It has been really hard for me to blog since last Wednesday. I’ve tried to pick another subject, I even had a Valentine’s day post on my mind. But then the world stopped when I heard about what happened in Parkland FL.
I came out on many different sides over the following few days. I cried over the thought that those kids would never get to the walk the stage as they graduated high school. I cried as I watched the video of Jamie Guttenberg’s dad speak about the fact that he couldn’t remember if he told her that he loved her that morning before she went to school, I cried thinking I couldn’t remember the last time I told my mom I loved her. I was enraged that people on Facebook were making fun of one of the victims parents because he had on a Trump shirt, he just lost his daughter. I was enraged at the thought of the kids who survived having something so pure taken away from them, their innocence. I was unnerved when I heard that a kid brought a gun to Marcus high school, my high schools rivalry. I was unnerved when I heard that four schools in Texas reported kids bring guns to school the next day. I spent a good two days trying to sort out my emotions.
And then I thought back to a movie I watched in a college film class, We Need To Talk About Kevin (WNTTAK). IT was one of those films that leave a scar on you, the kind you can never unsee. It’s not one I lightly recommend people to watch, but if you do watch it then clear your day. It’s a film that I am still two years later processing through. The film deals with a high school massacre, but on a deeper level, it deals with the idea of evil inside of a person. Is it our nature to be evil or are we nurtured to be that way? The film is constantly asking this question and then turning everything you think in every way possible.
I remember after the seeing film that I went home and told my mom, who loves romcoms and generally happy films only, about this movie. I felt that there had to be a way to talk about Kevin, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around how to talk about Kevin. And then it hit me today I think the thing we need to talk about when it comes to kids like Kevin is a combination of nature and nurture.
Each time we have a mass shooting the person holding the gun always seemed to be accused of being mentally ill. But the conversation always seems to steer towards guns. I hear the phrase ‘guns kill people’ and think no people kill people. Whether you believe in the Bible or not one of the oldest recorded acts of murder dates back to Cain killing Abel. People have used cars (July 2016 in Nice, France), knives (London Bridge attack June 2017), planes (9/11), homemade bombs (Oklahoma City bombing April 1995). The point is that evil will always find a way.
But on the flip side, I don’t think that anyone should be able to get an AR-whatever. I can see the practical reason behind having a handgun, shotguns, rifles, (my first blog on guns: Guns In America) but still, no one has been able to give me a reason that someone needs an AR-whatever as a necessity?
So while I think having access to an AR-whatever needs to be stricter and more controlled I don’t think banning all guns is the answer. Pick up a history book y’all.
Let us go back to the mental illness topic. If everyone one, or close to all, have been deemed mentally ill then it sounds like that’s a good place to start with preventing future mass shootings. Why is that we have turned our backs on helping those that are mentally ill? Is that we think we could be offending someone? Or that if just treat them like every other person on the street that is sane that they will just fall in line?
We as a country have turned our backs on those who need us, we have stopped looking out for the mentally ill and getting them help. We as a country have told every single person they are important and special. We as a country have done this to ourselves. We have handed out trophies to the kids who barely even tried. We have raised our kids on microwavable TV dinners in front of the television. We have let ipads and televisions become our babysitters.
I read somewhere that the average parent only spends 40 minutes with there kids at night. What happened to helping mom cook dinner, and washing dishes with dad? What happened to learning how to set the table properly and learning good conversational skills at the dinner table. What happened to bedtime stories with funny voices form mom and dad teaching us how to blow bubbles in our chocolate milk that we made with Hershey syrup.
We as a country are broken, we have spent so much time trying to make everyone feel included and telling each individual that they are special that we are missing when someone isn’t doing okay. Somewhere along the line we stopped paying attention and started letting each other slip through the cracks.
As a country we are at a critical moment, thoughts and prayers are great, but policy and change is what we need. Congress needs to get up off there comfy little asses and put together a plan.
Our children, America’s children are precious, each one of there young lives shouldn’t be concerned less valuable than a stance on guns. Each one of their lives is worth fighting for. Children should be able to walk into a classroom and learn. They shouldn’t have to sit in a seat and wonder if that one kid that was acting kinda weird the other week is mentally stable enough to be in class with them.
Children should have the right to be children. We need to stop putting them in situations that force them to grow up quickly.
We as a people, we as a country can let the victims, most of who were just kids, become another face of the many victims that came before. Or we can start fighting for those who don’t get to have a voice anymore, we can start checking up on each other, and start by changing things in the home. Change rarely starts in a big way. Change usually starts in the small spaces filling up those cracks that have been letting so much slip through.
It is time we had an open and honest conversation about Kevin.