Caring. Effective. Efficient.

Gun Control is a Veteran’s Business

 

While on our way to the nutcracker audition at the local theatre I asked my 9-year-old daughter how her day went at school.

“It was okay.  We had another active shooter drill.  When the drill started, I had to run behind and under my teacher’s desk and huddle with the other kids in class.  Ms. H had to charge to the door to lock it then she ran back to cover the kids that were in hiding.”

I am a fortunate parent that it was only a drill. 

There are parents in Texas right now living the nightmare.

On May 25th, an 18-year-old coward armed with an AR-15 stormed into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde Texas, barricaded himself in a classroom, and shot and killed 19 students and their 2 teachers. 

It was far easier for this 18-year-old to get his hands on the military style assault rifle than his driver’s license.

No More Moments of Silence

To be silence is to be complacent. 

It is what half of our congressional representatives are since before the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that killed 26 including 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7 in 2012. 

There is no word in the English language that labels a parent that loses a child. 

We can become widows, widowers, or orphans.  There is no word because parents are not supposed to lose their children.  This is not supposed to happen over and over again to gun violence.

Prayers and moments of silence are a sympathetic gesture and certainty serves an important purpose.  Instead of sending silent prayers or stopping for a moment to silently ponder this devastating loss for the parents and community of Uvalde, Texas, let’s do the opposite and move to action.

If our leaders couldn’t stop the insurrectionists storming the capital, how could they possibly prevent a killer from storming into a school to gun down our children, from entering a grocery store to slaughter our families, from breaking into our churches and murder our religious?

Flash Backs

Just 9 years ago when she was just 2 weeks old, I remember clutching her and her twin brother in my arms while watching in fierce horror of what unfolded in Sandy Hook. 

School active shooter drills became common place shortly after that. 

Surely, I thought, our leaders would do something to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. 

Only six years later in 2018, I watched a yellow school bus pull up at the South Florida VA National Cemetery and let out the mourning teenagers that came to remember and bury Chris Hixon.

Chris Hixon was the athletic director of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida and also a Navy veteran. 

He was only 49 when he ran into the school to confront the gunman. 

He was a true hero in and out of uniform.  He joins the countless heroic teachers that die as human shields to protect the students in their care.

Chris Hixon's son wrote an article in November 2021, in which he hit the nail on the head:

I was taught that using your weapon is a last resort. I worry that many people in America don’t think that way about guns, because of the extreme rhetoric from the gun lobby and the many gun safety laws that have been rolled back.

This isn’t about politics for me. I’m an independent. I’m a gun owner, and for a short time in college I was a member of the NRA (though I can no longer support that organization). I fought to defend the Constitution, and I believe in the Second Amendment. I simply want to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

Veterans know guns - they know what happens on both ends of an assault rifle.
 
Vets can - and should - lead on this issue,
 
We should "Take Point" and help to stop what our elected leaders cannot. What they will not stop.
 
If you are a veteran who feels that Americans could have healthier thinking about guns, then start  talking vocally about what guns are and are not for.
 
Start asking legislators and elected officials to pass common sense gun insurance laws and universal background checks.
 
Start showing Americans the dark side of guns that we have seen and know too well.

Disarm the Killers

The leading cause of death for children and adolescents is due to firearms. For this reason, Congress must pass reasonable gun laws and restrictions that protect innocent people. 

You can be a gun owner and support stricter gun laws.  Nobody is infringing on your right to enjoy the self-serving benefit of the Second Amendment.  As a gun owner, demand action from your representatives to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands.  Do not be complacent in arming the killers of innocent lives.

A one prong approach isn’t enough.  All players must come to the table.  Assault rifles should be restricted or banned entirely.  Schools need to strengthen campus security and increase mental health resources in K-12 schools.  Since nearly half of American veterans own guns, the veteran community and organizations play an essential role in advocating for stricter gun control.  Other countries like Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland have done this successfully.

A Call to Action

Call your Senator, write your representative, show up in their office and demand gun control.  Mail them the pictures and the list names of the innocent lives taken by the guns that they protect. 

Demand them to support and vote for legislation H.R.1446 and H.R. 8 which strengthens background checks for firearms licenses.

There is no closure for grieving parents and no justice for innocent lives lost to bullets.  Do not grow tired of urging our leaders to do more and do right. 

Categories: Taking Point! Blog

About the "Taking Point!" Blog

From veterans law, to attorney wellness, and elevating the voices of Black veterans, the law firm of Attig | Curran | Steel, PLLC, is Taking Point!

Taking Point! Blog

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