All posts tagged: gun control

Gimme Shelter: A Mom Confesses Her Gun Obsession

Modern children playing in their locked schoolyard. (Photo: Adrianna Dufay/ TueNight) “Dear Families, Today we had a soft lockdown in the building at approximately 12:40 p.m.…” is how the message from my daughter’s school principal started. I had been mindlessly thumbing through emails on my phone as I climbed the steps from the subway, but now I froze. I sucked in my breath and looked at the ground. The problem with trying to be a rational parent in today’s America is that screens and images everywhere deliver improbable, terrible, often true stories directly to your fear center. I told myself that nothing bad had happened. I knew my daughter had to be okay. Parents aren’t notified of school shootings by email. But until the pounding in my ears stopped, I couldn’t take my eyes from the cement steps and bring them back up to the device in my hand. This is the first year our school has instituted “lockdown procedures,” and we parents got a brief rundown of the process last September. When the alarm sounds, …

How I Teach in a Climate of School Shootings

Is an empty classroom now the safest kind ? (Photo: Stacey Newman/ Shutterstock) Every time a campus shooting has happened in the 13 years since I became a college counselor and professor in Washington D.C., I tell myself that it’s not something that only happens at colleges, and that these things can happen anywhere. I have repeated this mantra so many times now that I’m starting not to believe it. It turns out it’s not that comforting to remind myself that I could really go to work at any job and die unexpectedly, and that the odds of this happening on my particular campus are still pretty low, as frail a grasp on statistics as I have. After the Virginia Tech mass murder, I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t nothing. Humans cope in strange ways. When the college campus shooting happened at Seattle Pacific University a few weeks ago, I saw a tweet from an educator who said that she’d be wearing a bulletproof vest to her campus when school starts …

I Can’t Kill Critters: Why I’m Non-Negotiable on Guns

Amy’s “incident” in the local paper. (Photo: Amy Barr/ TueNight) One morning last fall, I got in my car and turned the ignition key. Typically at this point the electronic memory system kicks in and the seat and mirrors adjust to my personal settings. But not on that day. Instead, a dashboard light flashed, alerting me that the air bags weren’t functioning. But the car was drive-able so I took it to the dealer for a look. The diagnosis: Squirrels had chewed through the computer wires. The price tag for the repair: $1,500. It’s moments like this that cause my husband to ramp up his periodic desire to buy a rifle. No, he doesn’t want to shoot the car dealer, he wants to off the squirrels (and moles and rabbits and possums and deer) who have tormented us in so many ways during the 20-plus years we have owned our house. These critters treat our garden as their personal buffet, digging up veggies as fast as we plant them. Others munch the tops off tulips …