Commentary, Opinion, Park Forest, Schools

In My Classroom, Prepared

Uvalde shooting victims
The Uvalde shooting victims. (MGN)

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- I’m in my classroom prepared for the unthinkable.

As students take their last final of this school year, I see the corner where they’ll gather if the unthinkable happens. I see the spot where I will stand, between them and the only window by the door, an instinctive desire to protect them, perhaps.

They know the drill. I know the drill. We’ve rehearsed many times. My colleagues have rehearsed in their rooms. Our students going back several, several years now know the drill.

The drills.

Educators and students in thousands of schools know the drills.

They’re prepared as well.

A United States senator said yesterday this was all about mental illness, that, somehow, the thousands of dead just this year alone from gunfire were not really killed by guns. They were killed by mental illness. Armed with a gun.

Or guns. Several guns.

AR-15 style rifles.

But the most recent shooter — the most recent as of this date, May 27, 2022 — this most-recent shooter, if he was mentally ill, was only 18 years old. Recently turned 18. He was never diagnosed with a mental illness. He bought his guns legally in Texas.

The great State of Texas.

In the great State of Texas it’s already illegal to carry a handgun if the person is “chemically dependent person; and is not incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun.” (Source)

But in Texas, the great State of Texas, it was legal for this child, barely 18, to purchase two AR-15s — firearms that must be declared illegal again under federal law.

Of course this is about politics. This is about the politics that have gutted care for those in need of mental health care. This is about the states that have gutted laws restricting the ownership of firearms of all kinds. This is about the states that prioritize an amendment over the lives of children.

Now regulate firearms — all of them — seriously and firmly, so all I have to prepare for is my next class.

I am in my classroom, prepared. We all are. With far more on our minds than our next lesson.

Federal firearm regulations NOW!

Gary Kopycinski is Editor and Publisher of eNews Park Forest.