School shootings

Once again, my Facebook feed and the media are full of opposing opinions on how to prevent these heartbreaking acts. Everyone has an opinion. Nothing changes. We all forget within a day or two and move on. And then it happens again.

My eyes are filling with tears as I write this. I’m as guilty as anyone else. When I hear of another school shooting, I’m no longer surprised. I’m just thankful my children were not involved. What a terrible, but honest, statement. I can do better than that. And I need to.

A little background on me. I’ve lived in South Dakota nearly all of my life. I grew up with some liberal parents, one of whom started swaying right over the years. I consider myself an independent, as I have become more skeptical of the aid programs after witnessing some of the abuse that occurs within them. As a retail pharmacist/intern, I have seen a lot of things. I have no solution to that either, as I know these programs are vital to some families and children that truly need them.

My point is this: I am a product of rural middle class America. I grew up in a state where hunting is a big part of our economy. I remember hunting rifles in the back of people’s pick-ups when I was growing up. This was never a concern for me. So I get it. It’s not ALL about guns. We have changed. Our society has changed.

But… What if making it more difficult to purchase assault rifles or bump stocks saved a child’s life? Saved 10 kids? Then would it be Ok? What if you could keep your rifles and pistols and whatever else, but we tightened the reins on these other guns?

What if we quit making such life-like video games where kids get to pretend to kill other people? With no pause or consideration of human life?

What if we prioritized mental health?

What if we tried all these things?

There is no easy answer to this. But… guys, I think we need to try something. Try a few things. Because I don’t want to wait until this happens here. I don’t want to explain to my 6 y.o. what an active shooter is. But I already have. Because he needs to listen to his teacher. I tried to hide my fear the whole time.

Let’s do something this time. If our government officials remain stagnant, let’s use our votes to speak. And maybe even more importantly, make a difference at home and in your community.

And yes, the FBI failed us this time. But I don’t think we can blame them for every incident since Columbine.

Do you remember that day? I was home sick with mono watching MTV when my show was interrupted. I remember the kids running crouched down. It still gives me chills.

And if you don’t agree with any of this, that’s okay. But choose kindness. Voice your opinions respectfully and without insult. That’s how we find resolutions.

Because I just don’t get it. I do not understand how we continue to do nothing as our children and loved ones die.

Thanks for reading,

Brandi

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