It’s been a terrifying week on school campuses this week with multiple school shootings across the nation. On Monday, shootings were reported in Italy, Texas and another in Gentilly, Louisiana. On Tuesday, in Benton, Kentucky two students were killed and 18 others injured. The safety of school campuses has been an issue as of late. Following the harrowing loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conneticut school shootings have become a normal threat. Normally, students prepare for regional weather threats like earthquakes, tornadoes with shelter in place drills. Now, students, educators and administrators are practicing lockdown drills in preparation for possibly the worst scenario learners and leaders would potentially ever face.
Are Americans becoming numb to school shootings?
As school shootings, mass shootings and gun violence increased, so did the calls for gun control. For many, the argument fell on deaf ears. Many side with the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and refuse to join the gun control conversation, largely out of an irrational fear that any legislation will potentially jeopardize their constitutional right. Gun violence in America is akin to a flare up of a chronic disease. Though it may not be always evident on the surface, the multi-layered hate epidemic continues to plague this country. As any healthy body in its right mind would do, this country should work to end the flare ups of gun violence with staunch measures for gun control. Gun control is more than keeping guns out of the wrong hands. It’s regulation that encompasses all facets of responsible ownership and procurement.
Whether the topic is gun violence in Chicago or New Orleans, mass shootings like the horrific Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas, or family violence, it’s imperative that we commit to not only conversation, but ‘treatment’ between flare ups.
A gun death anywhere, should impact gun owners everywhere.
This weekend, “Faith Under Fire” premieres on Lifetime television. The movie chronicles the tense moments and tender exchanges between Antoinette Tuff and Michael Brandon Hill. Hill snuck into the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy with a sinister plot, only to be thwarted by Tuff who as she put it was “Prepared for a Purpose.”
Tuff’s quick thinking, empathy and daily dose of Psalm 23 saved herself and everyone in the school, including the gunman. However, we see daily how many lives are not spared at the hands of gunmen filled with rage, hate, confusion and mental instability. What is the solution? Many of today’s social ills are seldom properly regulated with legislation. It’s a matter of the heart, many believers feel when pressed about these social ills. In America however, freedom of religion also means the freedom to have no religion or belief in a higher power. This juxtaposition is prevalent in the office of policy makers nationwide, who work to strike a balance between what is “right” and what is Constitutional.
Not every person that encounters a gunman will be able to diffuse the situation with words or disarming engagement. With this in mind, Tuff’s story is one of divine intervention and not a how-to. Last week at the Dallas screening for the film, Executive Producer Bishop T. D. Jakes shared his thoughts about the intersection of faith and gun control as was partly the case with Tuff.
With this in mind, Bishop Jakes understands that there is work to be done, saying this: “I think that we have to do some sensible reconstruct to create laws that protect us without restricting our freedoms that this country affords. And, I think that when we stop politicizing it and start using level heads, we can achieve those goals.”
Faith Under Fire premieres on Saturday, January 27 on Lifetime Television. Toni Braxton stars as Antoinette Tuff along with Malik Yoba, YaYa DaCosta and Trevor Morgan.