Saturday, December 15, 2012

Protection of the Innocent- A Glog by Dawn T.

I actually couldn't get it together yesterday to do a post. Apart from working and doing all the things I needed to do, I didn't have the wherewithal to process anything I felt about the school shooting in Connecticut which was on the forefront of everyone's minds. I just wanted to be around friends. So I'm going to forgive myself for missing a day in December. 
My friend Dawn graciously wrote this guest blog (glog) for me and I think it is pretty fantastic. Please read and I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you are doing everything you can to be happy because all we have is now.

“A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

The most terrifying thing a human being can witness is the burial of a child. A reflection of mortality in such a small package. Now multiply this by 20. And there you have the town of Sandy Hook this weekend. Not to mention 8 adults who dedicated their lives to a profession of guiding and protecting innocence. All it took to was 2 nine-millimeter guns and a box of ammo. Oh, and a young man to simply pull the trigger.

The original purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to ensure that our government would not become corrupt and over-powering. It was also to prevent attacks from “thieves, bandits, Native Americans, and slave uprisings”. Somewhat archaic, obviously. Incidentally, when the first census was taken in 1790, the United States population was under 4 million people (not including the thieves, bandits, Native Americans, or slaves). In 2012, the population is over 312.8 million. Plus, Baby Reid Ramirez.

In a nation so hell-bent on protecting rights, I looked up the gun laws for Arizona, a notoriously “Wild West” state just celebrating its 100-year centennial. Here is what I surmised:

No state permit is required to possess a shotgun, rifle or handgun. It is unlawful for a "prohibited possessor" to possess a firearm.
A prohibited possessor includes a person found to constitute a danger to himself or others pursuant to a court order and whose court ordered treatment has not been terminated.
Who has been convicted of a felony involving violence or possession and use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and whose civil rights have not been restored.
Who is at the time of possession serving a term of imprisonment in any correctional or detention facility.
Who at the time of possession is serving a term of probation pursuant to a conviction for a domestic violence offense or a felony offense, parole, community supervision, work furlough, home arrest or release on any other basis or who is serving a term of probation or parole.
Who was previously adjudicated delinquent and who possesses, uses or carries a firearm within ten years from the date of adjudication or release for an offense that if committed as an adult would constitute first or second degree burglary, arson, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault, sexual assault or any felony offense involving the use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

The most pressing and applicable law for an educator like me:

It is unlawful to possess a deadly weapon on grade or high school grounds. This shall not apply to an unloaded firearm within a means of transportation under the control of an adult, provided, if the adult leaves the vehicle, it shall be locked and the unloaded firearm shall not be visible, or for a program approved by the school.
Source: National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action
Now, this all seems reasonable. But those “prohibited possessors” or sons of mothers with 2nd Amendment rights don’t obviously like to abide by laws. Anyone can carry a weapon into a school under their all-black wardrobe, and open fire. But a teacher, a principal, a secretary, or an aide cannot bring a weapon to school. Intelligent, law-abiding citizens cannot holster a gun at their place of work. Only a police officer can. Metal detectors, video cameras, etc. are deterrents, but they are not fool-proof. So, if you don’t have an officer on-site, you are basically a sitting duck.

Then what is the point of laws if not everyone chooses to respect them? Why can’t I have the CHOICE to protect myself and my students from “acts of tyranny”? And what would that look like if we could? Would I go out to Dick’s Sporting Goods and purchase a GLOCK? Probably not. In my opinion, EVERY weapon in the history of mankind was created with the purpose of controlling or destroying other living things. I HATE the fact that I might even CONSIDER wanting to possess anything with that lethal potential.

A school is a place of business that specializes in fostering and protecting the lives of children. There is a false sense of security that surrounds innocence, hence the term. But when it is shattered, like it already has been, we need to re-think our priorities. Guns do not provide freedom; they invite fear and ruin us as a human race.

Bottom line: If there is no ban on all weapons for all civilians, insane people will continue to participate in mass shootings. And we can do nothing about it. God Bless America.

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