Hard to Grasp! – Dayton Parent Magazine

I will never forget the kid, although I have forgotten his name.He was in the bed next to mine for a short time at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. We were both eleven years old. I was in intensive care recovering from major open heart surgery. He was in intensive care for another reason. He had been shot by his brother. His gunshot wound was gruesome. A bullet had taken out a good portion of his right side.

I remember having several talks with him and one day I asked how he was injured. He explained that he and his brother were goofing off with his dad’s shot gun. He remembered only a portion of what happened and then he wound up in a hospital bed next to me. We had some good conversations and I felt a real bond with him.

One morning, he thanked me for listening to his rambling talks. That same day, I watched him die in the bed next to mine. I was devastated and I tried to grasp how something so senseless could have happened.

Today, some forty years later, I am still trying to grasp the senseless deaths that are occurring around our country because of guns. It seems as if everyone has a gun and a problem and the next thing you know innocent people are dead!

I love our country and appreciate the hard work that went into our Constitution. I know one of the amendments is the “right to bear arms” but I think we need to examine what guns are doing to our kids and our future generations. When our country was founded over 200 years ago, guns were used for protection and for hunting food.

Like those times, guns were much more basic and difficult. The guns took longer to load and were not easy to shoot. The guns were handcrafted and were not easy to conceal. It took awhile back then to get a gun.

Now just about anybody can go to a gun or pawn shop and buy semi-automatic weapons. Many of today’s guns are designed to shoot multiple bullets rapidly. The guns are made to shoot easily and can be hidden without difficulty.

It also seems as if today’s gun owners don’t hunt for food they hunt for people. When they have a problem they shoot first and ask questions later. Often there is no “later”. Our kids should feel safe when they go to school or a movie. The same is true of sporting events and amusement parks.

Now when kids go to those places, they must go through metal detectors to enter and they must be on guard at all times. Guns are too prevalent now and it is making everybody uneasy and most importantly unsafe. Today’s kids have enough to worry about. We should be teaching them, English, Science, Math and the Arts.

We shouldn’t have to be teaching them survival skills and how to deal with an active shooter.

My daughter is studying to be a school teacher and it frightens me that she will have to deal with the issue of potential gun violence when she goes to work each day.

Guns do not belong in schools – just a week ago there was a shooting at an elementary school (the shooter was a fourth grader). We all know about Columbine and Sandy Hook. Guns do not belong in Theaters or most other public places. Guns do not belong in the hands of past criminals. Guns do not belong in the hands of the troubled and the unstable. Guns do not belong in the hands of children or anyone under twenty one.

If you have a gun it needs to be locked up and kept safely away from kids. If you have a gun you need to teach all in the household about gun safety. As I mentioned earlier, all of this is hard to grasp.

It’s hard for parents and it’s hard for kids. Because I’m a parent who cares- I think the following should be considered:

Guns need to be regulated more stringently. Semi-automatic guns need to be eliminated from the streets (criminals should not be armed better than law enforcement) Gun laws need to be enforced and if gun shops don’t abide by them they should be shut down. Maybe the best thing we can do is encourage our local and federal lawmakers to examine these issues and make some changes.

As parents, we should work towards getting these changes on the ballot of future elections, so our kids can live in a safer world! Parents want their kids to have a shot at a good life!

We don’t want to see a shot end another kid’s life!



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