Jerry Buelter: Blame game needs to stop
Somehow and in some way the recent shooting at a STEM school in Colorado has impacted me more than many of those prior. Perhaps it was because I had just spent the morning with our eighth-grade students at their annual career day. Members from around the community, along with teachers, had given up their time to help provide some guidance as our students begin their “Journey Ahead.”
Perhaps it was the high I had just experienced coupled with the low I was about to experience after finding out about another shooting in one of our schools that led to my despair.
Perhaps, it was knowing about what was to take place. The blame game was about to begin. The barrage of “thoughts and prayers” from elected officials, the pro- and anti-gun lobbies continuing their drawn-out and mimicked arguments and the call for more mental health opportunities for our students would all take center stage in and throughout the media and social media outlets.
“Thoughts and prayers” are meaningless unless there is some action to back them up. We will hear again that the guns were bought legally by the owners but acquired illegally. And someone will bring up arming teachers again. And to counter the anti-gun sentiment, we will hear about providing more mental health opportunities.
Almost all of the reasoning above has some merit. The outpouring of care from surrounding areas will be helpful in bringing comfort. The Second Amendment conversation will share worthwhile concerns on both sides, and the arming of staff will be shut down as it continues to be unpopular by those responsible in carrying out the task.
I couldn’t agree more with providing more mental health opportunities. How do you pay for more services when we cannot financially support those currently among our employ? Our district and community have done an amazing job securing the scarce resources it has to work with students and families in need.
The blame game needs to stop. We need to look at the disease itself and not the symptoms. “When has it become acceptable to use firearms to settle our differences?” Students used to carry rifles in the gun racks of their trucks parked in the school parking lot. Turning them on one another was never an option. In the disconnected world in which we now find ourselves, we need to become more connected.
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