Shooting Off My Mouth

Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to share her thoughts about high school then and now and the giant problem we all face.

The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, is in bookstores now.   //

I’m not a particularly political person but it’s important to address the elephant in the room. The most recent school shooting in Florida had the positive effect of getting teens off video games and their cell phones and apathy turned to protest. They marched. They carried protest signs. I haven’t heard of any sit-ins yet but this isn’t Berkeley and it isn’t the ‘60’s.

I remember the ‘60’s. I came from a conservative military family and went to a conservative high school. The girls wore knee-length dresses, the guys wore dress shirts and good pants. We were respectful to teachers, did our homework, cheered the football team. No pregnancies and only one drug incident that I remember.

We attended school without armed guards or gun-toting teachers. We didn’t go to classes with the fear of being gunned down. The things we worried about seem banal now: will I get good grades, do I have the latest fashion (the trend was knee socks at the time), will somebody ask me to the prom? We never asked “Will I make it out alive today?”

High school and all those raging hormones that go with post-puberty seem to target young men more than females. Deep seated resentment and insecurity, rejection by peers and bullying all build up to violence. But, wasn’t it the same when I went to school? What was the solution back then?

In the military I was told to shoot a gun. I refused. I will shoot pool, hoops and from the hip, but guns paralyze me. When I worked as secretary to a narcotics team at the Sheriff’s office, I was constantly around firearms. It was part of their uniform but we never had a shooting while I was there.

I have a solution to the gun problem. If someone wants to kill people at schools, churches, concerts and movie theatres, ban all guns and make them use knives. The body count will be fewer. A bullet from a distance isn’t as personal as being close to the target. Knives are so much more intimate. A killer gets to experience the blade struggle through skin and bone and look into the eyes of the victim. If it’s really necessary to prove superiority or make people pay for perceived mistreatment, don’t do it like a coward with just a trigger finger involved.

Maybe these mass murderers feel their actions will put them in the history books. Sorry, kid. History only remembers the biggies like Oswald, Ruby, Sirhan Sirhan, John Wilkes-Booth, Mark David Chapman and OJ. All you get is 15 minutes of fame while loved ones get a lifetime of pain.