I hate guns, but here's what changed my mind about having them in schools.
A tiny, rural school district in Colorado located more than thirty miles from the nearest sheriff's station recently voted to allow their teachers to carry handguns.
If teachers choose to carry guns, they must also volunteer to serve as security in the case of the emergencies that are far too common in our schools today.
This measure was approved by the school board on the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings which took place on December 12th, 2012, not something the school board realized at the time.
But that's not the only unsettling parallel.
It was events like the murders at Sandy Hook that inspired the school district to take this action in the first place.
I think our country needs to seriously change our gun laws, but even so, I can't blame this school district for making this decision.
Maybe that should make me feel like a hypocrite, but it doesn't.
Since the shootings at Sandy Hook, a gun has been fired on school grounds nearly once a week.
I'm not a parent, but I don't think you have to be one to hear that statistic and feel pure, unadulterated terror mounting way down deep in your belly.
Our schools should be a place of safety and nurture.
It's where children learn (among other things) how to think, how to feel, and how to relate to their fellow man.
School shooting drills are the new fire drills. That's the new normal for kids in school today, and you can't tell me that that's not going to have a major impact on their relationship to the world once they become adults.
I do not think that violence is ever the answer to a problem.
But my belief in healthy dialogue and constant communication won't protect me from being shot to death by a troubled individual whom the system has failed — who also happens to have ridiculously easy access to guns.
Frankly, if forced to choose between arming an unstable person with a gun, or an educated, trained professional, I'll pick the professional.
It's not a choice I like having to make, and if our gun laws were different, if guns themselves were less easy to obtain, it's not a choice I'd have to make at all.
But since we don't really know how or if the gun legislation will change under the new administration, I pick protecting the kids.
Is it ludicrous that classrooms in the rural parts of our countries are being transformed into the wild west?
But it's no more ludicrous than our country's inability to acknowledge that the way we oversee and control guns is simply not working.
The most baffling part of how we deal with guns to me is how panicked people get when we talk about implementing legislation that will prevent ... you know ... deeply troubled kids from getting access to them.
No one is saying "take away all of the guns!"
We are saying, "let's figure out a way to stop children from being massacred", but somehow that's just impossible to hear.
Like I've said, I think we need to control gun legislation, but I can also be aware of the gray area.
Is it so crazy to hope that people on the other side of the issue are capable of the same expansiveness of mind?
Hell, I'm sitting here saying I understand and support why this school in Colorado needs to arm their teachers!
This debate stopped being about civil liberties a very long time ago. Now, it's just about overlooking murder for the sake of money, and I just can't understand how we live in a world where we let that be okay.
But because that is the world we live in, go ahead, arm the teachers. Give our teachers the weaponry and training that they need in our to protect our children.
If we refuse to do anything about the continued slaughter of innocents, why not give guns to protect those innocents from the people who are still equipped by law to use guns.