In the wake of the mass school shooting in Parkland, FL, there are tough conversations being had between students and parents and children about how to prepare for the unthinkable.
One mom of elementary school kids suggested sending kids to school with triangular doorstops in their backpacks, to jam the door even if a perpetrator shoots off the lock.
Another mom, Tanai Benard, had a conversation with her son, a 5th grader, about what he’d do in the event an active shooter threatened his school. His answer stunned her.
Benard’s son Dez told his mom that in the event of an active shooter, all of his classmates would line up behind him and three friends. That’s because he volunteered to be the one to push a desk up against the door because he’d rather be the one to die to protect his friends, than to see them all get hurt and be the only survivor.
It’s unthinkable that this is the kind of conversation a mom has to have with her son today, but here we are.
Nikolas Cruz shot 17 of his classmates with an AR-15 rifle on Valentine’s Day. He could face the death penalty for the crime.
This is the latest in a string of mass shootings – a gun went off in an Los Angeles classroom just last week, a gunman opened fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, killing over 50 people and injuring nearly 500 last year, a terrorist opened fire on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando almost two years ago.
The public has tired of the ritual Republican call for thoughts and prayers in the wake of these outbreaks of violence and the Democrats’ typically impotent calls for stricter gun control. This time, the survivors of the shooting, high school students, are speaking out and calling explicitly for something tangible to be done about the ease of access to guns in America.