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When it comes to senseless gun violence, parents and teachers have the power to demand that elected officials pass sensible gun control measures to stop it.
Parents have the right to drop off or send their children to safe schools. Teachers have the right to educate them in safe classrooms. Their rights are just as important as the rights of gun owners, if not more so.
So where is the outcry for the rights of parents and teachers? Parents and teachers have the power to demand their rights — and especially the right of innocent unsuspecting children to learn in a safe school environment — if they come together to exercise it.
During the last five years, there have been 157 school shootings — including 51 last year. Sadly, there have been 13 already this year with 23 people killed or injured.
When breaking news occurs after or in the midst of a school shooting, we may be stunned and heartbroken as the painful coverage and reportage unfold, as the analyses and comments are gathered.
Then we hear the mixture of common refrains from legislators and citizens alike. But even though parents and teachers have the power, we are not hearing their voice in a combined and coordinated way.
From one side we hear: Something must be done to pass legislation to ban assault military-style weapons. They have no place in the hands of civilians. Congress must do something.
From the other side we hear: Banning assault weapons is an infringement on our 2nd Amendment rights. That military-style weapons are not the problem, but mental health issues are instead. Or, criminals are the problem. Nothing can be done.
In the meantime, no meaningful solutions seem to be on the horizon. Parents and teachers have the power. They must come together and begin to use it.
When more and more children are dying from school shootings, how can we as a society find that acceptable? Since 1970, there have been over 1900 school shootings, with more than 600 deaths, 1800 injured, with the highest number of shootings occurring in 2018.
Why can’t America protect her school children? Why won’t those who have been given the power to do something about it still refuse to do it, steadily ignoring the sentiment of the majority of the citizens who put them there?
Together, parents and teachers have the power to organize and apply it.
Portions of this article first appeared in the MIssouri Independent