Are you surprised that yet again the focus for the week wherever you turn is on guns and the children who seem to have their hands on them? I am not, and here is why.
It should be noted that I wrote this as a draft on February 20, 2018, days after the Florida school shooting. I never hit publish because I decided to take a step away from my blog and focus on my happiness and not the craziness that is this country. Today when I sat down to do life admin I saw it was still a draft and decided to add about 5 sentences and hit publish because guess what, it happened again, this time just a little too close to home. I don’t believe that anyone should have their second amendment rights taken away from them, but I do believe that the second amendment was NOT written in the last 20 years and does NOT reflect our current times and that is something that needs to change NOW.
I never really like to be political but if the last 24 months has taught me anything, sometimes you just have to go there, because our entire well being is tied up in our political system. You can disagree with me on that, I love a good conversation about how I am wrong and what I can learn from you, but hear me out first.
I was a high school student when Columbine happened. That is the day that things changed for me. I did not grow up around all this craziness like our children today are, but that day still haunts me and terrifies me for so many reasons. To have that day have become a typical thing in our society is awful, but I am not surprised by what happened today, still terrified, but for so many other reasons.
I do not have children so I don’t have the extra fear of my children one day going to school and experiencing a horrific event. When news spreads of another school shooting my very first thought is – was my mother at school teaching today? If the answer is no, my day continues on like normal. I have become so numb to these events that I don’t even think about them until those who you least expect to speak up – do, the very children who saw their classmates die in front of them, that is when I stop and start to think about the last 20 years.
Yes, I started high school almost 20 years ago, it is crazy to think, but it is the truth. It has almost been 20 years since the term mass school shooting became part of my world. You would think that we would only have that one event to talk about, unfortunately, there have been way too many to even list. We have never had another September 11th because we took drastic steps to prevent it, but no one seems to care about those who work in education or the children we are surrounded by. Weren’t we all taught that they see everything we do and are always watching? Don’t we use the term, they have such young impressionable minds? So, what is this world we have created, that it is okay for teenagers to shield their classmates with their bodies because it happened yet again?
Why does a fight turn deadly because someone was being bullied? This is what today turned into, not enjoying my coffee at 8 am because sirens were going off and the dog was being crazy. The local news breaking into the national news to say a student had been shot at a high school literally minutes from our house. That is not how a Monday should begin for anyone. Ever.
A little backstory – I am 34, so I have been allowed to vote for a good 16 years, but it wasn’t until President Obama ran his first campaign that I went to the polls and cast my vote. Mr. Obama was very good to my husband and me, we have no complaints – a financial crisis and all – we survived, and survived well. Slowly, as Mr. Obama’s terms came to an end I realized I needed to learn about who I was voting for, because let’s face it, if you don’t know that your local legislators are the ones who are making the laws, you have already lost any battle you want to fight. I voted in the 2016 presidential race and some of my candidates won and other’s lost, and yet again my husband and I have survived, and we have survived very well. Life doesn’t drastically change when administrations change because of certain decisions we have made in life, but it can drastically change for those around us.
I am a healthy white upper-middle-class female with a master’s degree. I will never deny it – I am privileged. I, however, have never voted to help MY situation. I vote to help those who don’t always have a voice to speak up for themselves and that is how everyone should vote. Those who are on the front lines of this gun debate, the ones who seem to be dying monthly are not old enough to vote, they are the ones who we need to vote for.
If you sit back next week and do not vote, do not be surprised by things never changing. Do not rant and rave about the situations in this country. Do not be ignorant and lazy. Go to the polls and vote. Stop with the thoughts and prayers – they are not what gets things accomplished. I think most adults have a story of being bullied in high school, getting into a fight with someone, or just simply not liking someone, but guess what, I am here writing a blog post because no one decided to bring a gun to school one day and shoot me over it. I am here but a young student down the street from us is not.