Writer’s note: I wrote this three years ago when my son was in elementary school. Since that time we have had even more school shootings, recently the Stoneman Douglas shooting that left 17 students and adults dead. My son is now in middle school and still regularly practices active shooter drills. however, they no longer scare him. After the last shooting, I asked him if he knew what to do if a gunman entered his classroom and his response was,”Yes, mom. I don’t even blink when there is a code red, I’m used to them.” Honestly, I don’t know what is worse: that they used to frighten him or that he has trained himself to not be afraid because it is just the reality he lives in. What I do know is that it’s been three years and we have done nothing. That enrages and disgusts me.
There have been over 100 school shootings since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that took the lives of 26 people, 20 of them tiny humans whose lives hadn’t even really started yet. Since the Virginia Tech massacre, the worst school shooting in our country’s history, there have been hundreds of school shootings. Hundreds.
There have been so many school shootings that schools have now added “Active Shooter Drills” to prepare our kids for disasters. That’s right, our kids learn how to duck and cover in case of a Tornado, they learn how to walk outside in an orderly fashion and they learn what to do if a shooter enters their school. They learn these things and they think it’s normal!
Last week, my son’s school went into lockdown because a child reported seeing a man with a gun by the back gate of the school. My ten-year-old son told me that he had to crouch down, away from the windows in the office hallway and stay really quiet. I asked him how he felt and what he said both broke my heart and enraged me:
There were some parents in the office with us and they wouldn’t be quiet. Every time the door opened I thought it was a bad guy with a gun there to shoot us because the parents were so loud.
He is ten years old and he’s worried that he is going to be murdered at school. This is the new American “normal.”
I bet the vast majority of us don’t even blink when we hear about a school shooting on the news. That’s how normal it is.
Gabby Giffords went to Capitol Hill to celebrate the reintroduction of gun legislation in the first week of March and the NRA crowd said she deserved to be shot again. To the NRA crowd, her life was less important than their unfettered access to guns.
Our country has become so screwed up that we no longer value life. Not all of us, mind you; the left, for the most part, is outraged by this new normal but the right could care less. How can I make that claim? Simple: Republicans are the ones fighting against common sense gun legislation.
We have a huge, sickening problem when our babies, come home from school and say that they thought they were going to die. That is not okay. This is supposed to be the “greatest country on earth” but our kids think that they may not live to be adults because we have people actively working to kill the gun legislation that is meant to keep them safe.
It is time to stop accepting this as the norm and demand action. We all have our phones on us all the time anyway, take a few minutes to call your Senator, call your Representative and demand action. Our kids should not have to fear for their lives any longer, it’s disgusting and we should be ashamed.
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