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Fifth-grade girls agree: There are too many guns out there

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, at 12:27 a.m.

If you’re reading this, it means the Mayans were wrong. The world didn’t end Friday. I figure the Mayans those many years ago decided figuring a calendar to 2012 was plenty long enough.

At any rate, we’re still here. And the ones who aren’t are being mourned. In a way the world did come crashing down for the residents of a tiny town in Connecticut. A horrific event that delivered an excruciating punch in the gut to that community. A jolt that was felt across our entire country. And the pain remains. And certainly not only with adults.

I have lunch with a group of terrific fifth-grade girls every Tuesday. I’ve done this for years, but this is an especially good group. We start each session with "highs" and "lows."

Sure enough, one student said her low was "the awful murders in that little town. Those were little kids," she said. She seemed to know more details than I wanted her to share with the group about the horrific incident. The subject kept coming up as we went around the table, so I decided to ask, "What do you think can be done to keep this from happening again?"

One girl said, "I don’t know, but we had a lockdown this morning. And I was scared." It was true. The school office had been contacted that morning to go to lockdown because there was a suspicious character in the vicinity of the school.

"We need to illegalize guns," the well-informed girl said. "If only the police had guns, then regular people would quit shooting each other."

"Regular people don’t shoot people. They shoot birds and stuff," was one response.

The statement "The bad people shoot people. And the crazy people do, too," brought a discussion of whether all bad people are crazy and if crazy people are all bad. There was not a consensus; most of the girls thought it would have to be looked at case by case. But they did agree there are too many guns out there, and that "crazy people should not be allowed to buy guns."

By the way, these girls have given gun control a lot of thought. The little girl who was killed in September by a drive-by shooter while she slept in her bed had been a third-grader at this school.

We finally got off the subject and had our Christmas party and talked about what we wanted for Christmas. It ranged from a Kindle to "having dinner with my whole family with no fights."

They left wearing the matching necklaces I gave them along with the red ribbon I had used on the wrapping. Their sprits were high, wishing me "Merry Christmas" and giving me extra-big hugs.

Last girl out the door turned and said, "One more thing for Christmas, Miss Bonnie: No more shooting. They have to quit."

Yes. Yes, they do.

Reach Bonnie Bing at bingbylines@gmail.com.

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