Monday, April 17, 2017
NCIS (No Classroom is Safe) by Patte Carter-Hevia
Last week a shooter walked into a school in San Bernardino, California. When it was over, three people (two adults and one child) were dead and two children were injured.
Usually when there is a school shooting, I write something that day or the next to try to wrap my brain around the occurrence.
Read that previous sentence again. Let it sink in.
Why? Because as I wrote that sentence, my brain went to, “Do you realize what you just wrote? You put ‘usually’ and ‘school shooting’ in the same sentence.”
Did you notice that the same way that I did? As if a school shooting is now a norm. Common at best. Expected at worst
The news coverage is determined by the carnage now. More victims equals more news time. Three dead and two injured was barely a blip.
I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.
Every so often, I binge watch NCIS. I recall an episode in which one of Gibbs’s ex-wives was murdered. As Dr. Mallard was preparing to move the body from the bag to the autopsy table, he looked to Jimmy Palmer to help.
And Palmer said, “No. I don’t want to.”
Dr. Mallard asked, “Don’t want to what, Mr. Palmer?”
Jimmy answered, “I don’t want to know how much her liver weighs. I don’t want to catalog her scars. But most of all I don’t want to cut open another friend.”
He paused for a moment as Gibbs entered autopsy and then added before walking away from the table, “I think I’ve had my limit.”
Yes. Just yes.
Oh, how I understand.
Another school shooting. I don’t want to know what gun was used. I don’t want to know how many shots were fired. I don’t want to know how many weapons the shooter had available. I don’t want to know how long the act took from start to finish.
But most of all I don’t want to turn on the news and learn about the slaughter of another colleague (because I view all educational professionals as colleagues) and/or students in what is supposed to be a safe place of learning.
I think I have had my limit.
I ask the same question: when are we horrified enough as a country to do something?
The same answer jumps out: apparently not yet. Perhaps, sadly, not ever. The answer to the plea for even something as simple as more background checks is to loosen the guidelines to put MORE weapons into circulation and work to give people permission to carry then into schools. As if that is exactly what schools need.
Read the thought bubble over my head concerning an organization that would rather allow people to declare open season on schools rather than work to create commonsense changes.
As Jimmy Palmer walks away from the body, Dr. Mallard comments to Gibbs, “I don’t remember the moment when I reached my limit, but I do remember never being the same.”
Unlike Dr. Mallard, I will remember the moment when I reached my limit.
And like him, I will never be the same.