It’s Not About Putting America First. It’s About The Safety And Protection Of Our Children. Always.
Okay. I’m not sure I can focus enough to write this, but I’m going to try. Yesterday’s shooting in Parkland, Florida has left me shaky and emotional. But however I might feel, it pales in comparison to what the students, staff, and families are feeling right now. Watching cellphone footage was bad enough, but frankly, it was the ability of the kids to give interviews to media that broke my heart. Because the reality is, our children have repeated drills at school to deal with school shootings and lock-downs. I remember earthquake drills in Alaska when I was a child. I lived there during the 9.2 level earthquake in 1964 and between the devastation and the yearly shots to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, life was strange for a while. Eventually, my family moved to Oregon which brought rain and black ice in the winter to my experience. But I don’t remember feeling afraid at school. It was one of the safest places a child could be at that time.
We eventually pulled our boys out of public school when the oldest had completed seventh and the youngest fourth grade respectively choosing instead to homeschool. I can tell you it was the best decision we ever made. We didn’t do it for religious reasons, but for respect. Children should be respected and not placed in endless no-win situations. Violence was happening at the junior high school and parents had to staff the school as parent monitors to prevent additional violence between the students. My oldest boy came home one day to tell me that one boy from his homeroom class didn’t show up and the teacher went looking for him. She found him surrounded by six big boys in the commons area, bloodied and beaten by the boys. They were still taunting him while he sat there in shock. It was that situation along with one my youngest experienced that convinced me that our children weren’t safe in school.
Both my boys were trained in karate. We owned a school and taught classes for years. So, they could protect themselves if necessary. But the problem with that is had they responded to an attack in any manner, they would be arrested and expelled. Yes. Arrested and expelled. For defending themselves. It was even mentioned in the local high school’s student manual near the front page. Although citizens of this country have the right to protect themselves, students are provided no such protections within the school. That’s what it said. You can imagine what I said.
My boys are in their mid to late thirties now, the youngest now a parent. The very thought that they might send my granddaughter to public school terrifies me. But they might do that. It’s their choice and I know they’ll make the best one possible for their daughter. But schools aren’t safe anymore. Malls aren’t safe. Theaters aren’t safe. Concerts aren’t safe. We’re not safe anywhere. And the conservatives in our government are too beholden to the NRA to care.
Our children. Because that’s what they are whether we’re related to them or not. THEY ARE ALL OUR CHILDREN. Every last one who was terrified; every last one who has died because lawmakers care more about the NRA than protecting our children. And now they’re repeating the same pathetic meme that it’s not the time for such a conversation. Of course, it’s the right time, just as it’s been every time this happens.
Because here’s the thing. If these fools actually believe that the desires of the NRA and their demented view of the 2nd Amendment are more important than the safety of our children then go home. Now. You don’t belong in government. You don’t belong anywhere.
And to the kids: We love you and we will stand up and do everything possible to bring change.
Because we can change this. We can stop voting for people who take money from the NRA who then control their every decision. Too many of our children have died from automatic weapons in the hands of lunatics. All because the conservatives in Congress lack the integrity to do what’s right. Our children’s lives depend on our not forgetting. We must vote these fools out of office and vote for people who will put our children first. Because it’s not about putting America first. It’s about the kids. Always. Sad that Congress doesn’t comprehend this truth.
And to Donald Trump: please don’t speak to our children anymore. You’re creepy. Just stop.
Originally published at www.imsteppingaside.com on February 15, 2018.