Yesterday, Betty wrote about signs of hope that this shooting might cause some change. I’m not a natural optimist about the human condition, but I’m feeling just a wee bit hopeful, for two reasons.
First, this mom explains the stark, ugly, brutal reality of “active shooter training” better than I ever could:
This is heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/AWRYEEjcsz
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) February 16, 2018
According to the ALICE training company, over 1 million kids have been exposed to the notion that they should scurry around like noisy frightened rabbits if someone with a gun starts shooting up their school.
Second, we naturally focus on the children and adults who are killed or maimed in these shootings, but the damage goes far beyond that:
On that day, Townville’s [S.C.] kids joined a group that now includes more than 150,000 students, attending at least 170 primary or secondary schools, who have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, according to a Post analysis of online archives, state and federal enrollment figures and news stories. That doesn’t count dozens of suicides, accidents and after-school assaults that have also exposed children to gunfire.
That number surprised the hell out of me, even though I should have imagined it. 150,000 kids felt, to some extent, the sheer terror of possible violent death. Many of them have lasting psychic scars, like the 7 year-old girl profiled in the piece where that stat is quoted.
These are just two examples of how we are inflicting damage upon our children just to mollify a bunch of gun humpers with big mouths and deep pockets. At some time – and I’m not going to delude myself into thinking that time is now – we’re going to say enough.