What do Trolls eat? Tragedy...
This post went up late. But it went up late for a reason. I made the mistake of looking into various hashtags that might apply to this one. There is a very real need for discourse and an even more real need for action on the topic of gun violence. Perhaps I am naive, but I had anticipated some constructive or even compelling posts in response to Florida. Instead I found a squirming nest of trolls. After my stomach stopped turning, I second guessed my initial post (which is below) I don't feel that there is anything untoward or out of line in my response, but the thing it would be is troll-bait, and that is not the type of "discourse" I'm looking to invite onto this site. I want this to be about education and how we educate--not about who can shout the loudest and the most in an effort to draw attention to themselves. I have left the comments open on this, knowing that I can delete. This whole thing makes me feel icky. That's why I went with solid black for the accompanying image. So, for those of you who may see this as weakness, so be it, for those of you who can understand, I thank you.
When it comes to the topic of school shootings, I tend to shut down. Having taught in high schools for my career, it's all too easy to imagine the reality of one. Sandy Hook destroyed me, still does when I think of it. This most recent one did too. I was teaching in a high school where Virginia Tech was the must-go school, when that shooting occurred. In the week following it, there were multiple phoned in threats to the schools in our district causing repeated lock-downs. Everyone was a wreck.
I am glad to see that the survivors of the shooting are vocal. I hope their voices persist. I hope that others join them. I hope that they are all listened to by those in power--but--and it always seems that there is one when it comes to gun violence in America--I get the feeling that there is already well underway a plan to spin this incident off too. I caught the first whiffs of it, when various officials would talk about schools needing to be more vigilant in finding these dangerous individuals and bringing them in. Or, when Trump took this opportunity to deflect, then connect his problems with the FBI to the shooting in Florida. It worries me as an educator, and as a parent.
I worry about those who think the answer is to arm the faculty and staff of schools. Guns can get lost, be taken away, misfire, or be drawn in haste. The answer to this is not more death and suffering. Please.
When the will of the public is ignored by those in power, all that remains are questions and frustration. What kind of lesson in the American process is that for our children? Our kids are already living in times of stress. Rates of anxiety and depression are higher than ever. Students were already worried about shootings. The longer this goes on without remedy, the more justified their worries become. Change the damned laws. There's just no excuse.
NYTimes published an interesting breakdown of top NRA-funded members of Congress.