My Husband Planned A School Shooting But Was Thwarted...temporarily

The news came in this morning as I was about to head for bed. You know that I stay up all night writing sometimes, right?  My son came into my home office and asked me if I'd seen the reports.  He'd heard them on his clock radio as he was dressing.  I nodded.

He looked grim, and I worried that this was going to send him into a funk.  He takes the news to heart, as does my daughter.  They both worry about those who are killed in wars, in school shootings, in car accidents.  I used to get very sad about such stuff, but as time has gone on, I've managed to detach.  I'd go mad otherwise.  There is so much senseless violence and death in the world.  Yes, the Connecticut shootings killed a large number of people all at once, and young children to boot.  But I knew none of them.  My heart goes out to the parents.  And to the children of the adults who were killed.  And to the surviving students and teachers who were undoubtedly traumatized.

But I have my own children to worry about.  I can do nothing about what has happened.  I can express concern about the the ready access to such deadly weapons, lobbying lawmakers to tighten laws.  I'm dubious it will prevent a tragedy in the future, though.  Where there's a will, there's a way.

In a weird coincidence, today was the day my husband was supposed to go to our daughter's school to shoot a gun.  Not just any sort of gun, either.  A spud gun.  It was a science project he'd helped her with.  All sorts of tubes and valves and compressed air for a physics assignment.  He stayed home this morning and was going to go in around noon to demonstrate it with her for the class.  I asked him if he'd cleared it with the administration.

"I told her to do that," he replied.

"Did she?" I asked.

"I don't know.  But she was supposed to," he said.

"I think you'd better call and check," I said.  "In light of what's just gone on, you want to make sure it's okay."

"That was her responsibility," he said, a stubborn look on his face.

I was tempted to be quiet, to let him go in only to have the SWAT team throw him to the ground.  To have him put in prison for ten years for bringing a weapon on the campus.  To have the teacher freak out and start screaming when he started firing potatoes.  But I couldn't do that to my little girl.  No one wants to be known as the daughter of a school shooter.

"Call," I said.  "Do it now."

He called.  The upshot was that they postponed the demonstration until next week.  I appreciate the fact that he spent time with our girl on the project.  I appreciate the fact that he is taking time off to help her with the presentation.  But it drives me bonkers that he had to be pushed to make the phone call.  For ****'s sake, given the circumstances, it made perfect sense to me that he do so.  I just wish he'd not have argued with me about it.  There are times I feel like Sally Field in Mrs. Doubtfire.  Except my husband's not as funny as Robin Williams' character was.  That wears me down, you know?  Having to manage him to make sure common sense stuff happens.
milkynips milkynips
46-50, F
6 Responses Dec 15, 2012

It's hard to make any place safe. But we have to do our best.

Here in the UK we don't have mass killings in schools and I think part of that has to be the fact that you need criminal connections and serious cash to get hold of handguns and automatic weapons. A two shot shotgun makes it easy to tackle a gunmen when he has to stop to reload.

I think teaching teachers to shoot will lead to more kids being killed as its incredibly hard to shoot accurately under strain if you've never done it before. In New York trained police officers recently opened fire on a gunmen from close range and they managed to hit several bystanders.

You need the families to see that their kids have problems and get them help before they lose the plot.

Yes, yes, yes. To all of it. You couldn't have said it better.

I was in England in 1995 (I think it was 1995) when there was a mass killing in a school. Our 2nd Amendment was written because of our experience with England, and oppressive government. One of its main purposes is to allow us to protect ourselves from the government. The answer to our probems (and yours) is not more government control over our lives. These recent events are caused by kids growing up surrounded by the violence of video games, tv and movies. In addition, in EVERY case, the murderer was on some sort of behavior modification drugs. Yes, it's possible that totally disarming the populace (which would never happen, because the criminals would still be armed) might slightly reduce the incidence of these murders. But, remember what Benjamin Franklin said, "those who would surrender their rights for greater security deserve neither". Note: that quote may not be exact. But, it's the gist of it.

Yes we had Dunblane but that's one incident you can name in 20 years as opposed to the half dozen I can think of off the top of my mind in the US in that time. I don't think Dunblane was a direct parallel as that was a grown man who lost it and started shooting randomly and just happened to end up in a school. I don't think the school was his primary target.

Here any troubled child can be sectioned under the Mental Health Act at the request of his/her family and placed in a secure state funded psychiatric ward and it seems that this early intervention which doesn't rely on parents having the necessary insurance or private wealth heads off students who might otherwise try killing their classmates.

I know what you mean. I have to hound people twice my age or more to make sure common sense **** gets done all the time. Gets old don't it?

In an age of ridiculous knee-jerk extremes, little boys being sent home for bringing "weapons" to school (tiny GI Joe guns or fingernail clippers), I would have thought that your husband would have recognized the far greater threat posed by his potato gun. Common sense and logic both should have been sharpened by that days terrible events. I subbed a grade school that day and all staff members and parents were acutely aware of what had happened and what our own reactions would be.

Yeah, no joke. But I think the prospect of having to make a phone call seemed a bit daunting to him.

How old is your girl? Is she really old enough to be "responsible" for setting up an event like this?

She is. But she is still a child, and the news of the day made it imperative he call to confirm. At least, it did in my judgement. And, really, isn't that what matters? :-)

Spud guns ~are~ fun, though. You know that's why he wanted to do it, right? Had nothing to do with her being responsible or anything. He just wanted to shoot spuds.

LOL... I wonder how many guys are reading this thinking... "I wish she'd manage me for a few hours..."


I don't begrudge him the spud shooting. You're right; it's good fun.

I would just hope that under your management... even temporary.... the phrase "spud gun" would never come up.