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No Sugar Coating: Moving forward


My mother is the teacher of second and third graders. She’s been teaching elementary school students for nearly 10 years.

A few days following the Parkland, FL shooting, my mom and I were sitting in her car in the parking lot discussing what had happened. We read stories of teachers being brave for their students, and I started to cry. I cried when I realized that my mother’s job description does not say to step in front of a bullet to save a child’s life, but it is implied and silently required if something were to happen.

Every day, my father, who is a guard at a men’s colony, risks his life and is respected for it. The reality of how dangerous his job can be is always in the back of my mind. However, he is trained to react to danger and threats. It’s in the job.

Teachers are not respected by society, fighting constant complaints from angry parents, a huge spectrum of students to be in charge of, and work days that require hours of planning. Although they are reprimanded and sneered at by the public, they are expected to give their lives to protect their 30 some students if danger threatens that.

Being a teacher can be a very scary job. It is even scarier when our country is crippled by fear and refuses to take action against the elementary procedures it takes to actually obtain a weapon, specifically the notorious AR-15.

In states like Pennsylvania and Virginia, it takes less than 10 minutes, including a background check, to purchase an AR-15.

“Two days after the worst mass shooting in American history, and my local gun shop in Virginia showed no hesitation in selling me an AR-15. In fact, they really wanted me to buy it. And I was only there for five minutes,” wrote Cody Davis, a 20 year old writing for a college based news site called The Tab.

However, living  in the progressive state that California is, I know that it is not (legally) possible to obtain an assault rifle, easing my mind to think that the odds are not against my favor and the chances of something like the Parkland shooting happening here are very slim.

Parkland was not the first school shooting and I doubt it will be the last, despite the #NeverAgain efforts that have been made. But what’s important is to keep moving forward. Whether we’re running, walking or crawling, we will make it to the ribbon at the end of the race and break through it. It’s a long road ahead of us, but I believe it’s worth a fighting chance.


This infographic by the NRA shows every state and its laws regarding carry permits.
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