Letter to the Editor

145

We are mourning another horrific school shooting.  It’s time to demand that our elected representatives refuse donations from the National Rifle Association.  How can one powerful lobby hold us all hostage as potential victims of under-regulated guns?  Without NRA money, our representatives can begin listening to constituents and their consciences to protect us all.  There is also the beginning of a boycott of the NRA to lessen their financial clout.

Students from the Florida high school are speaking out admirably.  I thought the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School would tilt the laws, but no changes occurred.  As a teacher at Gig Harbor High School, our back to school training after Columbine in 1999 was a police officer teaching us how to run from an active shooter and the lockdown drills began.  I’ve been in multiple lockdowns and had students with loaded guns in backpacks nearby but fortunately nobody on campus was hurt.  Specially trained dogs and robots search for weapons on the campus. I never imagined such circumstances when I began teaching.
Now the NRA and our president are advocating arming 20% of teachers.  The Parkland staff who died shielded students with their own bodies.  Elected officials who advocate more armaments should be voted out of office.

The shooter was trained by our system to be a great marksman: he was in Junior ROTC.  He wore his ROTC shirt for the attack.

Let’s dig deeper and begin rooting out our culture of violence.  American policies and weapon manufacturers have seeded the world with death, destruction and destabilization.   The US trillion dollar budget for “fighting terrorism” in the last decade has shriveled budgets for education, health, infrastructure and other vital areas.  And now we’re being exhorted to insanely “modernize” our nuclear arsenal, when we need to abolish nuclear weapons.  Let’s stop acting as if violence solves a problem.

Find a group or way to contribute to ending violence and building peace: staying passive or silent only delivers more destruction.

Julia Lakey