Teach gun safety to all

-A A +A

In regard to your article “School Board to consider gun resolution” on March 9, the board only allowed James Langenbrunner from New Mexicans for Gun Safety to speak even though two of us accompanied him.
As a teacher of 25 years at Los Alamos High School, I would have shared my own experiences as to the need for educating for gun safety. Thus, I write this letter.
Upon arriving at school this particular morning, the faculty was informed that a certain senior had blown his head off the night before over a physics exam. Stunned and horrified, we still had to conduct our classes.
Later his younger brother joined my Student Traveling Awareness Team for the Environment, which performed throughout the 1970s. A refuge for him, we are still close friends though he lives elsewhere, a victim of a deep psychological injury.
A teacher friend also at the high school lost her son to suicide.
My last year before retirement, one of a set of precocious identical twins accidentally shot the other. Fortunately, this wonderful young man survived and graduated on time.
What did these deaths and injuries have in common? Each of these young men was an experienced hunter, well trained in the use of firearms; thus, the guns were readily available.
Even though the parents trusted them, had the guns been locked up, they would have been whole and alive today.
We are all so aware of our young people’s immature emotions — tenuous egos, fragile self-regard and thoughtless actions. We adults know desperate feelings will ease; at that critical moment, they can’t believe that. And we must recognize that those of us who experience death or injury of loved ones because of guns never really get over the physical or psychological scars.
At an innocent Bible School picnic, my mother was loading little ones into cars to return home. An “explosion” whirled me around to see my mother standing between the two cars holding her arm with blood and flesh falling from it. Then I saw the little 7-year-old girl in our back seat, both covered with blood.
A careless father had left a loaded gun in the neighboring car where a 5-year-old could find it and pull the trigger.
We must teach and work toward gun safety.

Mary Louise Williams
Los Alamos