Monday, March 5, 2018

Check out Rachel's outstanding letter to the Register Guard

Adults need to step up, sans guns
My cousin and another child were killed at the Thurston shooting. As a teacher, I improvised bandages, pressed arteries and reassured the dozens wounded. My colleague was in a different school shooting, and my friend’s granddaughter was in another.
Since being at Thurston, my stepdaughter and her friends are haunted by fears for their own children’s safety. My grandson has hidden in a cubbyhole for three lockdowns so far. And after active shooter drills, the kids talk about death. That’s no way to grow up.
We adults need to step up. Cut gun deaths in half through better reporting, background checks, training and licensing, as Connecticut did. Lock up your guns and ammunition. Listen to your kids. Share the video “Evan” about shooter warning signs. And demand Congress change laws — call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
But don’t arm teachers. During training, officers hit bystander images 18 percent of the time. Now imagine teachers firing into a panicked crowd. Or being mistaken for the “bad guy.” Or being tackled for their guns. Instead, provide trained police, counselors (most schools have none or caseloads of 500 or more) and smaller classes, all to keep a better eye on kids. Aren’t they worth it?

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