Home‎ > ‎

An Essay-by Siobhainn O'Connor

I've always wanted to be courageous, a hero.  Especially in my younger days when right and wrong was crystal clear, before life experience introduced that weird gray area that comes with the knowledge that there is more than the "right"  and the "wrong"  side.  Understanding that there are dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of nuances that influence opinions and points of view.
With age, comes wisdom.  Or maybe it's just confusion.  Trying to be fair, trying to see all sides.  It's exhausting.

I saw an interview with Andrew Pollack who lost his daughter during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.  He is angry.  He is demanding that the nation do more to protect students.  He wants to arm teachers, install bullet proof glass in schools, have armed guards patrolling campuses, and more.
His daughter is dead.

When I hear him shouting down interviewers, insisting that gun control should not be talked about now, that it's about safety, all I hear is a man in pain.  He thinks he is casting aside his grief to do important work.  I can see that grief is all he has.

I do not agree with Andrew Pollack, but I understand why he is yelling and screaming.

I do not know what it is like to be a kid in school today.    We had fire and tornado drills, not lock-down drills.  I remember sitting cross legged in front of our lockers, bent at the waist, our hands laced over our heads.  We had to remain in a "turtle" position because our backs, we were told, were strong and would help protect our insides.  In the Spring months, there would inevitably be a real tornado threat. All of us kids were terrified, some sobbing, some calling out for their parents.  Weather cannot be controlled.  It is capricious.  It is unpredictable.  

Congress can control gun sales.  They can adopt legislation that would make a meaningful impact on restricting sales of types of weapons, background checks, waiting periods, gun show and internet sales, and much more.  Maybe they want to.  Maybe our Congress is full of good people who know what is right and what is wrong. Maybe they won't lose their way in the confusion of the gray area. Or maybe, they are just too afraid to be heroes.