If I loved you before I realized we are really, really far apart in our views about how to respond to school shootings, then I still love you. If I liked you, respected you, before, I still do.
If you’re posting all kinds of articles and links and memes I don’t agree with, I’m probably not responding. If you’re posting things I agree with, I’m not responding much to those, either.
Here’s my blanket response—go ahead and do what you think is right.
If you think it’s a mental health problem, vote for people who will fund mental health care.
If you think mental health care is messed up, vote for people who will reform it.
If you think it’s a matter of domestic violence and toxic masculinity, the vote for people who are funding shelters and education.
If you think that we need to arm teachers, vote for people who will make that happen*
If you think the FBI dropped the ball, vote for people who will fund the FBI, or work to reform it however it needs to be reformed.
If you think schools and communities need to do a better job fighting against bullying and making sure no child is ostracized, then vote for people who will fund schools and community organizations who are already trying to do that. Or if you think schools and communities need to do something differently, figure out who’s doing it right, and support them.
If you’re not sure what the answer is, do some research. It would be nice if we could research gun violence as a public health issue, but we can’t: Still, there is research out there to read. From other countries, who don’t have the school shootings we have.
If you think there’s nothing we can do, then go ahead and do nothing. Keep doing nothing.
But if, like me, you think there is something we can do, let’s all just go ahead and do it. Join organizations that are working for what we think is the right thing to do. Let’s all vote for people who don’t just SAY the right things, but are actually voting the ways we think they should.
Maybe you’re already doing that. I, personally, could work a lot harder in terms of sending money, working on campaigns, getting involved in organizations. So that’s what I’m going to do. I just made a donation to Moms Demand Action, which I first heard about last year in church.
Why now? Why not sooner? I don’t know. The answer to “why not sooner” is easier–I tend to be cynical about the possibility of progress. Why now? A teacher I admire wrote a really impassioned piece I found moving. And Emma Gonzalez is just one more example of why I’m pretty excited about Generation Z.
So, anyway—you go ahead and do what you think is right, and I will, too, and we’ll see how it goes. I’ve read that the majority of Americans support sensible gun legislation (but I haven’t researched it, to be honest). So we’ll see.
The only option that seems absolutely inappropriate to me is doing nothing. Although, I suppose if I revert to my cynical self, if you disagree with me, then go ahead and do nothing. OR just go ahead and keep posting stuff on social media. Which I mostly won’t respond to.
(I don’t tend to post a lot about politics, anywhere. I don’t think this’ll be a trend.)
*I’ll quit teaching when teachers are allowed/encouraged/actually armed in my school, but I’m pretty ready to retire anyway–could you just make sure the wheels of legislation turn slowly enough so I get about four more years in? Here’s a blog I wrote a while back talking about why I think arming teachers is a cowboy fantasy