This is a picture of Jaelynn Willey, she is sixteen years old, the same age as my Daughter, and was a student at Great Mills High School in St Mary’s County, I say was a student, because she passed away on Thursday night (03/22/2018). The reason for this tragic death was she was shot in the head on Tuesday (03/20/2018) by a fellow student (who will remain nameless cause I don’t glorify assholes), and for the only reason I can gather is because she broke up with this asshole. Senseless, a life taken, lives destroyed and lost, over, really nothing… Really, back in my day to cope with a break up we wrote sappy poetry and listened to terrible love songs.
This is Desmond Banes, aged fourteen, he was also shot by the same shooter who killed Jaelynn Willey, in his first year of High School he was a bystander and victim in a High School Shooter event. While he has survived (thank Gods), the harm the shooter did to his life will be ongoing.
I can only thank the quick reaction of School Resource Officer Deputy Blaine Gaskill, and his bravery stopping the shooter, and preventing this tragic event from getting worse. You, Sir have my eternal thanks for saving my Daughters life, and 1600 other souls that day.
Two young lives disrupted by tragedy, a school full of students, teachers and parents traumatized and a Deputy who I have no doubt is replaying the moment of shooting a kid he most likely knew, to save everyone.
My Daughter goes to Great Mills High School, from talking to her about the events on Tuesday I found out she passed by the shooter, and his victims mere moments before the shooter took out his Dad’s gun and decided to kill. Yes, that did wonders for my blood pressure and I am still trying to not think of the what if’s of that scenario. If you read my last entry, How To Talk To Your Kids In An Active-Shooter Situation, you will know I was pretty much with my Daughter via phone attempting to keep her calm and talk her through what she could do to keep herself safe as the horrific events of Tuesday unfolded. It was a moment of horror I hope no parent has to go through ever.
But that is the problem, I thought it would never happen at my kid’s school, but it did! Meaning it so easily could be your kids in this situation. We can no long afford to bury our heads in the sand when we have our children asking us to keep them safe. There has to be a way of preventing, or at the very least stop these shooting from being an almost weekly occurrence. But, what can be done?
Here lies the issue, there is no way of talking about Gun Safety without some crazy NRA-fed troll jumping and claiming someone is going to take all our guns. I could say, I am not against the second amendment until I am blue in the face and a good third of the population of the USA would not believe me. In fact I always say I think you should be allowed to own as many guns as you like, whatever makes you feel safe, but I always say keep them safe, learn how to use those dangerous tools and be responsible with your ownership. After all, isn’t that what all gun owners say? I am a responsible gun owner? Practice what you say you are. I am instead going to talk to the remaining two-thirds who have a head on their shoulders to consider my words.
One of the issues here is the teaching of gun safety, there isn’t any lessons about using your tool, you can buy one and take it out the store (I know not that easy), without any real idea how to keep it, how to use it, how to maintain it and how to keep it safe. In any other part of your life a tool that can cause lethal damage, you are trained, certified, and kept up to date on the latest safety procedures. And it is locked or stored in a secure place… But, not a gun.
The NRA before 1972 was all about gun training, gun safety and oddly gun control, but this was before they became a stooge for the gun manufacturers and threw out their morals for money. I am though not going to dwell on that.
If Gun Safety was really a thing here in the USA, even if was as the most basic level, of here is your gun, now by law I have to show you its operation, how to maintain and give you advice on how to store it,. I feel this most basic of things would curb the epidemic of gun shootings, by being demonstrated that this is a lethal tool, and not a toy, you can instill in some minds the enormity of owning such a thing. Some may shout undue burden, but really… Is it?
I am also in favor of universal background checks, it is pretty much a no-brainer for gun safety, and for keeping these lethal tools out the hands of those that have medical mental issues, or have violent tendencies.
A couple of years ago I talked about background checks and expanding gun safety and certification training in a blog which you can read here. These are very small things that can be done so easily, that would have a significant impact on the mass-shooter epidemic.
I realize you cannot legislate against crazy, or those that would seek to do harm, there is a gun problem in the USA and I am sure, if you want to get one, it isn’t that hard to buy one without any legal reporting attached to it. But, maybe you can cut down on those opportune shootings, the emotional charged moments where a kid or adult can easily get hold of a gun. And maybe, just maybe you wont get a call from your child saying they are involved in a school shooting, or even worse a visit from Police Officer telling you your child has been shoot.
Our children are our future, our prosperity will be in their hands.
Thank you for listening.