Do I believe in gun control? That depends upon which me you ask.
The homeowner in me thinks I need a gun to protect myself at night. However, I can barely find my glasses at night, forget about accurately firing a gun.
Another risk of having a gun is shooting an innocent person entering your home. If you don’t think this happens, ask the family of the young man from Kansas who entered the wrong house, was mistaken for an intruder and was shot and killed.
And what about your own children? Anyone who has children has awakened in the night to noises, only to discover it’s your child.
If you had a gun, you might shoot your child, mistaking him or her for a burglar. In addition, if you have guns at home you are putting your children at risk of shooting themselves.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that from 2007 to 2011, an average of 62 children age 14 and under were accidentally shot and killed each year.
About two-thirds of these unintended deaths took place in a home or vehicle that belonged to the victim’s family.
The wife in me, whose husband is a manager of a retail store, doesn’t think people should carry handguns for fear that an angry customer may pull a firearm on him.
At the same time I would like him to have a gun so that he could protect himself if that were to happen.
The driver in me says no to guns after hearing yet another story of someone shot during a road rage incident — this time a little girl.
What has happened to our world that some people are afraid to honk their horn for fear of being shot?
The teacher in me is astounded that disturbed people are obtaining guns, entering schools and shooting children.
But when I look into the faces of the children who depend upon me to protect them and think of the parents who entrust me with their children each day, I think maybe if I had a gun I could save them.
Although it is doubtful that I would be able to direct my students to safety and unlock the gun safe simultaneously. Or what if a student obtained the code to the safe and took the gun?
I respect my fellow teachers but by having guns in the classroom we also run the risk of an unstable teacher shooting a student.
The mother in me thinks of my children in college, sitting defenselessly in their classrooms, and I think that if someone in those classrooms had a gun, lives would be saved or maybe the incidents would never occur in the first place because the crazed killers would know that their targets were no longer defenseless. However, I hate the idea of students walking on campus with guns.
Regardless of your opinion on whether or not people should be able to own and carry handguns, I think we would all agree that there needs to be tighter regulations on purchasing the guns such as a 30-day wait period, more extensive background checks and required gun safety courses. And there should be restrictions on the types of weapons civilians can own (come on, no one needs an Uzi!).
And we would all agree that we need to figure out how to better prevent, identify and treat the societal issues that cause people to want to harm others.
What can we do in our homes, neighborhoods and classrooms to stop this madness before more innocent people are hurt?
Laura Herrick has been a public school teacher for 25 years. She has written a book on parenting and is now writing books for children. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.