We live in the society we have, not the society we imagine…
An article by Robyn Barberry in response to the Maryland school shooting last month sparked today’s post. She seems to be a reasonable person who wants to do the right thing, but the concept of preparing herself to do it is just out side of her grasp – which I think is the case with many Americans today.
“Above all, we want to be prepared for events like this. But, how could Perry Hall’s teachers, students, and parents anticipate a shooting halfway through the first day of school? How can you look for warning signs on the day you’re just learning each other’s names?”
You can find the entire post on CNN at:
The simple answer is you cannot. No individual or system will perfectly screen for a person who is about to commit a violent act. Certainly, awareness can help, but you cannot expect any system to catch 100% of these individuals before they act. In the instances where the system fails, you can only react to the situation as it unfolds. You can prepare yourself to mitigate the consequences of an attack and react effectively.
As a teacher, a parent, and a member of her community, she agrees that she has a responsibility to protect the students in her charge and prepare them for the future. She says that she struggles to maintain a balance between “keeping a constant vigil on the dangers of our world” and how to “suspend my fears long enough to remain optimistic.”
This is the world we live in. Criminals, students, and anyone one else with an ounce of desire has access to firearms. Only once that concept is accepted can we, as a society, effectively adapt to it. People who are violently inclined or mentally unstable will always find a tool to carry out their violent motives. In this case, it was a gun, but this individual would have ultimately found a tool to manifest his violent intentions, such as a knife, baseball bat, rock, or his fists.
Violent and mentally unstable people have always existed in our society. Unfortunately, they always will and there is no legislative action that can “wish them away.” Only an aware, confident, and prepared society can protect itself from these maligned individuals.
Preparing yourself for the chance that it may happen will make you considerably more confident and make optimism much easier. Take responsibility for your own safety and security. Stop relying on hope and optimism… and do something about it. Learn to defend yourself – and your family, and your students! There are flawed people in our society, and responsible citizens, prepared to effectively respond is ultimately the only feasible long-term solution. Police simply cannot be everywhere at all times.
Strive to make it better, but live in the world we have!
~ Patrick Henry