News & Politics

My Child Won’t Be Walking Out of School for Gun Control

Students protesting gun violence on the steps of the old Florida Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 on the one week anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

The ladies of the Women’s March are adding gun control to their protest list, as they call for students and teachers across the nation to walk out of school on March 14.

It’s called the National School Walkout, and it’s sponsored by the “Women’s March Youth EMPOWER” organization. They want everyone in our schools, administrators included, to walk out of school for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. in every time zone to “protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.”

We need action. Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship.

Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school.

Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.

We are not safe at school. We are not safe in our cities and towns. Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence. We want Congress to pay attention and take note: many of us will vote this November and many others will join in 2020.

My child won’t be joining the protests. Why? Because they’re misguided and ineffectual. Gun reform legislation will do nothing to protect our schools from psychos hell-bent on copying other mass murderers and grabbing notoriety before ending their life forever, either by suicide, imprisonment, or the electric chair.

That’s what motivated 18-year-old Robert Benjamin Smith back in 1966 when he strolled into Rose-Mar College of Beauty in Mesa, Arizona, and killed four women and a toddler. One of the women survived by playing dead, while another shielded her infant with her own body, saving the child’s life and losing her own.

Smith copied the mass killings by Richard Speck, who killed eight women in Chicago, and Charles Whitman, who shot and killed 15 people from a clock tower in Texas—both incidents in 1966. He loved the attention they got as their faces were plastered across newspapers nationwide.

“I wanted to get known, just wanted to get myself a name,” Smith said. He wanted to kill a lot more people on the college campus, but he arrived earlier than most and had to settle for five. “I wanted people to know who I was,” Smith said when he was arrested.

We don’t know Nikolas Cruz’s exact motivations. Sometimes, in these cases, we never know. What we do know is guns are not the problem. People are. The individual is as well as any deviant influences within the family and culture that have created an environment for such a horror to occur.

Another thing we know is, as gun rights activists have repeated ad nauseam, getting rid of guns for 99.99 percent of Americans who don’t behave this way is not the answer. And that’s the ultimate goal of the Women’s March to empower youth and other “gun control” activists — eradicating gun ownership. We know this because we have gun control, and laws on the books to limit access to guns. No gun law could have stopped this and many other mass murders.

What we can do is arm authorities in the schools to be a deterrent and protect our children. Instead of walking out to protest for gun control — a useless endeavor except to deprive citizens of their rights — maybe school administrators and teachers should meet with local legislators about creating a gun-protected zone instead of a gun-free zone.

This, and only this, is the best concrete protection of our children in a culture that no longer has the cohesive values that once — long ago, even before the 1960s — kept such evil at bay.