No. I have not gone what you went through. I haven’t prayed prayers that could have been my last, texting my parents that ‘I love them’ but not giving in to telling them ‘good bye’. But I have been through high school. I have sat in those desks, been through the crazy times of growing, learning, and changing. I have also been on the other side of the classroom. Taught. Saw the faces and the smiles or the frowns. The excitement of it being a Friday and the discomfort of someone that didn’t feel they fit in at school.
The main thing I have witnessed is how much high school has changed since I was in those seats. Kids have become more ruthless and cold-hearted. Social media is running rapid and rumors circulate faster on the internet rather than in a hallway. Bullying has changed and blind eyes have been turned towards the victim and the abuser. Blind eyes from not only other peers but teachers, principals and parents. High school is tough and it continues to get tougher not because of the curriculum placed in front of the students but because of the hearts of others.
However, I do feel that change could be a possibility, and maybe drastically changing gun laws will do that. Students should feel safe going to school… but that safety should radiate from every thread of clothing, from every tile flooring, from every wood piece in every door. That starts from the inside out.
So, students who are wanting radical gun law changes I want you to sit down with some people and talk with them; learn history from others who have been through situations involving guns.
- Find a veteran that was a POW (prisoner of war). They were most likely striped of their guns. Ridiculed. Abandoned. And never knew if the prayers that they prayed was going to be the last.
- Find a holocaust survivor or a close relative that knows their stories. Talk to them about how it was growing up in the Nazi driven countries. Guns banned, homes taken, lives destroyed. Talk to them about how they would have wanted gun laws to be.
- Finally, find someone who knows the whole and complete history of the Trial of Tears– the Cherokee Nation who walked endlessly, under government supervision. They had no forms of weapons, only the government did. They suffered, died, pushed forward, learned to survive. Ask them what their take on gun laws are.
Talk to these people. Learn. Listen. Do not stand up and talk against them. Listen to their stories, and then listen to their advice. And then, look at yourself. During the time at school, were you the POW or was the shooter actually the POW? Were you the one growing up to feel as the ones in Nazi driven countries or was that the shooter? Were you the one standing against them while they walked aimlessly around school, suffering against your hands or was that you?
Ask those hard questions. Look into your own hearts. Change that perspective and then your mind will change. Do all of those things, and then, watch how the division will change, how others will see, and then maybe, the gun laws you are so passionately trying to change will no longer need changing.
Someone who thinks change needs to happen but the approach should be altered
(P.S. for those that may state I am siding with the shooter. I am no where near doing that. I want all sides to be evaluated. Hearts, mindsets, motives. The death of those students is heart wrenching and I, as a future teacher, do not ever want to even have to think about mourning the loss of my students but I want to be given the chance to battle for them. Again, things change from the inside out. Classmates, teachers, students, you need to be unafraid to state when a student is acting different or posting threatening things. Take a stand. Even if that means that gun laws need to be changed.)