Guns are Easy to Focus On, Instead of the Real Problems and Solutions
(Good CAN come from Facebook...)
By Paul Hayden
April 2, 2018
So much furor in our country since the 17 shooting deaths occurred at the high school in Florida on Feb. 14, 2018. Such animosity. The authorities looking to escape blame, or point blame. The politicians wanting to score points for their favorite agendas. The 'kids' who attended the school, being given such a front-and-center stage to voice their fears and concerns. The media, with their typical anti-gun single-focus answer to solve this problem "once and for all." And the rest of us citizens are left to sort it out, think it through, argue our opinions with one another.
We need more perspective and less drama in this whole national discussion. Heightened emotion is starkly contrasted with reasoned calm, from which we might truly find "common sense" solutions. The sincere desire to 'take action' is being hijacked by irrational anger, rather than being led with a reasonable and calculated intelligence and authority.
Where can we find answers? What are even the right questions? What indeed should we do?
Here is a Facebook post by Kelly, a teacher of 20 years from Florida - over 766,000 shares (4/2/18). It makes a lot of sense to me. See what you think?
Kelly Guthrie Raley - · Eustis, FL · (from the day after the horrible event)
"Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say. I’ll take all the criticism and attacks from everyone because you know what? I’m a TEACHER. I live this life daily. And I wouldn’t do anything else! But I also know daily I could end up in an active shooter situation.
"Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it-violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school. Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!
"I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that. But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. I was terrified of doing something bad at school, as I would have not had a life until I corrected the problem and straightened my ass out. My parents invaded my life. They knew where I was ALL the time. They made me have a curfew. They made me wake them up when I got home. They made me respect their rules. They had full control of their house, and at any time could and would go through every inch of my bedroom, backpack, pockets, anything! Parents: it’s time to STEP UP! Be the parent that actually gives a crap! Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough “friends” at school. Be their parent. Being the “cool mom” means not a damn thing when either your kid is dead or your kid kills other people because they were allowed to have their space and privacy in YOUR HOME. I’ll say it again. My home was filled with guns growing up. For God’s sake, my daddy was an 82nd Airborne Ranger who lost half his face serving our country. But you know what? I never dreamed of shooting anyone with his guns. I never dreamed of taking one! I was taught respect for human life, compassion, rules, common decency, and most of all, I was taught that until I moved out, my life and bedroom wasn’t mine...it was theirs. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.
"There. Say that I’m a horrible person. I didn’t bring up gun control, and I will refuse to debate it with anyone. This post wasn’t about gun control. This was me, loving the crap out of people and wanting the best for them. This was about my school babies and knowing that God created each one for greatness, and just wanting them to reach their futures. It’s about 20 years ago this year I started my teaching career. Violence was not this bad 20 years ago. Lack of compassion wasn’t this bad 20 years ago. And God knows 20 years ago that I wasn’t afraid daily to call a parent because I KNEW that 9 out of 10 would cuss me out, tell me to go to Hell, call the news on me, call the school board on me, or post all over FaceBook about me because I called to let them know what their child chose to do at school...because they are a NORMAL kid!!!!!
"Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously?"
I don't believe guns are the problem. Guns and gun control should not be the overwhelming focus of attempts to curb this violence. Banning so-called "assault rifles" will no more stop mass shootings or bring down deaths by shooting, than making more laws will bring down drug deaths, or stop drunk-driving deaths!
Can this change overnight? NO! Can we change it with laws? No more than we can end racial tensions with laws. We need to look to the loving God who created this universe and find out how to have more love in our lives, and less hate!
Paul Hayden is a Christian believer, and an American patriot, necessarily in that order. He is a student of the Bible, and is avidly interested in our role in the context of history, as understood through the heart and eyes of faith. Paul has lived and traveled somewhat widely, and now lives in the heartland of the U.S. (central Illinois), with his wife Donna - they have five grown children. Since December of 2016, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of www.ConservativeTruth.org.
"I was raised by a Christian minister, Kenneth Hayden, until his death when I was 10. Then my mom married a farmer. So I was raised in a very down-to-earth home. My faith has grown through the years, but both in conjunction with the institutional church and through small groups and individuals, including books as well as group settings, where deep, sincere faith is shared that aligns with Biblical truth."