|This is not a tirade about gun ownership. I do not oppose gun ownership. It is not gun ownership per se that is the problem. It is the tendency to pick up a gun when angry. It is an American problem, though not just an American problem. But there are more guns per capita in Canada than in the US. In Canada, there are far fewer deaths by gunshot.
I do, however, oppose guns in schools (or too near them), guns in bars, and guns in parks. I oppose the gun show loophole. Otherwise, I do not favor further change in gun laws. But this is not a blog about guns. Rather it is a blog questioning why anyone would take his anger and frustration in life out on a Middle School child, a stranger. It is a blog both celebrating and probing the act of heroism occurring at Deer Creek Middle School. And it is a blog questioning how ably I would defend the children if confronted by a similar situation. How would you?
Whatever motivated the troubled and angry 32-year old in Littleton this week, I still wonder, who would hate that much? Why would he lash out so finally? Why was that super-charged reaction his perceived "only option." It was bullying on a massive scale delivered in a potentially final way.
Two men at Deer Creek Middle School could not have been more different. There was one who brutally shot two children and another who dedicated his life to kids, and then, in a flash, saved them. Murder on the one hand and heroism on the other, all the same day. Hopefully, because the two students survived, the heroism will one day eclipse the heinous act of the gunman. The students know now that there are teachers, probably many of them, who like the Littleton hero, or one of the heroes at VA Tech would give their lives for their students.
Though still relatively rare, these events have happened enough that we must all consider, how we would react in the face of a brutal shooter, one who would target children. There has been too much violence in my town. And I have given a lot of thought to how I would act in such a crisis. I have imagined myself tackling a shooter. But more to the point, I believe each of us in our own way must strengthen ourselves, both mentally and physically, to protect those needing protecting at a moment's notice. Most American adults, even seniors can benefit from strength and weight training. We also may be in an era where everyone needs martial arts training.
These are the thoughts we must consider in an age where some with guns think they are entitled to end a life for their own perverse reasons. It is the culture created when someone lashes out. It is a moment when the very act of citizenship demands more of us, demands that we imagine the unimaginable, and translate our imagination into a real civilian defense.