United We Stand: We End Mass Shootings Only When We Work Together


I have been in such despair for the past year over the state of our nation. People are at each others throats constantly. People call each other names and it has started to seem like Conservative/Republican vs. Liberal/Democrat has become a battle to the death where only the strong survive. I guess that’s why I was somewhat relieved to learn that Russia has been employing professional trolls and bots to sow seeds of dissent in our country. In particularly as pertains to hot button issues like race and, you guessed it, guns.

Why would I be relieved about Russian interference? Frankly, because that means my fellow countrymen may not be as divided as I thought. And that’s good, because it means maybe we could actually work together to put a stop to mass shootings (or at least make them exponentially more difficult).

I’ve been working on the issue of gun sense legislation since April 2013. I read extensively on the subject and have compiled quite a bit of knowledge on the topic. I have had endless arguments with close friends and family about how to put an end to mass shootings. One of the things I learned through these conversations is that the left and the right are a lot more alike than different. Most people are not solid red or solid blue, most people run the gamut between red and blue on different issues. In fact, about one thing everyone is united – we all want mass shootings to stop. I don’t think anyone actually considers school children to be the price of freedom, at least, not anyone I know.

I know it’s fun to stick it to the other side with a pithy meme or to dismiss people who disagree with you as “snowflakes” or “gun nuts” but when you do that, you’re playing into the Russian’s hands. Don’t be a Russian pawn. Speak respectfully to your fellow American. Think about what you could compromise on. Give a little. Once you’ve figured out what you’d be comfortable with letting the other side have, write your representatives, both red and blue, and let them know. Make your voice heard to the people who actually make the laws. We can save our kids if we work together.

Respectfully, here are my thoughts on why arming the teachers (as President Trump and the NRA are suggesting) will not save lives.
There was an armed guard at Parkland. There was an armed guard at Columbine. Virginia Tech has a whole police department, Ft. Hood is a military base. Chris Kyle, famed American sharpshooter, was murdered at a gun range, while holding a gun. Most of these shooters are suicidal anyway, so “good guys” AKA armed guards and cops are NOT a deterrent.
Arming the teachers is a reactive approach that does not address the problem of preventing mass shootings.
The problem with the “arm the good guys” idea is that you have to wait until someone starts shooting to realize they’re a bad guy. Especially since open carry advocates now walk around with long guns strapped to their chest just to go to the grocery store.
In addition, most of the perpetrators of mass shootings do not have a prior criminal history. Therefore, legally, they are not “bad guys” so most of them won’t be (and haven’t been) stopped by background checks. Most of them obtain their guns legally.
Limiting ammo might work. Because if you have enough magazines you can kill a lot of people even without an AR-15. The VA Tech shooter just used hand guns and he killed 32 people in a matter of minutes.
The point is – we all want to stop mass shootings, so we have to WORK TOGETHER to find a way to make guns less accessible. I know the whole “criminals will still get them” argument – but here’s the thing, (as stated above) most mass shooters aren’t involved in crime until they commit mass murder. The criminals you’re talking about who will get guns anyway are getting them to rob banks or houses or protect their drug transactions, they’re not interested in mass murder.
Random, disturbed lonely guy doesn’t have black market contacts. He does however, know how to walk into an Academy.

One thought on “United We Stand: We End Mass Shootings Only When We Work Together

  1. Excellent, thoughtful piece, thanks! You are so right about the need to work together, and quit pointing fingers & calling each other names. We should be able to pass laws strengthening background checks, limiting (wish we could eliminate, but that’s not gonna happen) assault weapons, limiting or tracking ammunition, things most of us agree upon. But just to throw more guns at the problem of gun violence is ridiculous.


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