It is understandable that emotions run high following horrific acts of crime such as the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
And when it comes to the topic of “gun control,” it’s always interesting to see both sides of the issue come out with clever, thought provoking ads and social media memes they think will silence the opinions from the opposite side.
I’m all for speaking up for what you believe and peacefully rallying to have your message heard. But, what got my attention last week as the Florida tragedy was being politicized from all angles, was what a group of moms in a small Iowa town were doing.
The mom of three young children had a heavy heart after hearing the news of the gruesome Florida school shooting. She and other moms shared sick pangs in the pits of their stomachs, just as many parents did after hearing of the 17 lives lost at the hand of a gunman. They wondered what they could do for their school — located some 1,400 miles away from the most recent massacre.
Then, they had an idea. They had heard about a device called “The Sleeve,” a device manufactured by a company called Fighting Chance Solutions. The gadget fits over the arm mechanism of a classroom door to secure it from the inside and prevent it from opening. The theory is that even a student would be able to quickly barricade the door if a shooter lurked just down the hallway.
The Florida shooting, along with recent memories of the shootings at a country music concert in Las Vegas and a church in Texas, rallied the concerned moms to action.
They figured while bodies of government talked about solutions, they would at least offer one.
One said, “We’re the moms, and these are our kids. What can we do?!”
They acted. They found out there were 50 classroom doors in their small district. They talked to the PTO president and reached out to the school administrators. They came to the conclusion they needed to raise about $100 per classroom to pay for the devices to secure the doors , as well as fill a bucket with other emergency supplies. They’d need to raise $5,000.
The moms began by donating money themselves to cover their own children’s classrooms. They sought donations from other parents and local business owners. By mid-afternoon they had $2,500. An hour later they had $4,000. By the end of the day, they hit their $5,000 goal.
These moms realize that mass shootings are not confined to certain regions or neighborhoods. It’s happening everywhere. And, it’s scary.
The moms appreciate the teachers in their community. The teachers not only educate their children, but could someday be called on to protect and defend them from death.
While there have been no credible threats to their Iowa school district, this group of unnerved moms put politics aside and stepped up to make a difference. There’s a lesson here for all of us. Instead of feeling helpless or being part of a never ending debate, step up and do something.
Sure, it can be a good thing to be politically active. Call your representatives and senators and let your voice be heard. But, perhaps like the moms in Iowa, there’s something else we can do...something practical, whether it’s a small step of progress, or leaps and bounds. Such assistance only happens, when we put differences aside and work together for the betterment of the whole.
In this case, we’re talking about our children.
And as the article that captured my attention wrapped up, “...Maybe this modest effort in Iowa is a sign that we’re ready not only to recoil in horror at these slayings but to reach consensus on legitimate solutions. Because nobody wants to be the parent who doesn’t realize one morning that they just said a casual goodbye to the next victim of a mass shooting.”
The article I read (and borrowed from) telling about the Iowa moms was written by Kyle Munson.