Ruibal column: Kids, adults and grown-up arguments | PostIndependent.com

Ruibal column: Kids, adults and grown-up arguments

Sallee Ann Ruibal
Sallee Ann Ruibal
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

In eighth grade, I was part of a student trip to Japan. For two weeks we visited cities all along the island nation. We ate kobe beef, had a geisha tea service and visited museums. One museum was devoted to the long-lasting destruction caused by the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. We watched a short documentary about how the effects rippled through generations. I bought a shirt that read something like “Remember Hiroshima. Never Again.”

When I wore the shirt back home, my granddaddy asked what it meant. I explained the whole history as if he was unaware. He nodded. He asked why I bought it. “Well … cause it’s sad. And unfair.” My granddaddy, a World War II vet, then gave his side. Yes, it is sad. But the alternative was something he and all of his brothers in arms could not bare, and maybe this world could not bare either.

All the knowledge I had about the issue was based in emotion. I learned about one side, but hadn’t yet considered the many other facets, the context, the bigger picture.

Which is fine, because I was 13. And it’s fine that the Glenwood Springs High School students who participated in a walk-out last Wednesday in response to Parkland, Florida, were fueled mostly by passion. But gun control is an adult issue. That doesn’t mean it can only be discussed by adults, but that it requires a grown-up approach.

And sometimes adults don’t act like grown-ups.

I respect Sheriff Lou Vallario and all he does for our community. He has a job I truly believe most of us could not handle. But his job does not leave room for vlogging (that’s what the youths call video blogging) on the official Sheriff’s Office Facebook page about personal opinions. That’s what he is sharing — opinions. But it’s under the guise of “Just the Facts.” Placing blame on “Hollywood elite” for the rallying cries for gun control is just unfounded. It’s merely a distraction, but not as preposterous as the one Vallario throws out in the last 30 seconds.

“The biggest American tragedy however when it comes to these liberal politicians and Hollywood elite is that they support and condone the murder of hundreds and thousands of babies every year through abortion,” Vallario said in his vlog.

Really? You want to go there?

It’s a textbook red herring and trashes the credibility of any previous argument.

It’s called pro-choice, not pro-abortion. No one is pro-abortion, just as no one wants more school shootings. The latter was the main argument at the high school. The solution most vied for was to get rid of the NRA. I overheard several in the crowd, as fellow classmates cheered “NRA has got to go,” ask their friends, “NRA, what’s that?”

The more involved students said they participated in the walk-out because a lot of kids died, they’re scared, they’re anxious in the classroom in fear of another attack and feel that their government isn’t doing enough.

That’s a good start. That’s heart. And heart is a lot harder to acquire than information from both sides, but the knowledge is so necessary.

So, to those students, I suggest looking further into mental health issues, as Vallario brought up. Research how other countries have approached gun control and what their true outcomes have been. Double-check everything you read, a lot of misleading statistics are out there. Arm your heart with the facts and then people won’t even notice your age as you fight for that change I do believe you’re capable of.

Sallee Ann Ruibal is Engagement Editor at the Post Independent and has no intentions of starting a vlog. You can reach her at sruibal@postindependent.com