Archive for the ‘ Guns ’ Category

Kids and Guns


At the risk of being controversial, I want to talk a little about hand guns.  There is a lot in the news right now about the right to carry guns openly in coffee shops like Starbucks and even on college campuses.  Recently, the Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that the University of Colorado did not have the authority to ban students and visitors from carrying guns onto the campus.  What?

I spent some time reading up on some statistics for gun related violence in the United States.  What I read shocked me.  Some gun advocates make the claim that “guns don’t kill people but people kill people”.  I agree with that 100%.  People do kill people but who makes guns?  People.  So a gun just sits there waiting to do what it is made to do (hurt and kill).  Without a person it will do nothing.  However just the fact the gun is there, makes it more likely something will happen.  The Center for Disease Control reports that in 2000, there were 23,237 accidental shootings in America.  What?

Being a teacher I am interested in kids.  The numbers on kids and guns are even more scary!  The CDC reports that in 2006 3,184 children were killed by guns, while another 17,451 were shot with non fatal wounds.  Less than 3000 people died in the 9/11 attacks in 2001.  How much money, time and resources  have we spent trying to make our country, airports, and the rest of the world safe from other attacks like these?  Ask yourself which is more dangerous: an airline passenger with a container holding more than 3.5 ounces of liquid, or a gun in the hands of a child?  Which one of these do we spend more money on?  What?

Peggy Patten did some frightening research on children and guns and found that even after a week of intense education about guns, safety, and prevention 65% of children left alone to play in a room with a hidden gun, picked it up, played with it, pulled the trigger, looked down the barrel, etc. Unfortunately in real life, kids occasionally find real guns.  When they hurt themselves we can say it was not the gun but the child at fault.  But both the gun and the child were doing what they are meant to do.  A child explores.  A gun wounds or kills.

People make guns.  People make kids.  People make rules and laws that given them rights.  People make rules and laws to protect the members of their group or society.  People disagree about these rules and laws and make rationalizations for keeping these rules and laws even when they endanger, rather than protect, members of their group or society.  Guns do not kill people.  People kill people.  People make guns.    What?

Many Americans have died  protecting our rights and personal freedoms.  When an individual sacrifices his or her life in defense of these rights, we call that person a hero.    The Constitution gives us the right to carry guns and maybe this is a right worth fighting and even dying for.  But is it so important that we are willing to accept the steep price of innocent dead?  Is this individual right more important than the general welfare of the community?  Are we willing to say that the children, who die at the wrong end of a hand gun, are worth sacrificing to protect our individual freedom?  Does this make them heroes?  What?

Advertisements

Rest In Peace Andres De Anda


Yesterday a former student of mine Andres De Anda passed away.   Apparently he was shot in Mexico City while someone was trying to steal his car.  I don’t know many details of what happened, but I do know that Andres was a good person, and too young to die.  My heart goes out to his family and many friends in Honduras who are grieving his loss.

This tragedy has left me pensive about the third blog I posted on Lies We Tell our Children.  I talked about the lie/advice that we should live each day as if it is our last, and I played with the idea of what would happen if we all took that suggestion seriously.

Of course it is silly to actually live each day as if there is no tomorrow, but when an unexpected death occurs, it is a strong reminder that tomorrow is not a guarantee.

Maybe instead of living like there is no tomorrow, we should just be thankful for today and the gift we get to keep living.

There is no bright side in a tragedy like this, but I am thankful for the lesson a former student just taught his teacher.

Rest In Peace Andres.  You will be missed.

There is a memorial site on facebook if any of you would like to pay respects