If So, Better Brush Up on Your “Active Shooting Drills” First
A NewsCommentary by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted May 29th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
After the horrific slaughter this May 24th of 19 children and two teachers in a Texas elementary school, one of the many thoughts that went through my mind was a conversation I had, pre-pandemic, with a store owner in Buffalo, New York.
On one of the visits to the store, I happened to mention to the owner for reasons I can’t remember that I was Canadian and immediately he told me how much he and his family liked Canada, and how safe and sane they found it there.
To amp up his point about safety and sanity, the store owner (whose name I will not use to protect the innocent) told me about the “active shooter drills” a child of his was being put through at an elementary school the child attended, and about how much angst those drills caused for both the children and their parents.
In other words, the drills were being repeated held upon an assumption that a shooter, assault weapon in hand, could burst through a door of the school at any moment and start spraying bullets that are so destructive that they could tear a body apart beyond recognition – just like the bullets at that Texas school did.
So I got the store owners point even though I tried to balance out any Pollyanna view he may have had of Canada by mentioning we have had at least a few mass shooting over the years here.
Yet if I were to work up the moxy to cross the border to Buffalo today, I would have to say to add to that store owner that Canada, along with any other country in the developed, industrialized world, does not have anything remotely approaching the reported 200 or so mass shooting incidents and the 400 million guns, including and counting, including highly lethal, made-to-kill people assault weapons, that the United States has chalked up so far this year.
Gun violence continues to make up so much of the American culture that it has people like me, who have friends and favourite places my family and I look to go, thinking more than twice about crossing the border to the United States again.
Let’s see, do I want to cross the border and go to a shopping mall where they have mass shooters, a movie theatre where they have had mass shooters, or a grocery store, where they have had mass shooters? Or how about a music concert where they have had mass shooters, like the country music festival in 2017 in, of all places, Las Vegas, that massacred at least 58 people.
In today’s America, you can’t even be sure you aren’t going to be a victim of a mass shooting in a place of worship, for Christ sake!
And after all of the expressions of shock, moments of silence and vows that “enough is enough.” In America, when it comes to a love of guns that appears to outweigh a love for human live, including the lives of children at schools like Columbine, Sandy Hook and now this one in Texas, it isn’t enough.
The infamous gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA for short) knows that, which is why it so shamefully went on with its convention in Houston, Texas, just a few hours’ drive away from that blood-stained school where family and friends have not yet buried the dead. It is why Trump, who may very well get elected U.S. president again, spoke at that NRA convention, and even did a little jig on stage.
It doesn’t appear to matter how many times someone will come along with a warehouse full of facts and figures showing that the only major difference between the United States and countries where these mass shootings are rare or non-existent are the number of guns out there that can be purchased by virtually anyone 18 years and older. You will still have a “sick son-of-a-bitch” (to borrow a label a Texas law chief used on a gun-safety advocate and Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke this past week) like Trump or Texas Senator Ted Cruz blame it on mental illness or say that the solution, in the case of school shootings, is to arm teachers.
Imagine the insanity of that. There were reportedly close to 20 or more armed police officers standing outside that Texas school classroom for something like an hour while the shooter was in there with the children before finally going in and talking him out, but Trump, Cruz and other NRA stooges say teachers should take these killers out.
Unless or until American voters rise up and fire the politicians who are shameless stooges for the gun lobby, the epidemic of mass shooting shootings that amount to a form of domestic terrorism in that country will go on and on.
In the meantime, better keep up with those active shooter drills.
To visit one of a number of pieces Niagara At Large posted on this issue earlier this May, after a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2022/05/15/tears-for-buffalo-and-its-people/ https://niagaraatlarge.com/2022/05/15/tears-for-buffalo-and-its-people/
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