Americans can’t decide whether to have guns in their schools. I often wonder how they come to that question. I ask myself in what way do guns serve education?
I realize that I’m not a typical American. I don’t think that a gathering of Americans in any situation is a set-up for violence. Children coming together for the purpose of learning I don’t think of as an opportunity for violence. I think of it as an opportunity for learning.
Obviously, some people think that any time Americans come together in an unguarded moment, they are setting the stage for violence. I often wonder why that is so, and I don’t imagine that most people’s minds run in that direction.
For some reason, we don’t trust each other. Why do we always imagine that someone is plotting to harm somebody? Why do we believe at every public event there is an opportunity to do harm?
I can’t imagine what lessons could be learned by children sitting in a classroom guarded by armed people. Are they to learn that most people are their enemies? Are they to learn to fear every stranger?
I suppose it was to be expected that some people who live in foreign countries should began to be fearful of Americans because of our homicide rates. After all, we Americans believe that other countries are warlike and may erupt in violence at anytime, so why shouldn’t they read about our murder rate and fear us?
Some people believe that their children are in danger in school. They understand that people can be plotting to harm them without their knowledge. The number of guns available to individuals in this country is remarkable. There are the ones that can be purchased legally from legitimate gun dealers and the ones that can be purchased at gun shows and otherwise illegally. Still, some people want more guns available.
I really don’t expect that will change. I believe the murder rate will continue to rise. I think Americans believe in the power of violence and its ability to govern circumstance. A lot of money is made by gun traffic, and so guns will continue to be bought and sold.
I don’t think we will become a stronger people through the use of guns. I can only hope we will become a wiser people through knowledge and understanding.
Look at it this way: If, as Americans, we can’t trust each other to be around our own children, why would others trust us? And who can we trust?
Rose M. Nolen writes a weekly column for the Missourian. You can join the conversation by calling her at 882-5734 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.