To The Daily Sun,
When I sent my kids off to school, I never once ever thought they would be killed. Catch a cold, get in trouble, forget their lunch — sure, those were the norm for me. But thinking when I dropped them off at their schools that would be the last time I ever saw them, hugged them, or said “I love you” never once entered my mind. I cannot even think about the pain these parents are in without shedding a tear.
I was in Florida when Columbine happened. I was at work when Sandy Hook happened. I came home on Valentine’s Day to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting news and just sat at my counter and wept again. Not just as a parent or a woman, but as a human being. Trust me — there have been numerous tragedies that have happened (and continue to happen) daily, locally, and globally that are just as painful to read. My question is — when does it stop?
When is a gun truly considered a weapon and not a toy to brag about? When are enough weapons considered enough for one individual to own? Why would anyone other than police or military EVER need an assault rifle? Why would people ever have armor piercing bullets in their possession? Why is the age to buy a gun not 21? Why isn’t there a waiting period of a month or more to buy a gun? Why are these people with criminal histories and mental illnesses slipping through the cracks and getting guns and ammunition?
So I ask you gun enthusiasts — when is it enough? When will you all start standing up for safer gun control instead of bashing people and thinking everyone is out to take your rights away? Couldn’t you help the solution instead of always trying to stop it? Do you want to just sit by and wait until it is your kid, family member, or friend(s) getting killed? Do YOU want to be the one who waits until all the other kids come out of school and yours is never coming home because some kid was upset his girlfriend dumped him so he brought a gun to school to make sure everyone suffered? You want to go to your wife’s work and wait to see if she will come out after someone mad at the boss went in with a gun? Do you want to get the call that someone aggressive with a gun killed your friend in a road rage incident?
And please don’t hand me that line, “Well — if I had been there with MY gun none of that would have happened.” Or “Let’s arm the teachers and put guards in the schools!” because these are schools — not prisons. What’s next — teaching a 5 year-old how to use pepper spray? Why there is this fascination with guns I never will understand. Nevertheless, I really hope this last shooting will make a few of you think and (I hope) come up with better solutions and laws for us all to live by. Because I never want to be that parent, partner, or friend that has to say a final and painful farewell.
God bless those kids, teachers, and parents. My thoughts and prayers are with them all.
Denise C. Burke
- Written by Edward Engler
- Category: Letters
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