Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A post about guns and rights and schools

My feelings about guns are generally like my feelings about sports.  I don't dislike them, per se, I just don't have any interest.  I don't own a gun; I don't want to own a gun; I've never shot a gun.  If other people enjoy guns, good for them.  One positive thing about guns is that for the most part I don't see people jamming up my FB feed about their raging excitement over a local gun show or their play-by-plays of how many rounds they got off at the range (like sports enthusiasts tend to do).

If someone wants the privilege of owning a gun, like a car, I think they need to use it and store it responsibly.  Especially if they have children.

Supposedly a child in N's 3rd grade class brought a gun to school yesterday.  That is all I know at the moment.  I don't know if it was real or a toy.  I don't know if there was even really a gun.  It happened at dismissal so, by my estimate, there wasn't time to send a letter home to parents.  N's 8:00 ensemble practice this morning at school has been canceled due to an "unscheduled staff meeting," which I assume has something to do with this alleged incident.  But maybe not.  All I have in the moment is hearsay from two not 100% reliable sources---N and one of her classmates.

I am trying to withhold worry and judgment, but that is a difficult task.

Regardless of whether this incident is real or not, I can't help wanting to pop the parent of the child who may or may not have brought a real/pretend gun to school.  If it is a real gun, the parent should be charged with reckless endangerment for not locking the gun away so the child had no access to it.  If the gun was a fake, the parent is a colossal idiot for allowing her child to bring a play gun to school (especially if it is a very real-looking version).

As a parent who checks N's backpack as soon as she walks in the door in the afternoon and before she leaves for school in the morning, I have a hard time wrapping my head around a dinky 3rd grader snowing his momma.

It is possible there never was a gun....just a child talking trash, as it were, and another child taking his talk seriously (which is good).  Or trying to get another kid in trouble just to be spiteful and mean (which is mean).  

I have mixed feelings about the strengthening of background checks and other regulations on guns.  As best I understand, background checks do not work for the dangerous felons.  If someone has a criminal history, he/she is not going to take legal means to acquire a gun.  It also seems to me that many of the people who get guns (which are then used to kill a whole slew of people) have stolen them from parents/neighbors who did get the guns through legal means.  Or they have mental illness, and I'm not certain with HIPPAA rules that mental illness issues are even on background checks.  I am clearly not in the know when it comes to gun rights.

I compare gun rights to reproductive rights.  I have never owned a gun and don't want to.  I have never had an abortion and don't want to.  I wish there wasn't a need for guns or abortion.  But as much as I don't want "big brother" regulating my reproductive life in any way, shape or form, I understand why gun advocates don't want "big brother" butting its nose into their gun interests and purchases.

But just like use of a gun demands responsibility, so does reproductive issues.

I will be stopping by school this morning to do some volunteer work, and I will be getting answers to my questions about this alleged incident.  I feel sorry for the principal and staff (and any principal and staff that has to deal with any kind of incident like this, be it real or fake).  Word spreads like wildlife among parents, even if the word is not completely accurate.  I have mixed feelings about posting this since it is possible some people I know whose children go to the same school will read it and worry.  I feel sorry for the classmates of N and their parents, who perhaps spent the night as I did, waking up and wondering what the real story is, if there is a real story at all.

The only thing I know with 100% certainty is that it is a damn shame I am even venting about this issue on such as personal level.  

1 comment:

Shelby said...

Great post Carrie! I am not a gun nut...don't own one and don't see myself owning one in the future. I think the whole background check things makes sense, however, as you pointed out most nuts who do terrible things get their hands on a gun regardless of the rules. I don't think that will change with any amount of gun legislation. Evil people who want to do evil things will find a way to do them...whether it is with a gun, bomb, knife, etc....

I never compared gun rights to abortion but what you said makes sense. If you don't want the government setting the rules in one aspect of your life then it makes sense that it's not ok for them to do it in another. I also find it interesting that most people who are pro-choice are often on the side of more gun control. One type of violence is ok and the other is not?

I am so sorry you have to deal with the issue at N's school. I am sure I would have been up all night filled with worry and dread. I hope you find some answers this morning at school.