country is lacking.
- Yes, I agree that the minimum age to purchase ANY firearm should be raised. Yeah, I know the military has you handling them from the time you enlist, but it’s not your personal weapon, unless you are Security Police, and I think there should be an age limit and extreme background checking on that.
- No, I don’t believe that WalMart (or any retail establishment, sporting good stores included) should be able to sell a shotgun or rifle without a permit. If I have to have a permit for a handgun (which includes a mental health background check), then ANY firearm needs to have a permit. Last I checked, the big school shootings have been committed with long guns, not handguns.
- No, I don’t think that any civilian, hunter, or otherwise, should be in posession of any weapon that should be able to shoot fifteen times in rapid succession. Cock, shoot. Rinse. Repeat. Seriously. NO apoligies, here.
- Yes, I think we should harden our schools. Kill this whole gun-free zone at schools. These school shooters don’t want to have a shootout; they want to go in and slaughter the innocent and the unarmed faculty. You start posting that schools have armed guards and they immediately stop being soft targets.
- Yes, I think the FBI, state, and local officials need to take threats, oddball comments on social media, etc. seriously. There needs to be more cross-agency communication.
Thank God I don’t have school aged children, but I have grandbabies that will be school aged within a couple of years.
We need to get it together, America!
That’s all I’ve got.
Until Next Time…