I support gun ownership. This is a constitutional right. It’s alarming that so many are freaking out about this when they should have learned what this means in grade school. Have as many guns as you want! At the end of the day, you’re personally responsible if that gun gets into the wrong hands.
While I do support gun ownership, I also support sensible legislation that would help ensure our safety. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We should all want to ensure the safety of ourselves and the people around us. More importantly, our children should have a right to feel safe in their schools. They don’t have a voice and we all have an obligation to ensure all aspects of their safety. Perhaps you’re doing right by your own children, however, it is the other parents and their children you know nothing about. This should concern every single person as we will never know when someone has motives that are unclear to the rest of us. We should also keep in mind that Northern Nevada is no exception when it comes to school (and other) shootings. I can unfortunately say that I personally know 3 people who were directly impacted by some of the local shootings.
A few incidents we should remember and not forget:
In 2008, Jencie Fagan at Pine Middle School (my former PE teacher at a school that I personally attended) received a medal for her bravery in stopping a school shooting. She put herself in front of the child with a gun and talked him into handing it to her. The child had already injured 2 other students. If it weren’t for her bravery, things could have been much worse.
In 2010, a Wal-Mart employee (Reno Kietzke location) was expecting to be terminated. He brought a gun to work and shot at several people. The store was evacuated.
In 2013, Michael Landsberry, a teacher in Sparks, NV, died after being shot by a student. He took a bullet to save the lives of many children at the school he taught at.
In 2013, a man went into Urology Nevada, shot one doctor, then injured 2 others. This one is very personal to me because a close friend was actually in the building at the time. She was extremely close to this incident and could explain in great detail everything that happened during this event. This is someone I am close enough to that I watch her dogs every time her and her husband go out of town. In addition to this friend, I went to elementary school with the daughter of one of the people who were shot.
In 2017, there was an active shooter situation at the Montage Condominium building. This was a very serious situation as many people were barricaded in the building and the streets surrounding the building were closed for hours.
In 2017, there was a shooting at a Las Vegas music festival that killed around 50 people if I remember correctly. While this wasn't in Northern Nevada, it was indeed a high profile shooting in our state.
Feb 2022, a Carson City student brought a loaded gun to school and pointed it at others. Luckily nobody was shot. The student was disarmed and taken into custody.
Feb 2022, a 2nd incident that happened at McQueen High School in Reno, only a few days after the Carson City incident. School police received a tip about a student with a gun. The student was located, the gun was found, and the student was taken into custody.
Of course, these are only the ones that immediately come to mind. Hopefully there haven’t been more like this, but it is clearly possible. We are very fortunate the last two incidents were prevented; however, we need to weigh the “what-ifs” and acknowledge what could have happened. We have had two teachers put their lives on the line to protect their students. Taking bullets and standing in front of a gun is NOT in their job description. Their profession is disrespected enough as it is, but now we are expecting them to be prepared to take a bullet? How are we going to fix our education system if teachers start feeling unsafe in their profession? They may be fine now, but how many more shootings before they start seeking other work? We already have a major staff shortage within school districts across the state and it will only get worse if we don’t act soon. Doing nothing will further exacerbate our chances to fix the problems in our education system. The demand for teaching jobs will keep increasing as more see how much the profession continues to be disrespected. Both sides of the aisle need to come together and find a solution. Any step, even a minor one, is a step in the right direction. Clearly, we can’t ban guns altogether and clearly, we need do something instead of nothing. There is always a solution, and we need to work together to fix this very serious problem. Any action is better than no action at all. The success of fixing our education system truly depends on it.
Again, Nevada is no exception to school shootings. How soon before your kid is shot because some negligent parent didn’t properly lock up their guns? How do you face your friends or family knowing that YOU could have stopped this? How do you look your own kid in the eye after putting them through that danger, IF they survive it? How do you live with yourself in general? NOBODY IS TAKING YOUR GUNS. WE NEED TO GET CONTROL OVER THIS TO PROTECT OUR EDUCATORS AND STUDENTS.
Northern Nevada Heroes
Some may remember and others may not, but as mentioned above, we have two Northern Nevada teachers who stood in front of a gun to save the lives of countless students. One of them took a bullet and died. The other received a medal for her bravery. These are important events and something that should NEVER be forgotten by the Northern Nevada community. Students were injured. Teachers took enormous risks and made sacrifices for their students. We must continue to acknowledge that these events did in fact happen in Northern Nevada and make efforts to ensure this never happens again.
Jencie Fagan and Michael Landsberry are two of the biggest heroes in Northern Nevada. I think that both deserve to have schools named after them and this should have been done by now. It is very sad and disturbing that their courage and bravery has been overlooked. With all the new schools going up in Northern Nevada, there is really no excuse not to have one named after each of them. Yes, the others who did get schools named after them were worthy, however, I think that standing in front of a loaded gun should be looked at with higher importance than it is. Sky Ranch and Desert Skies were the chosen names of recently built middle schools? Really? I would rather go to a school named after a hero than whatever sky fetish the school district has. But that is just my unsolicited opinion and it disgusts me that both of these heroes have been disregarded by our poorly managed school district.
Let me tell you something about our mental health system and how justifying these incidents as a “mental health issue” is dangerous. Our mental health system is NOT equipped to ensure school shootings no longer happen. In fact, I guarantee that school shootings will INCREASE the more we use “mental health” to justify the actions of people. Take it from someone who knows the ins and outs of our mental healthcare system. These kids will be taken into the system and they will have pills forced on them. The parents may or may not agree to it – either way, it can be dangerous. If the parents agree, they need to make sure the kids are taking their meds EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. If they run out of meds, they need to refill them right away and not wait until the following week. All it takes is taking a child off his or her meds completely for them to hit a downward spiral which could very well lead to a school shooting and/or a suicide attempt. What’s worse is that a judge could order a child into our mental health system and force them to follow medical guidance. And yes, that could mean taking medication. I know firsthand how corrupt some psychiatrists and judges can be. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these shootings were a direct result of a medicated child who was abruptly taken off their medication. If you view my "Documentation/Proof" tab, you will see exactly what I'm talking about. I have released several files from my childhood mental health records.
Another problem we need to think about is the shootings that happen at concerts and grocery stores. How soon before we are one of those unfortunate people in the wrong place at the wrong time? Remember the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas? We go to these places all the time and it could just as easily happen to us. What about your sweet little old mother or grandmother? Have you ever thought of them making their weekly run to the supermarket, only to unexpectedly get involved in an active shooter situation? Maybe they survive, but would you really want them to go through that trauma? Would you want to put yourself through the trauma of knowing that you came really close to losing someone you love? What about the co-workers you see every day and that sweet lady who always brings goodies to work? What would life be like without any of these people? Or having to live with knowing how they died?
Republicans and Democrats need to work together on this. Offer up a solution! At this point, anything is better than nothing.
Again, I’m all for responsible gun ownership, however, there needs to be work done to ensure (at a minimum) the safety of children. Responsible gun owners likely know they have nothing to worry about. It’s the ones screaming and complaining that probably have something on their background that would cause them to have their guns confiscated. These are likely the same people who have already been through our mental health system or need to be treated. Personally, I am far more concerned about these people having access to guns than anyone who quietly owns them.
While I do support gun ownership, I also support sensible gun legislation. Expanded background checks, insurance requirements, safety training, licenses, renewals, etc. Essentially, I would support the same requirements it takes to own a vehicle. Whatever it takes to ensure our students, teachers, friends, and families are safe.