Yesterday there was a school shooting in Washington, which I'm sure you all heard about. It happened in my little town, a suburb about thirty minutes north of Seattle. My son goes to the other high school here, and wasn't involved, although he does know two of the students who were shot. Our entire community is sad and traumatized. I remembered this post I wrote a few months ago, and because I can't think of anything else today, I'm running it again. Who knew.
On the final day of school last month, my sixteen year old son came home, and when I asked him how he felt about finishing up his sophomore year he said, and I quote, "Good. I made it through another semester without getting shot at school". He stopped me in my tracks.
As my older son was getting ready for his first day of community college, he commented that there should be a class about what to do if a shooter shows up on campus.
These statements from my boys literally made me cry. I am so sad that they are growing up in a world where they have to worry about gun violence in the classroom every day. When I was their age, I felt perfectly safe at school. In fact, I didn't even give it a second thought.
We live in a small community with a relatively low crime rate, but my boys are still worried. Our kids can't help but think about it every day, even if it's in the back of their mind.
There have been 31 firearms attacks at U.S. schools since the start of the year. In the eighteen months since the horrible incident at Sandy Hook Elementary, the frequency of gun related events has actually increased.
I don't know what the answer is, and I'm not prepared enough to discuss gun control or mental health needs, although those things certainly must be part of the solution.
What I do know is that I want to do something. I don't want to just talk about it or debate it anymore, because enough of that has been going on, and as shown by the statistics above, it's obviously not doing any good.
I don't want my boys to be afraid every day when they go to school, and I certainly don't want my someday grandchildren to experience the same thing.
I want to know what I can do to stop the violence.