Yes, pretty much.
Every school shooting, every mass gun massacre, every image of family members desperately searching the scene for their children, or collapsing as they find out their kids didn't make it: Every single one of these events is absolutely shattering. And still, after so many—so so so so many—of these incidents every year, month, and week, a numbness tends to set in. But the opposite is happening, for me anyway.
Lately, I feel uncomfortable, bordering on queasy, about sending my kids into a school building every day. According to a Huffington Post report yesterday, the U.S. is now averaging a school gun incident every 60 hours in 2018, based on data compiled by Every Town for Gun Safety.
One of my kids already goes to a big public school, which does have security guards at both doors, sure, but I've never seen those guards ask any incoming person a question, or check IDs, or inspect bags. I'm sure anyone could walk up to the door any day, carrying assault weapons, and march right into the building.
If that person happens to be a currently enrolled student, someone with a familiar face (who just happens to be carrying an assault weapon in a backpack), I doubt there's much chance he or she will be stopped.
I can't handle this fact anymore, for my kids or for any other kid or parent anywhere. So two solutions come to mind, and gun control isn't one of them since it's apparently never, ever, ever going to happen in the U.S.—unless we pull off the magical feat of banning the NRA, or enacting massive campaign finance reform that keeps the NRA from enriching members of Congress (but even still, the gun nuts will find a way to bankroll legislators one way or the other).
Senator John McCain, one of the dozens in Congress who tweeted some version of the usual "thoughts and prayers" B.S., has accepted $7.7 million in funding from the NRA. And he's just one example. See this New York Times list for many more.
Until you stop valuing gun-lobby money over kids' lives, John McCain, STFU. Please.
So the only two viable solutions I can imagine right now are:
My husband and I aren't seriously considering this yet, but I've been thinking about the option constantly these days. ("Could we? Would we? Should we?") One of the surviving high school kids in the Florida massacre had told her parents repeatedly, over the years, that she's scared of school shootings and wants to be homeschooled. And sure enough, the second-worst school shooting in American history happened this week, right inside her high school.
Let's put a metal detector at every school entrance, in every school in America. Yup, this will mean long lines in the morning and a delayed start to the school day. Not to mention the expense of installing the machines. And the hurdles of getting an initiative like this underway at the federal, state, or local levels. But I can't think of any issue more worth the time and money than our kids' safety, in a country where gun control apparently isn't an option and will never be.
Is there a downside to lobbying for metal detectors in schools? At least until we can wrestle free of the NRA chokehold that's turning America into the #1 most unsafe country for kids in the developed world?
A guest named Lisa Del Rosso on the Brian Lehrer Show on NYC's NPR station today described the idea of metal detectors in schools as merely "adjusting to the problem" rather than trying to solve it.
But we have to adjust, don't we? Because solving the problem isn't happening anytime soon.
Can we start a raucous national conversation about putting a metal detector in every school? I'm ready.
Depressing, but that's where we are now, no?
Image above found on Twitter, @LeaLooDallas.