This must end

I am tired of the senseless deaths of innocents continuing to stack up.

I am tired of the thoughtless thoughts and empty prayers from so many including our political and religious so-called “leaders” on all sides of all the imaginary fences we have created for ourselves and their sitting on their hands continued lack of action while many of their bank accounts continue to swell with handouts from special interest groups who do not care about us or the future.

I am tired of seeing the flag at 1/2 mast.

I am tired of seeing tears on the faces of my loved ones at the horror they witness almost daily on the “news.”

As a teacher I find myself looking into the eyes of my students – some of them not much older than those in the latest mass shooting terrorist attack – and I look into the eyes of my wife and many of my friends who are or have been teachers or work within the education system, and I find myself in a deep state of pain and despair knowing that any one of them could one day find themselves in a similar situation.

This really hurts me more than anything has in a very long time.

These wonderful students and educators with their entire lives ahead of them…what is next for them…I fear that I may one day see their names and faces on the news and that fear just rips my heart out.

These brilliant children and educators deserve better, they deserve a chance at life just like we had. They deserve a safe educational environment where they can learn in peace and not be fearful of their classmates and other dangerously mentally ill domestic terrorists bringing often easily available weapons of war to their school to massacre their classmates and teachers.

They deserve life.

Anyone who says otherwise while spouting 2nd amendment rhetoric or strutting around in the street brandishing their firearms and waving their banners in an attempt to prop up their fearful positions – is putting guns over the lives of their children, family, and friends and that is not acceptable IN ANY WAY.

Arming teachers will not help the situation – it will only make it worse. A large portion of teachers do not want guns or the responsibility and potential hazard of keeping a gun in the classroom* – they just want to teach.

Furthermore, to keep a gun in a classroom it would need to be securely locked away accessible only to the teacher by a key. To access the gun the teacher would need to:

1. cross the room from wherever they were at the time of an attack.

2. Get out their key and open the locked location.

3. Remove the trigger lock (it would be stupid not to have several protective locks on the gun to prevent accidents/theft/attacks from “inside.”

4. Load the gun. (Keeping the gun unloaded with the ammo in a separate, locked location is yet another safety precaution.)

5. Use the gun.

By the time all these steps have taken place the active shooter could have easily committed their crime against humanity. Keeping a gun in the classroom is just not feasible.

*I know without any doubt that I do not want a gun in my classroom.

Arming everyone will not help the situation – it will only make it worse. This is not the wild west – it is 2022.

More thoughts and prayers – no matter how deep or sincere – will do absolutely nothing to change anything about this situation we have created for ourselves.

If only the thoughts and prayers continue – then so will the mass killings by demented domestic terrorists.

I fear that our country is quickly killing itself from the inside – falling off a cliff while arguing over the cause of the issues as the bloody bodies pile up around us and we slide deeper into a death trap from which there is no escape.

Will it be your child or you that is next?

Are you ready to accept your child’s fate or your fate because of your blind devotion to your beliefs, politics, and archaic words on a piece of dusty ancient text?

The time for thoughts and prayers has passed.

The time for empty excuses has passed.

The time for common sense, evidence-supported action is now!

But here’s the thing – just like the thoughts and prayers will not help, banning guns will not help. The simple fact is that if guns are banned, then only the crooks, crazies, and dangerously mentally ill will have guns.

Yes, making guns harder to acquire will help some and I am all for far stricter, common sense, gun laws just like I am all for strict, common sense drivers licenses and driver training.

However, if an unstable/dangerously mentally ill person really wants a gun and/or wants to do harm to others – they will find a way to get it/cause harm by stealing it, buying it on the black market, or using another thing as a weapon such as an airplane, car, wrench, screwdriver, fork, pocket knife, piece of rebar, 2×4, log, a baseball bat, stick, rock, mouth, foot, fist, household chemical, match, bicycle lighter or pen or pencil, gasoline, toxin, or contagion.

Speaking of sticks, rocks, and such – there are sticks and rocks everywhere and it seems they are not going away anytime soon. If a person – 5, 15, 50, or any age – starts hitting people with said sticks and/or throwing rocks at others and/or their property, we don’t blame the sticks and rocks – we make the common-sense decision and we quickly take away the sticks and rocks and work to teach that person – be they 5, 15, 50 or any age – the errors of their ways. To not take the sticks and rocks away and to not reprimand/educate the person – is a recipe for future disaster. If we do not take the sticks and rocks away then we become part of the problem – not part of the solution.

So go ahead, think your thoughts, say your prayers, and legally, safely, and responsibly own your guns – but for the future’s sake – stand up for life!

The simple fact remains that thoughts and prayers help only those offering them and guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

People make the choice to pick up a weapon – whatever the weapon may be – and commit a crime against another human.

Those individuals doing the killing are not usually the responsible, ethical, safe, gun owners, they are not often military, law enforcement, hunters, homeowners, or hobbyists – they are most often people with serious and very dangerous mental health issues. They have to be because any sane person is not going to pick up a gun – or any other weapon – and turn it on a defenseless person or innocent child.

What is not being addressed here is the obvious huge mental health issue in this country. That, combined with the relatively easy ability to acquire firearms is a recipe for continuing deaths and disasters.

One way to fight back is this: If someone in your family or circle of friends is having problems with reality, is having dangerous mental health issues, is a bully/unstable/dangerous person who is often threatening others in some way – if they are quick to insult/hate/belittle another race/ethnicity/group/religion/political affiliation/”type” of person/the personal choices of others, if they are sounding off with racial slurs/religious and political hate speech, if they are withdrawing from society, or amassing guns and ammo and/or making plans to commit an act of domestic terrorism against other humans – – then please, do not just turn your back on them – intervene and get them some professional help or, if needed, have them separated from the rest of society where they can do no harm to others before this happens again and again and again.

You may be the only thing standing between them and the next act of domestic terrorism.

Make good choices.

Be a good human.

Do only good things.

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