A sensible approach to gun safety is something we can all agree on
I was talking with a friend today who told me how worried her 16-year-old was about someone coming into his school one day with a gun. This is a popular student who is always concerned about others and who goes out of his way to make lonely students feel welcome. Recently he has begun to think that being nice to someone who feels isolated may save his own life. Now, the boy who was always nice to everyone feels a sense of guilt for having an ulterior motive for doing what used to come naturally for him.
Five-year-old children learn how to play possum on the very first day of school. They are taught to drop and play dead. They think it’s a game but in reality they are being taught what to do when an active shooter enters the school.
This makes me want to cry. Whether it was the day I left my son at the school door for the first time or the day I welcomed five year olds into my classroom, I always felt secure doing so. I knew that my son would be in a safe place with a teacher that cared just as I knew that the children that were placed in my room would be welcomed with open arms. Although their safety was always in my mind, I never had to worry that someone would come into the school with a gun.
Now we all have to worry about that each and every day.
Talking about changing gun regulations can become very emotional. Many believe that with the slightest change we are beginning down a slippery slope towards taking away everyone’s guns. Others believe that we can’t do enough to make our world a safer place. And sadly, people usually go to their corners and refuse to listen to one another when beginning a conversation on this topic so no progress is made even after years of school shootings which only seem to get worse as each day goes by.
Here’s how I feel:
I agree with the parents who want their children to go to school and not be afraid.
I agree with the teachers and professors on college campuses who tell me they believe that the Campus Carry Law should be repealed.
I believe that the number of child homicides and injuries by guns in Georgia can be reduced when parents are held responsible for securely storing their guns.
I believe that the number of unsecured guns that have been stolen in Georgia can be lowered by both educating the public and holding gun owners responsible for securing their guns in a safe way.
But mostly, I know that this is a problem that can be solved if people begin to listen to each other and start working together.
I can promise every person in House District 20 that I will work with anyone, regardless of party, to solve this problem for all Georgians when I am elected. I do not know a single gun owner who wants to see children going to school scared nor do I know one person who favors common sense gun legislation wanting to confiscate anyone’s guns.
Both sides need to stop listening to those who want to separate us and begin listening to those who want to bring us together so we can all feel safe once again. I promise to be the one who will listen and work tirelessly to bring us together so that all of us, once again, can worship in a church peacefully, go to the movies without checking for the nearest exit and most of all send our children to school without worrying that they won’t come home.
We can solve this problem if we work together. Now is the time.