First, I will not even pretend that any reactions I have with regards to my children aren't emotional. I'm a mother. That's what we do. Even so, if the conversation pertains to children, an emotional mother should not be discounted.
Shortly after the incident at Sandy Hook, I got a call from our elementary school explaining that the doors to the classrooms would be locked once the last bell rang in an effort to protect our children from possible harm from the outside. I - CRIED. I'm not even sure why I cried. I think part of it was having the awareness that there was something standing between me having access to my children. Part of it was just grief over the necessity of the measures that were being taken. That being said, I'm also grateful that the people caring for my children were and are taking their safety seriously.
In all honesty, I do have an emotional response to the thought of a gun being in the classroom with my child. I have been around a lot of children, and managing a lot of children is often stressful and chaotic. Beyond that, I know quite a few teachers, and not all of them are what I would consider "stable". I would be fearful to see a few of them holding a gun.
That being said, I think I could be okay with allowing certain personnel to carry a gun inside my children’s school… If I felt like this measure was being instituted in a way that treated my concerns regarding it as valid. If I knew this responsibility was being placed in the hands of TRAINED faculty members with extensive background checks, and that it was voluntary, not mandatory (that being the case, I would be supportive of the school actively pursuing a person willing to meet these requirements as an employee). Honestly, I would prefer any armed personnel to be someone outside the classroom. I feel for it to work the way that advocates propose, the carrier would need to have a gun that is loaded and ready to fire and I am admittedly very fearful when it comes to the thought of having a necessarily loaded gun inside the classroom with my children. And while we're at it, if your objective is to protect my children, use whatever level gun is needed to achieve that objective.
The problem is, a lot of times when an issue becomes so politically polarized, each side starts to treat those on the other as if their concerns aren't valid. I have a hard time trusting anyone with my children who treats my concerns as a parent as invalid. The truth is that the concept of “Gun Free Zones” would have to be revisited as well as the idea of “Gun Control”. I’m unlikely to be convinced that the thing to do is issue every teacher a gun without any regulation. If we're going to make any kind of steps toward an attempt to make our children and teachers safer, we have to find some common ground. We have a golden opportunity on this one. What “conservative” or “liberal” doesn’t want their children to come home alive?
And while we're here, I’ll go ahead and get really personal. I have been called both a "liberal" and a "conservative". Both titles have been hurled at me with equal hostility. It really depends on where I stand in relation to the person labeling me. Politically, I am registered as non-partisan. I find labels such as “liberal” and “conservative” unproductive, over-all. Most often, these terms are used to belittle and divide, not to mention the fact they are frequently used incorrectly. At my very core, I am a mother that loves my children. I am a wife that is devoted to my husband. I am a daughter that desires to honor my parents. I am a citizen that desires to make my world a better place and I cast my vote accordingly. Both sides often brush my opinion aside. I often manage to play the “black sheep” no matter the community I’m in. I’m fond of that role. It allows me to fly under the radar while the arguments are being fought. Even when I fail to keep my thoughts to myself (as I desperately desire to do but am incredibly deficient at actually doing), worst case scenario: I’m only mocked.
And at the end of 2016 I know the joke will be on them. When all is said and done and everything has been viciously argued… when the votes are counted, it’s the unimportant political party-less vote that truly gets the voice.
THAT, my friend, is what makes America the beautiful! ;-).