Not Again

Written by BG Howard

May 22, 2024

(Originally printed May 2018)

Unfortunately, breaking news during May of 2018 consisted of reports detailing yet another school shooting.  This time; it was a small town thirty miles southeast of Houston, TX. The people of Sante Fe were still reacting to the fall out that occurred while most were breaking for lunch.  The disruption of usual daily events stemmed from Dmitrios Pagourtzis’ decision to open fire in his high school art class.  He’d arrived at school wearing a trench coat, typical garb despite the Texas heat, which concealed a shotgun and a revolver.  Those weapons were used to gun-down one teacher and nine fellow students with ten others suffering minor to serious injuries.

The seventeen year-old junior, reports noted, wasn’t what authorities would have normally identified as a possible suspect or even a person of interest, for that matter.  He played on the junior varsity football team and was listed as a “good student” whose name often appeared on the school’s honor roll listings.

To the point of this posting, there had been little in the line of “classic indicators” that would have given rise to suspicion regarding a person’s behavior.  Pagourtzis wasn’t one to typically have run-ins with the police and most viewed him as a quiet loner. 

The incident did, no doubt, set off another round of discussions, debates, and arguments about the extent of gun control, or lack thereof, in this country.  Invariably, there were a series of impassioned pleas, speeches, rallies and protests targeting gun control as well as actions from those opposed to any type regulation of the first amendment. 

In times past, I’d received negative feedback and considerable backlash regarding shared opinions as relative to a perceived anti-firearm position.  On the contrary, I’ve never been an active NRA member but certainly have no issue with supporting the right to bear arms as depicted by the United States Constitution.

However, the debate has never really been about a person carrying a firearm or even an argument against the right to do so.  What has to come to the center of the conversation is the matter of children being able to attend a learning institution without risk of casualties typically suffered on the mean streets of a large city or battlefield in a hostile country.  The discussion, at this point should simply be about how students of public schools can be protected…even if it’s from themselves. 

Too often, there have been reports, studies and determinations that came in the wake of a fatal shooting or mass murder as to how the situation could have been prevented.  Once the specifics have been accumulated and well documented, it’s as though someone goes through the painstaking process of compiling and analyzing all that data for the purpose of just sitting on it.  In short, given the number of “studies” performed and information available as a result, one has to question the reason nothing ever gets done. 

This has never been about a person’s right to bear arms; be it a handgun or semi-automatic, military grade assault rifle.  Anytime a child gets shot; no matter the caliber of gun, those parents are left only with the consequence of having to bury their child.  They don’t really care what style weapon or type bullet snuffed out the life of another helpless victim.  Children are the most vital and valuable resource available to the future of this country and the world.  It can’t be all that difficult to figure out a reasonable, sensible way to protect them.  Their only charge in life is to get an education in order to establish a solid foundation that will allow them a formidable chance at a good future.  The only charge that we, as adults, have is to structure an environment that will foster hopes for that to happen.  Instead, yet again, the country was faced with traveling down a painful path which has become most debilitating simply because we couldn’t seem to find a way off it.  I could be wrong but it’s just something to consider.

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