weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Call issued for common-sense gun laws

I had a very different column planned for this month, something light, about summer activities. Then on the day of this writing, May 24, 2022, a young man in Uvalde, Texas, took the lives of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. My other piece went completely out the window because I knew I needed to write about this. I am the mother of two young children, and I am terrified.

Every day we step outside trusting that our day is going to be normal and mundane. And that is usually true. Most days, we go through our regular daily routines and everything is fine. The problem with the unexpected is that everything is fine until it isn’t. The parents who lost their children in the shooting at Robb Elementary School were having a normal Tuesday until suddenly they weren’t.

None of us are immune from unexpected tragedy. Uvalde has roughly the same population as Boulder City, and only one person has to make a horrific decision that would turn Andrew J. Mitchell into the next Robb Elementary. I’m sure that most of the parents of Robb’s students did not expect their school to become the next Sandy Hook. And yet, here we are.

Before I moved to Boulder City I was an administrator at a small private middle and high school. During winter break, every teacher and administrator went through an active shooter training and drill. One teacher asked at the debrief when the students would be going through the training. The principal told us they wouldn’t; the chance that the shooter would be a student was too high and we didn’t want them to have advance knowledge of our plans.

While the school never had an active shooter in my time there, there was once a bomb threat that evacuated the entire school. I was the person communicating directly with the parents after the evacuation. It was a rough day for all involved.

I am feeling very powerless at this moment, but the truth is that there are ways to prevent this from happening again. But nobody likes to talk about that because that means talking about stricter gun laws. That’s the conversation that needs to happen, though. The current laws and regulations are not working. Guns keep ending up in the hands of young men who acquire them with the intent to kill moviegoers, church worshippers and innocent children.

I am not a policy expert, nor do I purport to be one, so I’m not going to pretend that I know exactly what changes would be the most appropriate or effective. What I do know is that there are people who have dedicated their entire careers to becoming policy experts in this subject matter and who have decades of data and research to inform more effective policies. We need to be listening to them.

Our children should not be asked to put their lives on the line in order to make purchasing guns a slightly easier, more convenient process. Parents have the right to send their children to school without worrying that they’ll be picking them up in a body bag. Teachers deserve to feel safe in their workplaces; education should never be a career that involves a risk of death.

Buying a gun should not be easier than obtaining a driver’s license. Continuing to allow lax gun laws means the blood of all these children, and the children yet to be murdered in school shootings (and until something is done there will be more) is on our hands.

The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.

Kayla Kirk is a lactation educator in the Las Vegas Valley. She holds degrees in psychology and perinatal education from Boston University and the University of California, San Diego. You can find her hanging out in the local coffee shops or hiking with her husband and two children.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
EVANS: I’m in love with my car

I know it’s no longer considered a “correct” thing to say, but I missed the sound and the vibration of an internal-combustion engine while driving electric cars.

Kids and calendars and too many events

I knew that becoming a parent would require my hobbies to take a backseat, but I didn’t realize that my children would be busier than I’ve ever been in my life.

Boulder City staff encourages resident feedback

City staff wants to hear from you, help you, and continue our quest to make Boulder City the best place to live, work, and experience enjoyment in Southern Nevada.

USA’s strength comes through cooperation with love

Perhaps you believe that bipartisan cooperation is not possible. Ninety-five percent of the time legislation in Joe Biden’s presidency was bipartisan.

Good sportsmanship serves us well in life

Good sportsmanship is hard to define. Its hallmarks include winning without gloating, losing gracefully and respecting everyone involved, including opponents, coaches, officials, fans and administrators. In the heat of competition, will your better nature rise to manifest the good sport in you? Or will you instead listen to the negative voices and be a poor sport? Many youths and adults in our town recently had a chance to discover the answers to those questions when faced with a startling development.

Time to make a move

This is probably one of the most difficult columns I will have to write during my tenure as editor of the Boulder City Review. And that’s because my time at the helm of the paper is coming to an end.

U.S. residents better duck

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. That, dear reader, is an example of “ab-DUCK-tive” reasoning.

Feds should force California’s hand on water use

California officials continue to be the lone holdout on an agreement among seven Colorado River states to cut water usage. Despite imposing numerous “deadlines” for such a deal, federal officials have yet to intervene. They must reconsider if the thirsty Golden State refuses to budge.