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Stigmatic Issues: Gun Control
It's eerie coming into school today. It's the 1st sub day for me since the latest school shooting news at a Florida high school. I am not afraid but I am uncertain. I have a lingering worry for my children; for all of these children.
I walked into the high school this morning and saw smiles, joy, and some worry. There were large groups socializing just inside the school gates, waiting for the bell to ring, excitedly sharing stories about things that probably do not matter much and will not be remembered in the years to come.
I naturally begin risk assessment. It's not my normal behavior, at least not to the extent that I did it today, but security risks have now been forced into the forefront, again.
To be honest, our current social norm makes these situations impossible to prevent. I do not believe there exists a social norm that would prevent senseless violence in any culture tho many other cultures are more experienced in seeing it in their daily lives.
Should we decide to live in constant fear and distrust & keep all public, open spaces or spaces that attract large masses under lock & key? We would be living less & these situations, while fewer, would still occur. You can arm & train me, as a school employee, to protect my charges but that carries with it, it's own set of risks as does everything.
The only answer is to take a good look at Gun Control for what it actually is and not as the stigma that has been created by decades of debating between proponents and opponents.
Gun Control Defined:
Regulation of the selling, owning, & use of guns
How do you see Gun Control?
The act of regulating; The state of being regulated.
An authoritative rule dealing with details or procedures.
A rule or order issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government & having the force of the law.
Seek out the Stigma
The rub lies in the term control; the perceived antagonist of freedom. The people are rejecting the idea of the government, who is rooted in public distrust at the present, having executive authority over their personal right to bear arms under the much cited 2nd Amendment but what rights does that amendment give?
The 2nd Amendment reads:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state.
The right of the People to keep & bear arms, shall not be infringed. (Rev. 1992)
A military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency.
A military force that engages in rebel or terrorist activities typically in opposition to a regular army.
All able-bodies civilians, eligible by law, for military service.
Actively break the terms of a law or agreement.
Act so as to limit or undermine (something): encroach on
Dissecting the 2nd Amendment
After looking into the 2nd Amendment & the verbiage used, there stands the question of whether there is a personal right to bear arms at all. It is implied but for a specific reason & benefit; which is to fight against an invading army alongside our military or to fight against a corrupt government/army; regulations and requirements can be imposed and are necessary.
Selecting the right regulations and requirements can help minimize mass shootings while strengthen the force of 'The People'; allowing us to retake our rightful place as one of the forms of checks and balances for the government (We The People). It would put the right arms in the hands of highly capable, properly trained individuals, who are less likely to become a liability, which could have a positive impact on crime rates. Strengthening these three areas can cause a positive ripple affect on the country as a whole, so long as we are committed to understanding the terms, the issues at hand, and get over the stigma that holds us in place for decades with no positive action or solution. Used properly, Gun Control would effectively remove guns only from those individuals who do not meet the requirements to own and use guns. So lets start the dialogue needed for solutions... Who would not meet the requirement? Who would we entrust to enforce Gun Control unbiasedly?
Politics are seen as untrustworthy but they are appointed to their respective offices by vote of the people. The regulations and requirements would need to be agreed upon by the government and the people. So how do we do that effectively? Perhaps a committee? One that would include politicians, the People, and experts in the field of weapons, crime, & human behavior who represent the people?
It would have to be a group, who as a whole could not be accused of limiting access to guns for political gain.
The road to solutions
Solutions often come from extensive dialogue, compromise, a detailed look into the issues & problems, asking many questions, & brainstorming potential ideas.
What are responsible gun owners willing to do in order to keep their right to bear arms & protect society from the issues we have with gun violence? Licensing is clearly not enough. I find that truly responsible gun owners do not fear accountability. Are we willing to provide an inventory to present when asked. Should the information be stored, or just presented as part of an annual licensing review?
Are we willing to obtain a safe that meets certain requirements? Allow for routine inspection of the safe?
What can be implemented as training to turn our children into responsible gun owners? Are we willing to have our minors evaluated & professionally trained for certification in awareness & the disciplined use and care of firearms? Are we willing to meet training requirements for the renewal of that certification annually or on a schedule?
What can responsible gun owners due to eliminate, beyond a shadow of a doubt, access to our weapons by any minor? What are we prepared to do should our child be deemed unsuited to the task? At what point should a minor be disqualified from certification? Behavioral issues, mental issues, and documented issues with aggression in school would disqualify a minor? As parents of a disqualified minor, would we abide by stricter safe requirements aimed at eliminating any chance of unauthorized use of these guns? At what point in life, if ever, should a disqualified minor be reassessed?
Are we willing to make suitable arrangements for our weapons in the event of our death to ensure that a responsible party obtains them or that a disqualified individual does not obtain them?
What social behaviors should we deem as disqualifiers for the right to bear arms for adults?
Accessive DUI's, Multiple calls for domestic disturbances, domestic violence charges, acts of aggression & crime, multiple reports of threats...
What can we do now to fortify our schools?
Guns are cited as the 3rd leading cause of Death in children between 1-17 years old. This includes outside crime, suicide, and accidental death stemming from access to firearms.
Truth be told, most of the issues with guns in school are at the hands of the students. In essence, we should be thinking of how to protect these minors from themselves/peers.
In the 90's, the daily use of metal detectors, wands, and bag conveyors much like the set up to airports, were common practice in many high schools in New York. Is it time to start looking into this security method nation wide?
Would awareness training for the students aid in lowering the numbers of incidents or victims in a violent situation?
For students with recorded behavioral and aggression issues, should access to items that desensitize violence and crime be seen as a form of parental neglect? Can the accountability for desensitizing violence in an individual with mental issues or limited understanding be passed to the parents, when proven?
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