THIS HAS TO END

March for our livesAlthough I am unable to go to the March For Our Lives in Washington today, I stand with those who do. It’s time to end gun violence.

Children shouldn’t be afraid to go to school, but sadly, many are scared today. They deserve better. I am a parent and a former teacher. Every educator I’ve spoken with agrees that arming teachers isn’t the answer. The only people who should have a gun in school are trained, active-duty officers.

Teachers, who are already underpaid, are there to educate our students, to prepare them for the future. Many schools don’t have sufficient books, computers, or other basic resources. Asbestos is still present in several while some in warm climates lack air-conditioning.

A few people have said that gun violence is a mental health issue and not a gun issue. They are wrong. It’s both. Instead of putting money into training teachers to use guns, or spending millions on a parade we don’t need, we need full-time nurses and counselors to effectively help all our students. Instead of cutting funds for education and healthcare, provide them to identify and to treat those in need.

The second amendment guarantees the right to bear arms, but owning a gun comes with responsibilities. Not everyone is capable of safely handling firearms, nor should they have easy access. I have no problem with gun ownership or hunting. In fact, I know several gun enthusiasts and love a good piece of venison, but you don’t need an assault rifle to take down a deer or protect your home. There are easier ways to make ground meat than spraying dozens of bullets.

I am required to have:
A license for my car
Insurance for my car
A license to drive a vehicle
A license to fish
A license to hunt
A license for each of my dogs and cats

It is not too much to ask that:
All guns be registered
All gun owners be licensed and insured
All gun owners be required to take gun safety classes.
All gun owners be required to pass a written and practical class to receive a gun license.
Gun owners that commit violent crimes or prove a danger to themselves or others lose their license and be required to give up their guns.

It’s time to put an end to easy and unlimited access to firearms and hold all gun owners accountable.

Give our children a safe and healthy environment to live, learn and grow.

They are our future.

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About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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