For the last couple weeks I've been pretty silent here on my blog. I could probably chalk it up to a couple reasons; substitute teaching, our window project, preparing for Christmas. These were all things that kept have kept me busy the last couple weeks. But really, I don't think it's any of them. I think the biggest deterrent to my blogging was the Sandy Hook shooting.
It was certainly a tragedy, of course, however the sensationalist media who swooped down into Connecticut sickened me. I don't need to see a crying child on television to know that this was an awful incident. I don't need to see cameras at the funerals. After a couple days I couldn't bring myself to read one more blog/news story about the shooting.
Then came the gun debate. "Ban all guns!" Please...that would create a huge backlash by gun owners and seriously, isn't even a realistic option. Then the NRA comes out and states, "every school in America should have an armed guard in their school at all times." At this point I was so livid I couldn't bring myself to blog about anything. Now I've grown up with guns all my life. My parents are 4-H shooting sports instructors so I was raised to be safe and responsible with firearms. I enjoy shooting guns and I think that we should have the freedom to own guns and carry guns if we are deemed fit.
I've heard all the arguments saying that if we, as a society, truly cared about our children then we would do everything possible to protect their well being by putting guns and armed guards in schools. There are more children's deaths caused by drowning every year than by guns but I'm not constantly hovering over my kids while they bathe. If we really cared about the well being of our children, ALL OF OUR CHILDREN, then as a society we would spend more resources and time with kids like Adam Lanza, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. Let's put our resources into more counselors in schools and a school psychologist in ever school rather than having one psychologist serve numerous schools. More teachers in schools so there is more one on one time between teacher and student.
We need to put our resources, not into armed guards, but into creating a caring community within schools where numerous adults and role models have formed caring relationships with students of all ages. A community where a teacher doesn't have the fear of losing their job simply by hugging a child. We need to create a community where all students feel cared about rather than being shuffled between teachers and parents as an object rather than a person.
Let's create a mental health system that supports our kids rather than punishes them. A system where a parent can actual afford the services their children so desperately need. In some cases an ADHD screening for a family without insurance is close to $2000. A screening. That doesn't include any services!
If we truly cared about the well being of our children we would start WITH our children and learn about them individually as people rather than treating them as though they only merit our full attention when they become adults.
Guns are a symptom. Sometimes guns are a symptom of being ignored and not cared for. Sometimes guns are ways to gain attention, any attention. Sometimes guns are a symptom that a child is loved. A symptom that a child has adults that care enough to spend time with them, teach and listen. Guns are a symptom, not a problem.