The problem is bad people getting guns


Since 1970, there have been 2,052 school shootings in the United States There have been calls for stricter gun control since the assassination of JFK, that is, before I was born.

Melissa Good

I always brushed it off. These shootings don’t happen in small towns like mine. Gun control is for diehard liberals who want to scrap the Second Amendment, I thought.

But that shooting in Texas hit me differently. All of a sudden it was personal to me, even though I didn’t know anyone involved. I don’t even live in the same state.

Perhaps it was the smallness of the town; I live in rural Colorado. Maybe it was the fact that it was an elementary school; I teach in a primary school. Or that the shooter had no clear reason to target children; I am mother.

Whatever the reason, that school shooting shook me to my core.

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I recalled the image of my class of 9 and 10 when I told them that the bucket filled with kitty litter in my room is for a modified bathroom in the event of confinement. I imagined the door to my classroom opening the wrong way, making it impossible to barricade it. I imagined my son’s text messages earlier this year when his school had an active shooter threat and he was stuck in his classroom for hours. Fear gripped my heart as I waited to hear that he and the other kids were okay that day.

I imagined the little girl in that classroom in Texas, constantly calling 911 for help and seeing no one; no one but dead and bleeding classmates she had just played soccer with at recess. I imagined the grief the parents of the children killed at Uvalde felt when they learned they would never be able to tuck their babies in again.

They just sent their children to school that morning.

I imagined the teachers who just wanted to make a difference in the lives of children, who showed up that day with lesson plans and made last minute copies and went to their classrooms to learn how to read and write to their students, then never came home for dinner that night. I will never come home for dinner again.

I imagined the man who loved his wife so deeply that her murder made her heart stop beating. I imagined the little girl who hadn’t yet seen blood in her underwear getting covered in her classmate’s blood, just to survive.

And I thought as I wiped the tears from my cheeks…it has to stop. We can all agree that the senseless killing of children in schools must stop.

And then I imagined the gun in my house.

The one I like to shoot at the shooting range. The one I shot down in my hunter’s safety course. The one I will be completing my concealed carry course for.

I imagined my brother’s weapons. The ones he kills animals with to fill his family’s freezer. Those with whom he guides hunters. The ones he used to keep predators from killing his livestock. He’s a responsible gun owner.

But then I imagined this 18-year-old kid, buying two assault rifles in a very short time with the intention of taking the lives of the most innocent victims he could find. His possession of weapons is a problem.

And after that realization, for the first time, I found myself agreeing with the hardline liberals; we need tougher gun control laws.

We need a common-sense compromise between the people who would start a revolution if you tried to take their guns away from them and those who think that taking the guns away is the only solution. First, we should set 21 as the legal age to own a “black weapon” (high capacity semi-automatic or fully automatic self-defence weapon). There was one shocking increase in shooters under 21, which makes raising the legal age to own a firearm absolutely crucial. The Bill just passed by Congress last week does not contain this provision, although it does expand background checks on potential buyers under the age of 21.

Then we should require the gun owner to pass a course similar to a concealed carry course, take the certificate to the local sheriff’s office, have their fingerprints taken, and pass a mental and criminal background check and a Mental Health. The assessment would require teaming up with mental health providers in the sale of firearms and these mental health checks could help prevent self-inflicted gunshots, as more than half of gunshot deaths in the United States are suicides.

We must emphasize that a permit can only be issued once these steps have been completed. Only after this built-in waiting period will you be able to purchase your “black gun”. This waiting time shouldn’t be a problem either. Only those planning a heinous crime need an AR-15 tomorrow.

Bipartisan legislation approved by Congress and signed by President Biden is not all we need to reduce criminal killings, but it is more than we have been able to accomplish in a generation. Yet we can and must do more.

If we can save the life of just one child who just wanted to know what happened at the end of his Magic Tree House book that day and instead left in a body bag, then we can’t. we hide behind excuses and we have to support compromise. I want to make school safer for children. Not you ?

Melissa Good lives in Montrose. She is a 2021-22 Teach More Colorado Senior Policy Researcher.

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