Safe Places are not Safe by Angenita Williams-Childs

Sandy Hook

 

All they did was go to school.

They woke up. Got dressed. Had breakfast. Brushed their teeth. Washed their faces. Kissed Mom. Hugged Dad. And was told, “Have a good day. I’ll see you when you get home.”

Only, they didn’t go home. They went to a morgue at the hands of a young man who decided that they should die. He decided their fate, although he was not God.

Twenty little bodies lay in a classroom because of whatever reason. That is totally unfair. But the sad thing is, this wasn’t the first. It won’t be the last unless we DO something. And by DO something, I mean stand up and get our communities back.

There are many issues at work here. One deals with mental illness. One deals with gun laws. Both deal with societal issues that continuously go unchecked, and only come to the forefront when tragedies happen. Therein lies the problem; why open dialogue AFTER tragedies occur?

The sad thing is, tragedies happen daily. From the corners of major cities, to the churches of rural America; from people having a good time shopping or partying, to people  listening to music in cars. Not all are broadcast over national news. When is this going to stop?

Sandy Hook 3

Eighty-eight people died in mass shootings this year. Eighty-eight. Lives gone because of…what? Being bullied? Feeling unloved? Some other reason?

One solution to this problem lies with our healthcare system. Mental illness should be treated as a disease, just like diabetes or hypertension. Instead, it is treated as a personal flaw; as if mental illness can be chosen. It can be treated with proper medication and a doctor’s care.

Another solution would be to keep the guns from those unstable persons. But, then again, laws to restrict guns only hinder the law abiding citizens. The bad boys could get them anyway.

I propose that we, the people who live in these communities, stop allowing these things to happen. Let’s come from behind our locked doors, and stand up for where we live. Stand up for those who no longer have a voice. Let’s take a long hard look at how we treat those with chemically unbalanced brains. Even better, let’s look at our prison system. Let’s look at our laws.

How many more people have to die in this way?

As it stands, I am seriously considering becoming an armed mother. A nice .9mm. But, if, and when I do, will I feel protected? Or will that make me a hypocrite for calling for a few more restrictions on gun violence?

Sandy Hook 2

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