Moderate Moment | Moderate Moms

It isn’t an Argument

I think the saddest thing about the school shootings in Colorado is that police are reportedly saying one of the alleged shooters had talked in the past about wanting to cause harm and make a large group of people sad. As investigators try to figure out how the alleged shooters got access to the handgun used in the deadly attack at a STEM school in Colorado, news reports indicate that at least one of the two suspects had talked in the past about his intentions.

I don’t know what to think about the fact that the President did not mention the shootings on a day when he was put in the spotlight and on the defensive about his tax returns. Best case scenario, he may have been trying to prevent the suspect from being immortalized on social media. Worst case scenario, he is not hearing that this is a national priority where extraordinary leadership and outside-the-box ideas, not to mention funding, are needed.

One positive take away is that an armed guard intervened and took the shooter into custody, preventing additional deaths. I realize many parents are uncomfortable with the thought of a licensed firearms owner, who is also a certified teacher, being armed in the classroom. I am not one of those parents. At the end of the day, I think every parent in this Country, needs to know the good guys (and gals) are doing what they can to keep our children safe.

Once again, I wonder if it isn’t time for every school in this Country to deploy people trained for surprise attacks – military moms, retired police officers and other licensed gun owners – as a preventive safety net. I am not saying teach teachers to shoot or require them to do so. I am saying that those who are already licensed firearms owners should be permitted to have their guns on them at school. For their own safety, as well as the safety of our students.

We can no longer assume video cameras will prevent mass shootings. A very sick segment of society, that grew up on violent films and video games, may like the fact that their final hours are captured on tape to be played and replayed again. They are useful and help identify shooters after an attack but sadly have not seemed to have stopped shootings in school settings.

No one is talking about taking guns out of Ranchers hands that are used to shoot feral pigs and no one is talking about shutting down practice sites for legal gun owners interested in guns for sport. No one is talking about outlawing hunting, either.

Even if we were, I would pose the question, which is more important? Most Ranchers and Recreational Hunters would probably agree: keeping our students safe.

That question goes to the heart of the problem in our Country right now. It isn’t an either/or issue. Why can’t we apply a crisis or triage mentality to the issue of school shootings with the understanding that we may have to apply temporary restrictions, at least until we have a better understanding of what is driving this wave of violence in our schools.

Some ideas that occur to me today are whether high school kids shouldn’t be forced to sit with their advisories at lunch to break down barriers and foster communication all the way through Grade 12. Hopefully, it will be harder to hurt someone you see and talk to every day at lunch. Also, shouldn’t all bags be searched every day and at every entrance to a school anyway? It is disturbing to think the shooters at that STEM school in Colorado were deep inside the school before they took a single shot.

I love movies. The other day I was looking at a series of questions and one of them was, “What was the first movie you saw?” I think it was Herbie the Love Bug. If I saw it the year it came out, I was 4 years old. It’s possible I saw it years later or maybe I saw a later sequel. If you doubt how influential media is on a young and still forming mind, consider that I have only owned one car that wasn’t a Volkswagon since I was 17 years old. I have owned a Rabbit, a VW Sedan and now drive a Touareg.

I would appeal to Hollywood. I would appeal to Ryan Reynolds, whose wife Blake Lively is expecting her third child, not to make another Deadpool, without raising questions about the amount of gun violence in that film. I think Antonio Banderas is a terrific actor and Robert Rodriguez a brilliant director. But Desperado only perpetuates the use of gun violence as a means of revenge in our culture.

Before you call me a hypocrite, I will confess to letting my kids play video games. I get that, for many young boys, and especially one growing up half the time in a house with a single Mom and older sister, they are a realm filled with messages and images that teenage boys identify with.

I even saw Deadpool with my kids. I walked out – twice.

And I remember taking them and friends to a viewing of Star Trek, when they were all still in grade school. I shrieked and covered my eyes at the violence. They counseled me, “it’s only a film! It is all made up.”

The healthy ones can see it is make believe. But clearly there are a lot more unhealthy teenagers in America right now than any of us imagined.


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