Two summers ago, I was in the back of an ambulance vomiting blood while Alton Sterling was shot to death. If I had not realized this later, I can safely say that his would be another outrageously unjust news story that played in the background of my REAL life, the one that we all have and that we spend most of our effort on. It’s our inner sense, extending to our community, perhaps, but not to our global citizenship. That’s something else, entirely.
We have heard so many stories over the past year, more than a year…more than five years. More than ten years.
This week it happened again. I was in the hospital having the worst Valentine’s Day of my life while 17 people lost their lives in Florida. This one is a little different though, because it would never have been a news story I didn’t quite relate to, the way that the shooting deaths of two black men (Philando Castile being the second man murdered during that particular hospital stay,) isn’t necessarily something I can emphasize. School shootings, however.
I went to a girls high school in Buffalo, NY. It was a good school, and the kind you pay for. This, in retrospect, may have provided us with even more of a sense of false security. But see, we all had it. We all felt secure in our school, from my little community to the 4000 kid public school that was the alternative. School was a safe haven. Sure, there were problems. Everyone knew where they could get drugs at their local school. Everyone knew which kids to avoid for whatever reasons. But we still felt safe.
Until April 20th 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot up their school in Columbine, Colorado. We were fifteen, and no school was ever safe again. We looked to the adults for answers. They told us don’t worry. Don’t play those violent video games. Turn off that Marilyn Manson. Add some color to your wardrobe. Don’t be a target for anything, not a shooter, not THE shooter.
They were fucking liars, guys. It’s 18 years later and my stepkids run shooter drills the way we ran fire drills.
The tears that spelled from my eyes when I heard that some teenage girl named Sarah Chadwick told the president she didn’t want his condolences. The size my heart swelled seeing her fellow classmates open their mouths and actually call BULLSHIT.
Kids are constantly told to shut up and sit down and I often feel that life would have been different for my generation if we’d had the social media platforms available to today’s youth. Yes! TELL THEM! The problem is GUNS, guys. Sure, guns don’t kill people, people kill people, but people sure love to do it using GUNS!
I know some republican gun owners, and I get that they have concerns about gun laws, but truthfully, I, as a liberal democrat, don’t want your gun. I want the gun of the guy who shouldn’t have it in the first place. You want to keep up with your barbaric hunting and your silly shooting ranges or whatever, then go; those are not my hobbies. I wouldn’t want you begrudging me playing The Sims for 4 hours straight. It’s the people who shouldn’t have the guns, guys. It’s the guys who should have the guns not taking proper care of them so that they fall in the wrong hands. It’s the illegal guns on the streets. It’s not you turkey-hunting, Trump-voting, target-practice dudes I worry about, it’s all the Eric Harris and Dylan Klebolds in the world. And really, if you’re so afraid of background checks and mental health exams, then what have YOU done wrong, sir? Because it’s obviously something if you think you can’t pass a background check. And if you can’t pass the test, you don’t deserve the gun. Period.
Or we could take them all away. Like you take a childs toy when they keep using it as a hammer and destroying household lamps. #nannyproblems
My point, if I have one, is that I am done not screaming about this. I JUST wrote about not wanting to get on a soapbox and here I am, but you know what? I’m getting pretty sick and tired of the adults telling us what to do, especially now that I AM ONE. So I hope those kids scream loud and fucking clear at their representatives and give them the hell we never did.
Here are the statistics I found on guns in schools since the beginning of the new year. Enjoy.
Firearm attacks during school hours: 7 (incidents resulting in injuries or deaths: 5)
22 January: Italy High School, Italy, Texas – A 16-year-old student opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun in the school cafeteria, wounding another student.
22 January: NET Charter High School, Gentilly, Louisiana – An unknown person fired shots at students from a vehicle in the school parking lot. One person was injured (though not by gunfire).
23 January: Marshall County High School, Benton, Kentucky – A 15-year-old student opened fire with a handgun on school grounds, killing two and injuring 17.
25 January: Murphy High School, Mobile, Alabama – A student fired a handgun into the air during a fight with another student. No injuries were reported.
26 January: Dearborn High School, Dearborn, Michigan – Shots were fired during a fight in the school parking lot. No injuries were reported.
31 January: Lincoln High School, Philadelphia – A fight during a basketball game resulted in the shooting death of a 32-year-old man outside the school.
14 February: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida – A 19-year-old former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 and injuring 14.
Firearm attacks NOT occurring during school hours: 2 (incidents resulting in injuries or deaths: 2)
20 January: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina – A 21-year-old was shot and killed during a fight at a party on school grounds.
5 February: – Oxon Hill High School, Oxon Hill, Maryland – A student was shot and injured in the school parking lot during an attempted robbery.
Shots fired during school hours, unknown reason: 2 (no injuries)
10 January: California State University, San Bernardino, California – Bullets were fired through a window, with no suspects or motive identified.
8 February: Metropolitan High School, New York, NY – A student fired a gun into the floor of a classroom.
Unintentional gunfire during school hours: 3 (incidents resulting in injuries or deaths: 1)
10 January: Greyson College, Denison, Texas – A student fired a weapon belonging to an adviser, believing it wasn’t loaded. No injuries were reported.
1 February: Salvador B. Castro Middle School, Los Angeles – A semi-automatic rifle brought to school by a 12-year-old student accidentally went off. Four students were injured.
5 February: Harmony Learning Center, Maplewood, Minnesota – A third-grader pressed the trigger of a law enforcement officer’s handgun. The weapon went off but no one was injured.
Suicide attempts during school hours: 1 (resulting in death)
10 January: Coronado Elementary School, Sierra Vista, Arizona – A middle school student shot himself in the bathroom of the school and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Stray bullets hitting school buildings during school hours: 1 (no injuries)
4 January: New Start High School, near Seattle – Bullets fired by an unidentified shooter entered an administrative office. No injuries were reported.
Stray bullets hitting school buildings NOT occurring during school hours: 1 (no injuries)
15 January: Wiley College, Marshall, Texas – Gunshots fired from a vehicle in the parking lot of a college dorm entered through a window, but did not injure residents.
**above content found at snopes.com