Sorry Parkland students, you’re not going to get any guarantee of your safety. Clear backpacks IS the best your representatives and city officials can do.
But there is one thing that should make you feel better, and simultaneously worse:
NO ONE is getting any guarantee of safety.
Just look at the world we live in. Having locks on doors and windows might seem like a smart idea. However, my parents grew up in a world where locks were not necessary. Who’s going to just walk into your house?
But what about dogs? Just walk down your street and you’ll see, or rather hear dogs barking as you pass. They’re everywhere. And sometimes, there’s multiple dogs in one yard or house. They bark through a fence, or through a window.
And if there’s no dog there is a “Beware of Dog” sign. Why? Because dogs can be dangerous to people who are uninvited. They are deterrents. Even if you don’t expect your chihuahua to tackle an intruder, just the fact that they bark might be enough to scare away anybody who shouldn’t be there.
Just like a car alarm.
The car alarm does NOTHING but make noise. In the digital age, with always connected devices there are some systems that can track your car, alert you via text or app notification, or even call the police for you. But unless you have On Star, you just have a noise box that makes loud sounds when the car is tampered with. The sound generates interest in what’s going on, which causes people to focus on the car, which makes the thief afraid of being seen and caught, which keep the car from being stolen.
And dogs are a much more expensive alarm.
And companion or family member or emotional assistance animal… I know there’s more than one reason to have a dog.
These are just crutches, however, to hold you up. They don’t fix the problem. The problem fixes itself…?
A student brings weapons to school. So, the school forces the students to wear clear backpacks, or no backpacks. This will solve the problem.
Even when I was in high school in the late 90’s early 2000’s there were bomb threats, a kid threatening to shoot up the school, prank calls, and false fire alarms. There were fights. There were pranks. There were shenanigans.
But even we knew that having clear backpacks (which we were “threatened” with) was just stupid. A person who is going to cause harm isn’t going to care about your rules.
So, these kids want more gun control. Fine, get rid of all the guns. You’ve saved the day.
All you’ve done is bought a dog. Now he barks and scares some people away. But the people who really want it don’t give a crap about your dog.
The bigger issue is how we treat each other.
Now, would “Walk UP” day have been better than “Walk OUT” day? Would it have saved lives? Would it have alienated “those kids”? Would the shootings stop because you sat with a kid at lunch that usually sits by himself? Would world peace be achieved because you included the weird kids?
C’mon! I’m not stupid.
There is nothing you can do right now to change people right now. But that’s all people are focused on. They’re only focused on banning all the guns. They’re focused on suing Facebook. They’re focused on removing trolls from Twitter. They’re only focused on REACTING to whatever is happening NOW.
Nobody is focusing on prevention. Nobody is focusing on education. Nobody is focusing on the future and what to DO NOW in order to get there.
What does this have to do with dogs?
If you live in a community that is increasingly filling up with barking dogs, perhaps there is a problem. Maybe that problem is as simple as “people don’t know how to train their dogs.” But, perhaps, it means that more and more people in the neighborhood are feeling scared. Perhaps more of your neighbors are feeling a sense of danger. They are letting the dogs scare away any evildoers.
But, this isn’t going to solve anything. People will just continue to react. Some new issue will take place and people will put up fences, flood lights, security systems, cameras, alarms, and increasingly cut themselves off from other people, because you never know where the threats will come from.
INSTEAD we should focus on being a closer community. We should get to know each other. We should become friends and true neighbors. We should look out for each other. We should take care of each other. We should help each other. We should focus on long term, friendly relationships with neighbors, city officials, schools, public servants, and business owners. We need to create a loving, caring society where no one needs to steal, or harm others for attention. Where no one feels as if harming people is the only way. Where people feel comfortable being themselves. Where everyone loves everyone.
(That’s “love” as the verb from the Bible, not the feeling.)
And no, there’s no guarantee that being kind to everyone will make crime stop. There’s no guarantee that if EVERYONE was kind to everyone crime will suddenly cease.
But unless you’re prepared to live in a world where everyone has clear, plastic backpacks because we’re afraid of why your hand is in your pocket, much less what’s in the bag you’re carrying, I don’t see how filling the world with more love and caring and kindness ISN’T a viable alternative.
P.S. – of course, nothing changes overnight. Things will get worse before they get better. But they either get worse, and then worser, and then the worsest… or they get worse first, but then get better. Our choice.