*A Heads Up before reading...This piece contains my emotional response to the Conference at the White House with people from the recent Florida shootings. This is my personal reaction. I am not starting a debate. If you want to argue, please don't bother. At least not now. I am too broken right now to play with those people. I needed to write this in order to breathe. There will be more later, but I will not be drawn into arguments on this piece. Sincerely, KEB*
Earlier this evening, I sat and listened to the round circle discussion of parents, teachers, and students, all survivors of school shootings. My heart was heavy as one after another student shared their fears, the idea that their entire life has included this fear; that they've never known a world that didn't include mass killings in schools. Tears flowed as parents shared their tales of receiving texts and calls from sons and daughters as their children hid, gunfire in the background.
However hard I anticipated this event to be, I was completely unprepared for my reaction when the leader of our country stated his solution to school shootings:
The solution is called concealed carry. We need to arm the teachers. They'll get special training.
My heart stopped. My stomach clenched. F*CK YOU, TRUMP! came from my lips, out loud, spewed in a gut wrenching moment of realization that this is what he may be working towards.
Now, my job is to KILL A STUDENT?
I left the room, stormed into my bedroom, and then the crying, the frantic gasping for air, the hysteria took over. I couldn't breathe, sat on the edge of my bed, hunched over, arms wrapped around my waist, rocking, trying to gain control.
Thirty years in classrooms, guiding and encouraging youngsters and teens, and now the leader of our great nation wants to train me to kill. There is no way to wrap my mind around this insanity. There is no way I could aim a gun at a teenager and shoot. A former student? Someone I have worked to help in the past, his life now off track, and now it will be my job to pull out my concealed weapon and kill him?
No. No. NO!
More guns is NOT the answer to this country's gun problem.
More violence is NOT the answer to this country's violent nature.
It is past time for people to try and defend their RIGHT to own weapons designed for the sole purpose of killing other people. Get over it. Nobody needs them. You may like them, but that isn't the same thing. Don't try to argue that law abiding citizens are the ones being punished; that criminals will still find a way; that our 2nd Amendment protects any and all things surrounding gun paraphernalia ownership.
Enough is enough.
Don't arm me.
Don't train me to kill.
Fix the root of the problem. Stricter regulations to purchase, keep, and have access to guns is simply common sense. Nobody should be able to walk into a store and leave shortly after with weapons.
Please, America, we need to look around the world and own the problem we have created. We need to be strong enough to fix it, using other country's methods that have been proven to be effective in managing gun violence. We need to lose the mindset that in order to be big and bad we need guns.
My heart is broken.
My mind is struggling.
My words are fighting a battle that no gun ever will.