Why am I still here?
I have written about this before, and asked these questions so many times. Never had a “Gun Grabber” give me a real answer.
• Why are things like school massacres that involve firearms happening in the first place?
• Other than firearms being present, what else is a common denominator during these events?
I grew up in the sticks, y’all. Dirt roads for hunting and farming. A farm animal wandering off casually, was and is a norm.
“That’s just Clyde The Bull. He’s checking up on folks like always.”
I’ve used an outhouse or two, and quite aware of what “Boys on the Left, Girls on the Right” means when out in the woods, or during the occasional field party before a “Snipe Hunt.”
Not saying us country bumpkins can’t get a little hyped up, but by typical stereotypes, “my people” aren’t supposed to have all of our teeth (still have mine and my dentist is very happy with them, btw. Clean and naturally straight. Saved my parents a lot of money in dental bills); we’re supposed to be married to a sibling (that was never an option nor even considered. I even looked into my husband’s b/g to make sure we weren’t linked before procreating); we’re dumb as a box of rocks (all advanced classes and got good grades, except math. Mathing is hard, but still passed. 2 teeth + 2 more teeth = 4 teeth total. Went to college a lot, too!); and out causing havoc by screaming, “Yeehaw! The south will rise again!” in various neighborhoods, while shooting off rounds into the air from the backend of a tobacco trailer with our 12g (also… that never happens. I said hyped up. Not insane! We’ve been conserving ammo for days like THIS).
I did, however, grow up during a time where teens could carry their rifles, shotguns and hunting gear with them, displayed publicly in their vehicles, and brought onto school grounds. I’ve been around more firearms, not only in my home setting/ upbringing (I’m the daughter of a former LEO… who was also a farmer and avid outdoorsman), but due to my community. Firearms safety education was easily accessible to us in school settings, as well as within our neighborhoods… and something like a targeted shooting was NEVER an issue, when I was growing up.
It was a way of life.
I’ve been handling firearms, like rifles and pistols, as well as knives… hell… matches… since a very young age. (I learned how to start a fire with a stick and a rock at the age of 7, y’all!) I’ve been around these “dangerous things” in many different settings, at many different stages of my life, and never a problem.
• Why am I still here?
Yes! I have been present during a school “shooting,” but not in the manner to which we see today.
My senior year of high school, I sat in my Civics class (of all classes) and we heard a commotion in the class next door, then a loud pop. A young man, who had a tough upbringing and was being bullied, brought a family member’s (I believe an older brother’s) pistol to class in his backpack. Another student saw it, ratted the guy out, the teacher freaked, went for it and because SHE was uneducated on the matter, the firearm went off when she grabbed it. You could even hear the guy who brought it yell, “NOOOO!” before the bang.
Yes. The kid did wrong by bringing a firearm into the classroom, and was rightly punished, but there is a huge difference, and point, in the education between that teacher and that student. Turns out, that student had been bringing that gun to school for about 6 months prior and never an issue until he was caught. (Not really condoning what he did… but…) He was not out to target his classmates. He was scared for his life outside of school. His older brother/ family member was in the military, and he was given lessons on how to handle the weapon, as well as took firearms safety education IN SCHOOL. It took one moment for a person uneducated on firearms… an educator (of all people)… to make the situation worse than what it was. Fortunately, no one was hurt. (Several of us about messed our britches, though.)
I also blame the student that ratted him out. No, the other student wasn’t wrong for making the teacher aware, but because of their fear of what they saw and how they delivered the info to the teacher, things got out of control. Instead of being calm after seeing the gun, and saying, “Hey man… why do you have that? Need to talk? I’m here for ya.” and creating a meeting ground of understanding, they created a panic. If the “gunman” didn’t want to talk, the other student should have found a way to make the teacher aware, and utilized other means of handling the situation… like nonchalantly notifying our school resource officer, who was a mentor to the “gunman” because the R.O. was also the student’s assistant football coach.
Bigger takeaway, the kid that tattled, never took firearms safety. In our firearms safety classes AT SCHOOL, we were actually taught how to identify threats, as well as how to handle them effectively as students, before they get out of hand.
Ain’t that something?
It wasn’t until after I graduated high school, when Gun Control groups became popular and gained headway in our educational & political systems, that I saw a shift in the culture, completely. Talking about firearms became almost taboo, to the point of almost nonexistent… and even criminal, but yet, why am I still here, if I’ve been around them and educated on them all of my life?