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Time to talk about difficult subject of gun control

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

 

Ithink you should know that my deadline for writing is well before you receive the paper on Wednesday. So needless to say, I feel like I need to comment on the events last week, in Parkland, Florida.

 

As a nation, we will never come to agreement on gun control. I believe that the issue of mental health is too difficult of topic to tackle in a short-term solutions kind of way.

So, when I hear the statements made by so many after a shooting that, “Now isn’t the time to talk, it’s a time to heal,” we have to realize that it happens so often that we are never talking about it.

If that is the case, then I say let’s change the conversation! Let us look at it from a perspective at 180 degrees. What school is doing something that is making a shift in the area of bullying? Someone, somewhere is doing this work at gold standard level. If that is the case, then I call on all media outlets to sing their praises again and again.

Please understand that I am using the term bullying in a very broad definition. I don’t just mean the big kid pushing the small kid around the playground. I am talking about anyone that feels disenfranchised, disconnected, different, afraid to speak up, afraid to ask for help, not heard.

The things kids experience and what they are exposed to today are soooo different than when we were kids. It isn’t just technology that is to blame. It is that everyone is going through so much more than we could possibly imagine.

Could bad things happen here, of course they could and not just because of school issues. There are school students and home-schooled students, school staff and non-school employees, parents and non-parents who all should be part of the conversation. We all see, hear and experience really different things that no one ever talks about.

If we don’t talk about the tough things, how do we ever learn, how do we ever build compassion, how do we ever get better? Where are the safe spaces for conversation?

We also need to stop putting things in cute little hashtags that appear under the guise of making people feel better. I am speaking mainly on #(insert word of choice)Strong. This simple phrase can be crippling for anyone that feels like they aren’t strong and they must be the only one not strong.

I love that the youth are finding their voice and even though it might be hard to hear, they are the ones literally in the crosshairs. If there is a local protest on March 24, I hope we will support them.

Bernadette Lauritzen is the parent of three college and high school aged boys.