The Gun Man

I have been reading a lot of posts from Canadians condemning the American’s right to bare arms. Oh Canada, take care of your own backyard before you start judging our neighbours to the south.

I am a Canadian, born and raised. I have worked in Canadian elementary schools most of my adult life. I have been in lockdown situations more than I care to think about. 3 of those occasions were because of a gunman. Gun laws and stricter school policy are not going to change school shootings. Only you will.

The man-child who was involved in the Connecticut shootings was the son of a substitute teacher. He was disgruntled about something. The school has a policy of keeping the children locked in for their safety. The school recognized him. let him in and he went on a rampage. The school policy didn’t save those children. Strict gun laws about assault weapons didn’t protect those children.

Teachers lost their lives to protect your children. They huddled in corners and closets keeping the children quiet and safe. When children cried, teachers would gently take the child’s face into their hands and whisper, “It will be okay, we will be safe. I won’t let anything happen to you.” The teachers lived up to their promise as best they could.

People who wonder why need to look at the broader picture. changing policy and laws won’t help very much other than making life more complicated for the average law abiding citizen. If someone wants a gun, they will find away. If someone wants to create a bomb, they will find a way. We need to think about why these people want these things.

Removing the stigma of mental health issues will help but so will kindness and empathy. Be kind to people, listen to people when they want to talk. Ask people questions about how they are and mean it. Be intentional with kindness and compassion. It may not save everyone but the world will be a better place for.

Peace and kindness is all I ask.

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12 thoughts on “The Gun Man

  1. In Australia we have had very few massacres or spree shootings. The one event that changed our gun laws was the Port Arthur massacre which rocked the nation. Our government changed the gun laws, and very quickly if I recall, to make it illegal to own firearms without a licence. Sure, if people are going to want guns, they will get them, but even if one person wants to kill some people but can’t be bothered getting a gun to go do it, then that’s a good thing. I think America (and possibly Canada? I don’t know where Canada stands on gun control) truly needs to address the entire gun culture in the country along with their gun laws and take a stand. When over ten THOUSAND people have been killed by handguns in the USA in one year compared to less than 50 in many other countries, isn’t it time to do something?

    1. I think you are forgetting about population density. 21 million people live in Australia, 350 million people live in America. The amount of mentally ill people per capita is higher.
      Canada does not share the same values towards guns and our laws reflect that. It’s hard to buy a gun because access is restricted. But that doesn’t stop people from acquiring them if they need or want.
      I think if someone had listened to that man or spent time with him when he needed it, it would have been a different outcome. I’m sad for his mother, I’m sure she is surrounded by guilt, shame and sadness.

      1. I’m well aware of the difference of population density, but I truly do think that the USA has this huge gung ho attitude towards firearms that really could be addressed for a positive outcome. And yeah, I do agree with you that had someone sat and had a chat with the kid that pulled the trigger prior to the event perhaps the outcome may have been different. Perhaps not. It appears that he was one odd little bunny his whole life. His mum isn’t doing a lot of much at all since he killed her along with all those other innocent victims. It’s just a tragic situation that I feel the government needs to really think hard about and perhaps even try to change. It’s not only the laws that need to change, but the whole culture surrounding guns in the USA.

        1. I don’t think stricter laws by the government will solve the problem. I think media coverage should be restricted. They sensationalize the tragic event and create celebrity making it desirable for other mentally ill people to want to achieve the same status.
          After visiting Australia, I learned there is a distinct North American Culture that is very different from the rest of the world. The US isn’t filled will gun toting extremists, they are kind and compassionate. However, there are extremists living among them and the media exploits that for sensational journalism.

  2. I personally believe the world would be a much better place if guns were banned altogether. I don’t believe they are needed. I know I am an idealist. Nevertheless I agree that, the fact that guns exist means that people that want to get their hands on them, will find a way to do so. As a Canadian I know for a fact that our gun laws have not prevented mass shooting tragedies, such as the shooting in Taber. However, a complete ban of guns altogether would make them less available and people would have to put the effort in to get their hands on them. In the case of this heinous crime, the gunman had ready access to the weapons in his home. There are some reports that he tried to obtain his own gun earlier in the week, and had been turned down. Would this incident have happened if his mother didn’t have a stockpile of weapons it home? It may have, he might have continued to seek out ways to get his hands on such awful weapons, however he may not have. It is one of those what if situations, that we will never be able to answer.

    Guns or no guns I think we need to get to the root of the problem, and that I believe is that our society has become desensitized to violence. The violence that our young children are exposed to through TV, movies and video games is at a critical point. Where once young children played imaginary games of cops and robbers now young children are playing video games such as “Call of Duty: Black Ops.” As a grade one teacher I cringe when I hear that my young students are playing these violent video games. What messages are we sending society’s children by allowing them to have such exposure?

    It is time for North American society to re-evaluate our culture, and reprioritize what matters to us. It is through this that I believe we can start to instill change and foster a community of caring, compassion and kindness. I for one am going to continue to do what I can to foster such an environment in my own classroom.

  3. The gunman killed his mother first. His prior behavior was typical for people with Aspergers. There is not a single state that I’m aware of where you don’t need to have a license to legally own a firearm. This is not about guns. This is about society.

    1. {no idea why that posted…}

      You have to keep in mind that the US govt gave/sold assault weapons to Mexico in hopes (imo) that they would be used here and would thus further their goal of disarming its citizens. The only problem was that they got caught…………. {read up on Fast and Furious}.

      Criminals will always find a way to kill. We need MORE armed citizens {trained; educated} and then we’d have an equalizer. Taking weapons away from citizens is not going to stop the abuse by those using them for destructive purposes.

      Guns, Crime, and the Swiss: http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/articles/guns-crime-swiss.html
      You have to fix people before this is going to go away.

      “In 2002 — five years after enacting its gun ban — the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent), says the D.C. Examiner.” http://www.captainsjournal.com/2012/07/23/do-gun-bans-reduce-violent-crime-ask-the-aussies-and-brits/

      “Many nations with stricter gun control laws have violence rates that are equal to, or greater than, that of the United States. Consider the following rates:”
      http://gunowners.org/sk0703.htm {this one has references}

      And, as an aside, the worst mass killing of school children in the US took place in Bath, Mi, in 1927, without guns. {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster}

      Evil exists, and will find a way to harm, guns or no.

      1. You bring up some interesting points. I was reading on Robert Scoble’s site that in Isreal everyone has an assult rifle. But they also spend two years in the military. What does this do?

        1. Makes sure everyone is very trained on the use of.
        2. Makes sure that everyone is armed, but with a gun that can’t be hidden easily on person.
        3. Makes sure that mentally ill people are filtered out of the system and kept from owning guns.

        Keeping all that in mind, I don’t think I could use a firearm to shoot at someone. I think I would rather be killed than kill. However, I have never been in that sitation to find out what I am trully made of. I am thankful for that.

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