Gun Safety & Responsibility

There are so many things I want to say about the shooting that took place in Seattle on Thursday — first and foremost, the student security monitor, currently identified as Jon Meis, who subdued the gunman IS a hero in every sense. He risked his own life to prevent the further harm that would have inevitably come to his fellow students and staff. I hope the school shows him some kind of appreciation for his actions. So many other people would have simply run for cover or find any way they could to escape. The fact that this student ran TOWARD danger to keep others out of it, speaks volumes about his bravery.

Second, the fact that Meis was able to use pepper-spray on the gunman while he reloaded tells me that maybe we don’t need more armed security guards in schools. While it’s true, Meis was probably fortunate enough to get as close as he did to use it, and that the gunman must not have been wearing any protective eye gear were definitely strokes of luck. The point is, that Meis, with the help of several other students held the gunman down while the police arrived. Students, not police, disarmed and subdued a gunman without the use of a firearm themselves. It IS possible to stop a rampaging gunman without killing him. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association said after the Sandy Hook school shooting, that, “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” This has been proven to be untrue.

Thirdly, I don’t know why people wake up one morning and decide to go on a shooting spree. I can only guess that they feel victimized in an uncaring world, and that they just want to end it all. However, even if they decide to end their own lives, it would only further the feeling of isolation and loneliness they probably feel; or they’re too scared to take their lives. But…if they go to a public place, like a school or a theater full of people — people who they feel are responsible for their depression/frustration in their lives, there’s a good chance that depending on their “success,” they could be immortalized forever. Even if they go down in the annals of history as a gun-toting psychopath…at least now, people will have noticed them, perhaps even admire them for their acts of brutality, and consider it themselves. There are reports all over the web of people who admire Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold for what they did at Columbine High School in April 1999.

Finally, the university he went to was extremely Christian-based. Apparently, the school will take disciplinary action against students who engage in extramarital sex, homosexual activity, or possess alcohol. While I may not agree with some of their policies, that doesn’t mean any of them have the right to be killed for their lifestyle/belief structures/philosophical practices. I don’t know what the motive was behind this shooting, or why this school was targeted, but IF it was because of the school’s practicing faith, it’s just another reason we need to be more open minded about peoples’ beliefs, even when they differ from our own.

I don’t know what the answer is to reducing the un-necessary slaughter of innocent people, because someone decides to take their anger out on a building full of people by gunning them down. But I’m confident that the US is not doing everything it can to keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them. I also think that parents need to take the initiative. If they even suspect their child of mental instability, they need to seek professional help as soon as possible. And for parents who already own guns, that is your constitutional right, but please, keep your guns un-loaded, and your ammunition locked up in a safe place that you are confident will not be accessed by your child. And lastly, if you are planning on purchasing a firearm, first ask yourself two questions:

– What is the reason I want to own a gun? Do I feel my life is being threatened? Or do I just want to have one just because I like the feeling of power and protection it gives me?

– Do I have the discipline to learn how to use it responsibly and safely? Will I remember to keep it locked up when not using it? Will I insure my ammunition is kept out of the hands of children/people who shouldn’t be using it?

If your answer to either of these questions is “no” or questionable, perhaps you should reconsider your decision to purchase a firearm. I am of the opinion that a gun is not completely and utterly necessary to protect yourself. Please be responsible when it comes to gun safety. While it is true that guns can be used to protect the people you care about, when placed in the wrong hands, guns are nothing but tools of violence and destruction. Be responsible and be safe.


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