It’s nearly 1 AM when your almost-16 year old daughter shows you the series of text messages flying around local airspace saying that some unnamed punk has threatened to bring a gun to school to settle some scores. What do you do?
If you’re me, you take it damn seriously. So seriously, in fact, that you have no intention of sending your kid to school even though she loves school because sending her there after such threats have been made is the equivalent of thrusting her into a war zone with no armor and no defense. At least, there is no intention of sending her until there has been official reassurance that the kid with the mouth and the threats and the anonymous texts has been caught and disarmed.
No, you call the school and you call the cops but no one really knows what to do with the report because you don’t know the name of the punk with the gun, only that there might be a punk with a gun and the risk is much, much more than you can possibly bear because we don’t give birth to our children, rock them to sleep, watch them grow, live through their joys and disappointments to see them bleed to death on the floor of a classroom because some stupid kid thinks they’ve got the right to terrorize a group of kids with a threat and the possibility.
You take it seriously because Lawrence King was executed by a smartass punk kid with a smartass punk set of parents whose family was so dysfunctional they’ve managed to leverage it into a juvenile trial where the consequence of executing a classmate in cold blood with malice and advance planning is punishable until age 25 when the slate is wiped clean.
Do I sound bitter? I am. I’m angry that we live in a country where teabaggers can stand outside a town hall where our President is speaking with their guns, their threats and their free speech and trample all over my rights as a consequence.
Because carrying a gun is obviously more important than respecting the right of all citizens to learn, to exist, to live, right? Is that right? In this country, the safety of my daughter matters less than the right of the punk without the name to threaten and even carry out that threat? Because why? Why are guns a god?
Why is my daughter’s safety less important than the punk’s right to threaten it?
This is my youngest child, my only daughter. She has faced more incidents like this in the last year than either of my sons did in their entire high school careers. Why is that? While the gun control freaks rant about the possibility that they might have to give even an inch for the sake of my daughter’s safety, her school becomes a war zone? A school that sits in the middle of a strawberry field in the middle of a diverse community where kids manage on a daily basis not to hate each other for their skin color or sexual orientation is now a danger zone. A danger zone because one kid with a grudge and a mouth has the right of way in our constitutional debate.
Free speech. Gun rights. Zero respect for those who choose to live in peace, not carry guns, not step on other people’s lives with their swaggers and their stares.
I’m so angry I can’t even think straight.