A video released by the group Sandy Hook Promise is their latest call to address what they feel is the underlying issue driving gun violence:guns… or bullying… or maybe boredom, it’s not entirely clear.
“The ‘Know the Signs’ campaign has been our mission at Sandy Hook Promise for a number of years now. We believe that gun violence is preventable when you know the signs, when you know what to look for,” Nicole Hockley, the co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise, a national gun violence prevention organization, told ABC News.
The video shows ‘Evan’, a high school student counting down the days until summer vacation, carves ‘I’m bored’ on a library table and ends up having a conversation with an unknown student. Before getting the chance to connect with his unknown pen pal, Evan is on hand when another student enters the school with a long rifle.
“I just want people to watch this video, it is a compelling video I want them to know that there are actions that they can take in their own community, in their own family, to make a difference. All the training we provide is completely free. We just want to save lives.” Hockley added.
While I would never begrudge anyone working to end gun violence, I do question the method in which the Sandy Hook Promise is attempting to do it. As Jeff Cooper said, “The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”
The child in this video obviously has issues that go deeper than access to a tool. Was it bullying, mental health issues or boredom that drove him to attempt to shoot up his school? The video isn’t clear, so let’s say it’s what the child carved into the desk in the video: boredom.
My children are frequently bored, yet because they have been taught gun safety, a strict respect for firearms and a true appreciation for human life, although they have been bullied and we have guns in our home, they’ve never shot anyone – nor will they. But according to this video, if my son watches a YouTube video showing people shooting guns (which he often does when he checks Bearing Arms) in school, his peers should report his behavior to school officials. Or if my daughter, who will be taking hunters safety, is in study hall reading her Wisconsin DNR handbook, which covers guns and ammunition, she should be reported to school officials for displaying a ‘warning sign of potential gun violence’.
Perhaps the underlying problem is that parents are all too often so wrapped up in their own lives, they fail to notice what’s happening in their children’s. Perhaps its that children aren’t taught to appreciate life or, as is the case in my daughter’s middle school, are allowed to bully others despite a “strict” no-bullying rule.
Hockley said the organization has created a guide to inform people what the warning signs of potential gun violence are, in an effort to train them to prevent gun violence and claims a little over 1 million people have been trained in just under two years. However, I went to their website, and besides finding several questionable stats on gun violence, the signs they claim to teach parents, schools and community organizations to identify are nowhere to be found.
The bottom line is, this organization is ultimately calling for “sensible state and federal policies” – also known as sensible gun control, or yet another restriction on our gun rights. Conversely, those interested in protecting gun rights as well as ending gun violence lobby to fix the background check system, reform the criminal justice system, advance the efforts of NSSF’s Project ChildSafe and teach gun safety to grade school children through programs like Eddie Eagle.
We don’t need more infringements on the Second Amendment to end gun violence. We just need to fix what’s broken in the laws we already have on the books.