I am hoping this blog allows me to move on and free myself of the frustrations of seeing daily posts on the internet in regards to the opinions of others when it comes to the recent tragedy that was the massacre shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Typically, I am fascinated and non-judgmental when it comes to the thoughts and feelings of others about political and religious beliefs. I am a strong believer that everyone has feelings and whether I agree with said feelings or not…all of our feelings are valid in their own right.
Today is no different…I do not judge and I will not judge but..I am tired. I am tired of seeing all of the posts on the internet. I am tired of listening to the media claim they know the answers to fixing the problems of this nation. So tonight..I say my peace and I will move on. I will not listen to the news and I will scroll past all those on my friends list who post anything about the tragic event.
I am a Liberal. A Liberal who happens to be pro gun ownership. I know, right? I have not always been so. Only in the past five years have I changed my feelings about guns. I used to be terrified. The reason for my terror? I was uneducated…period. My friends and family and I live in the suburbs of Arizona. We frequently go out to the desert and shoot guns using targets for practice. There are usually about fifteen of us out there along with an arsenal of guns – we all interchange, trying out each others firearms and practice. Its a fun event, I have learned a lot and to be honest..it’s a powerful feeling KNOWING that if it came down to me and an intruder…I will win.
To me, owning a gun gives me the power to protect myself from those who want to invade my space, possibly harm me physically and steal from me.
Unfortunately, these are the times we live in.
With that said…I DO believe it IS way to easy for anyone to purchase a gun. I bought my first gun three years ago. I walked into the local gun shop in Glendale, AZ, told the salesman which gun I wanted, he asked me if I knew anything about the gun I wanted to purchase, I said, “No, but I have a few friends that know enough to teach me”. He said ‘OK” took my paperwork, dialed a phone number and ran a quicky background check. Found nothing and I was literally out the door with my new matte black .45 caliber Glock 23.
The entire process took less than fifteen minutes. To me, that’s unacceptable. What if..just what if…I had JUST found my husband in bed with another woman or I was just fired from a job and would not be able to provide my family with a great Christmas or I could no longer pay my bills. Crimes of passion can stem from these examples and more. We hear it everyday..
In fifteen minutes, my anger would not have been diminished, I could have very well been angered by something, purchased a firearm and taken matters into my own hands in a heated rage. I had no prior record so that quicky background check they just ran is really useless..I could have just snapped..this would have been my first crime of course I would have had no blemishes on my record.
In a sense, I do agree with some form of gun control..it should not be that easy to walk out of the store with a gun and no education. Some sort of waiting period should be required along with a background check.
Is this going to solve the problem of shooting massacres, no…. no it will not. It is only one step…One issue.
The other problem I see is family. We all know in these times, most people cannot live in this economy on a one income family. That leaves our children either at home alone while we work to raise themselves or it leaves our children in the hands of day care or babysitters. We don’t have sit down dinners with our kids, we dont ask them how their days were and if we do…do we truly listen to not only what they are telling us but how they tell us how their days at school were?
I have a now nineteen year old daughter. It was like pulling teeth trying to get her to tell me how her day actually was. I would ask, “How was your day?” I would get…”Fine” It would take literally twenty minutes of prying to actually find out what the kid did that day. Frustrating, so frustrating but I wanted to know and to me “fine” was not acceptable.
I am not saying I am perfect, there have been many times, I have asked..just to ask and have not really listened to the answer. Not because I didn’t care but even as an adult..I am unfocused. Everyone of us is guilty of this. Our children are not perfect and they are not “fine”.
We, as a society, need to recognize this. We need to recognize and admit to ourselves that our child could possibly need us to listen and pay more attention to behavior signs which may lead them down the wrong path. A path which may lead them to become pregnant as a teen, may lead them to drug and alcohol usage, may lead them to gang violence or worse yet…may lead them to retrieve our guns, shoot us and then shoot down twenty completely innocent children.
Not every instance is the “fault” of the parent. Some kids are just born with mental and social health issues. These traits are seen by the parent..sometimes the parent sees or feels something is “‘off” within the child and they start treatment early..sometimes the parent ignores the warning signs..after all, it’s “my” child..I am fine..my child should be fine..my child is a “good” kid. Your kid is not perfect..if you feel something is “off” it’s worth his/her life and the lives of yourself and others to get it checked out..to seek professional help.
I hear and read people say “it’s video games and movies and music” to blame for our kids desensitization regarding human life. I don’t believe that to be true either. It comes down to paying attention to our children, educating them, creating good family values, teaching them right from wrong and holding them accountable for the actions they make.