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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Be Bold and Be Brave: A Plea for Change on Gun Laws

Dr. David McGuire is an educator and education reporter. He attended school in Indianapolis, K-12, and is a graduate of Central State University and holds advanced degrees from Indiana Wesleyan University and Marian University. In addition to his work as an educator, he also navigates the education system as a parent.

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December 14, 2012, 27 dead including 20 children ages 6 and 7.

January 23, 2018, 2 students 15 years old were killed/16 were shot.

February 14, 2018, 17 people were killed and 17 more were injured.

May 18, 2018, 10 people were killed and 13 were injured.

May 24, 2022, 22 dead including 19 students.

March 27, 2023, 7 people killed 3 students, 2 administrators, 1 teacher.

Enough is enough. It is time for us to be bold and brave and to do something once and for all about the gun violence in this country. As listed above, too many children are being murdered at the hands of sick people who use guns to commit horrific violence on innocent people.

As we are days removed from another school shooting that took the life of six people, including three nine-year-old children, I make this plea for us to be bold and brave. We still have individuals that do not see that we are in a crisis, a crisis of our own making, but a crisis that we together can end. How many more teachers and children must be killed in schools before putting aside our differences and uniting to solve this issue? I am calling on our politicians and elected officials.

How can Tik Tok unite politicians from both sides, but the murder of children in a school cannot?

Gun laws in this country must change. When the second amendment to the constitution of the United States was adopted in 1791, a typical revolutionary-era musket had one round in the magazine. It fired at a muzzle velocity of 1,000 feet per second. A typical modern-day AR-15 has thirty rounds in the magazine and fires a muzzle velocity of 3,260 feet per second. Times and guns have changed, but our gun laws have not changed.

We displayed examples of boldness and bravery when it came to us uniting in the aftermath of these tragedies. I plead for us to be bold and brave before another strategy strikes. Let us not wait for another shooting to have these conversations. We had enough tragedies to date that we no longer need to wait to make changes.

My heart breaks each time I hear about another shooting especially when that shooting happens in a school. My heart breaks for the victims’ families, the school community, and the hope of a future that was taken away without justification.

My heart breaks because, again, we have to send out notices to our families about safety updates that turn our schools into unwelcoming institutions instead of the symbols of joy and safe place. Safety.

My heart breaks because now we have to do another active shooter drill and explain to a group of kindergarteners why they have to hide in the corner of the room with the lights off, be silent as someone comes around and pretends to the break into the classroom. We should not practice these in schools, but because of where we are in this country, you never know if your school will be next.

We have a choice. A choice to be bold and brave and fight for change or be cowards and be afraid to fail and do nothing. I would rather be bold and brave and fight for change and possibly fail than do nothing and fail.

Doing nothing means more children die in our schools.

Taylor Schumann, author and activist, once said, “I want more politicians to lose their jobs to do the right thing. I am calling on our politicians to step up and take a bold and brave stance. Maybe your service is not about continually winning elections but winning the right one so you can make a brave once-in-a-lifetime choice.”

Unfortunately, some politicians see books in school libraries that teach about the true history of this country as a bigger threat to American freedom and democracy than an AR-15 used by dangerous people to gun down innocent children in a school.

These murders make me feel it is easier in this country to get a gun than to teach a book about history that uplifts Black and brown people.

Let’s shift our focus on violence in schools and away from banning books.
I want freedom in this country. I want parents to feel free to send their children to school and not worry about them being shot dead.
I want everyone, from politicians to school leaders to civic leaders, to voters in this country to be bold and brave and fight for changes in gun laws.

Contact Indy Kids Winning reporter David McGuire at davidm@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidMMcGuire Facebook at David McGuire and Instagram @dr.davidmcguire

David’s work is supported through a partnership between Indy Kids Winning and the Indianapolis Recorder. Visit indykidswinning.com to learn more.

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