When I first started writing my blog I told myself I would refrain from writing politics and religion and any controversial topics of the present day. I have, more or less stuck to those self-inflicted rules. Today, however, I feel compelled to venture into a topic that has become paramount in our lives. That topic is SCHOOL SHOOTING.
I am a mother and grandmother and it breaks my heart to see how others must suffer this tragedy that has taken its toll on so many lives. Parents across our country are sending their children to school and far too many of them will have seen them for the last time.
Having worked as a nurse made me aware of the changes in the medical profession. There were dramatic improvements in health care in cardiac transplants, in care of newborn babies and all sorts of new methods to treat various disease. At the same time our patient care seemed to be taking a backward leap in the mental health field. Psychiatric wards in hospitals began to close, and psychiatric hospitals also closed, not totally, but enough to produce a massive change to those in need of care. Part of that change came with new medications that enabled some of the mentally ill to be maintained at home or in group homes. Little has been done to treat these sick individuals, and little has been done to erase the stigma associated with the disease. This is only part of the big problem.
The rest of the dilemma lays upon the lawmakers who refuse to enact laws to protect our society from weapons of mass destruction. I have hunters in my family and I recognize that you don’t need an assault weapon to stalk and shoot a deer when a bow and arrow or rifle will do the job. The ‘hunter’ who needs an assault weapon to bag an animal is really not much of a hunter. When our forefathers wrote the laws for us to arm ourselves they were talking about more primitive muskets and rifles. It was unimaginable to them that a clip in a weapon could kill hundreds with one pull of the trigger.
Another area of the SHOOTING problem is that of teachers. I know of the defense of the teacher, the one who has our children all day and deserves only praise. My experience has given me some latitude in that conclusion. To give them credit, there are many able and dedicated teachers, and I, myself, am the recipient of some of that wealth. However, I have had some experience in seeing first hand what a ‘bad’ teacher can accomplish with his or her stinging words. There was the lingering effects of a teacher who had as a research project ‘the hope of a future career.’ When one boy said he wanted to have a rock band, he was told in no uncertain terms he could never do that, even though he was already ahead of his peers in musical expertise. He was repeatedly told he should look elsewhere for his future. Another child was so verbally abused by his elementary teacher that he lost 30 pounds in a semester due to the constant criticism. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Today’s children are often the products of broken homes with two parents juggling them back and forth, so they are already feeling the rejection. It is a way of life in which they already feel like pawns on a game board. Mental problems and suicides often accompany adolescence. Teachers are often the link between their broken homes and stability, and they often don’t fill the need.
Combining all these factors and we have too many teenagers feeling the effects of some amount of mental illness, and they have the capability of easily getting weapons as the answer to their cries for help. It is disaster waiting to happen again, AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN. It is time to change a congress, who by their refusal to act on behalf of their county, our beloved America, and the children who hold the future in their hands, to pass legislation to prohibit the sale of military weapons to anyone but the military.