Go figure. It’s me. Complaining about guns in America. Like this is something new.
So today I had to sit through an active shooter training at the elementary school I work at. Just the idea that someone could be filled with such hate as to harm one of our sweet kiddos breaks my heart. The idea that someone could indiscriminately mow them down is on a whole other level.
We were introduced to the officer, he told us about his history in the military and as an LEO. Then we began. As we, as a faculty, sat watching a real-time video reenactment of the Parkland shooting, watching green dots turn to yellow and to blue, I was filled with so many emotions. They green dots scattered, those left behind became yellow, and eventually blue. The mere thought of that occurring in my school almost brought me to tears.
As a Brit, as a European, this makes no sense to me. It is not something we have to deal with across the Atlantic. The idea that this has to be mandated training for teachers in elementary schools screams out to me “WHAT THE FUCK IS SOCIETY DOING?!” But that just doesn’t seem to be the case right now. I was far more outraged at the notion that this needed to be done because in the officers words, we haven’t had a shooting yet “but it’s coming”.
Just like that. “It’s coming”.
And again, no outrage. As I looked around the room, I tried to control my face. But I could not. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my emotions right here on my face. OUTRAGED that this was a thing. Then here it comes again, I’m being told “guns are not the problem.” Like the atom bomb was not the problem, it was the administration that decided to drop it…
Oh, but then it got really good.
After he showed us the growing statistics of active shooter situations, and mass shooting deaths, Mr Police officer man decided to reference the UK. He said that the UK has some of the strictest gun laws in the world and still a man can walk down the road with an AK47. Then he referenced the machete murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013. I about lost my shit (internally). If I had any inclination that anyone here cared about my opinion I would have climbed on my soap box. But I have learned that no-one does.
Now I’m not sure why he said that, like, was he trying to make Americans feel like they’re not alone? Make y’all feel better? Or make you feel like the whole world is fucked up, it’s not just you?
Double outrage. Yes, maybe a man once walked down the road with an AK47 in the UK. But why good sir, did you not mention the fact that that occurrence had in itself broken so many laws?! You cannot own an AK47, you cannot buy an AK47 and you most certainly cannot walk down the street with it in the UK! And bringing up Lee Rigby’s murder, that shit was just real low. The Lee Rigby murder was a tragedy. But again in the UK, legally you cannot own a machete! You cannot carry it on your person in public. I about had steam coming out of my ears!
(Side note, knife crime also fucking sucks. And yes, it is a problem in the UK. But you cannot knife 10 people to death in a matter of seconds from 10ft away.)
His whole anecdote was a complete distraction from the actual point.
The actual point being that there has not been a mass shooting in the UK since 1996. Since hand guns were banned and all other fire-arms very heavily restricted. So yes, America, gun control does work. You can keep telling yourself that your right to own a gun is more important than my students’ rights to feel safe in their school. But it is horseshit.
At the end of the day Mr Policeman, you are correct a gun is just a tool. The people cause the harm. The difference however, my big bicep-ed friend, is that we have an opportunity to restrict access to that tool. We cannot control the thoughts, minds and intentions of others. We can however control how likely it is that a person of this state of mind can have access to weapons of any kind, especially those of a mass murdering nature.