Have our schools become shooting galleries?

I just saw another news report of another school shooting. I’m ashamed to admit it, but the continuing string of incidents, where some sick person attempts to turn our schools into shooting galleries, has merged into one indistinguishable mess. There seems to be no end in sight and no incentive for our politicians to do anything about it. If this is a commentary on the value we place on the lives of our children, it’s a sad, dark one. I get a sense that too much of the public has become anesthetized to these events.

Two hundred and forty-one years ago our country was a wild, dangerous place. Of course, when you invade a land and take what you want, regardless of who was there before, danger is to be expected. The mind-set of people during that time was one of survival. People had left governments they didn’t like and felt a certain amount of threat. They placed the Second Amendment in our Constitution as a safe guard for liberty and freedom. No more did they want their government, or anyone else, to rob them of inalienable rights. Are we still so frightened, enamored with the need to protect ourselves, today from each other, that we must be armed to the teeth? Do we have to make weapons of death so available that even the individuals from whom we all need to protect ourselves have access to them? These folks are roaming free, exercising their Second Amendment rights. Unfortunately, those rights are being abused in ways that would probably cause our country’s founding fathers to rotate in their graves.

I can’t help but wonder if our kids sit in school stressed at the possibility that someone might come locked and loaded, at any time, to visit death upon them. Along with the traditional stress of peer pressure kids have had to navigate through for generations, are they now looking over their shoulders every minute of ever school day? Isn’t it enough to have to deal with subject matter that you’re having difficulty trying to figure out how you’ll ever use it in your life? Are these topics more relevant than trying to get through another day, so you’ll be able to go home and be with your family? Isn’t this image enough to say enough is more than enough?

Shooting galleries should contain clay figures or tin cans, not our children. The future should never be taken away from our young people. They deserve the opportunity to experience the excitement, the dullness, the joy, the sadness the future has in store for us all. They shouldn’t be live ducks in a shooting gallery for someone who decides to practice on live targets today.

Last year America had over ten thousand individuals killed due to gun violence. Japan, Great Britain, Switzerland, Canada, Israel, Sweden, and West Germany, all combined, had just under three hundred-deaths due to gun violence. My moniker is Old and Blessed. I pray more of our young people will be able to say the same.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

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