Code Red Lock down

The words that make a parent’s heart stop and pound at the same time. It is a horrible set of words when the worst scenarios race through your mind. Panic and urgency are what you feel. How do I get to my child? Where is my child? Is my child safe? Who do I call? What do I do?

These are all questions filled with emotion and not knowing what to do is one of the most vulnerable feelings.

What should a parent or guardian do? Let’s review.

1. Understand that a lot of comments on social media are not facts.

2. If able, go to the designated area where parents are supposed to gather in the time of an event. If you don’t know where that is (and it most likely won't be at the school itself) then find out.

3. Don’t yell or scream or make demands of law enforcement. For all you know they have kids at the same school.

4. Understand that even after a threat is addressed and handled, a6 lock down may remain for an hour or more to make sure everything is completed.

5. When able, be patient when picking up your child or children. Everyone will be in a rush, just stay calm and cool.

6. Emotions are contagious. Let your kids know you love them and that they are safe.

7. Don’t forget those teachers and employees who work at the school and who put your child’s safety first. These are everyday heroes who deserve a thank you.

On a different note, a woman came into my shop a few months ago and stated that she was 60 years old and that when she was 16 in high school she was caught (along with her friends) with a marijuana cigarette (aka joint). At the time (in the 1950s) she was charged and convicted. As a result of that conviction, she can never purchase a firearm, even for self-defense, regardless of the fact that she has never since had even a speeding ticket since then. Now regardless of who you are, that just doesn’t make sense to me. She didn’t commit murder, kidnap anyone or rob a bank, she had a joint.

If passed, N.C. House Bill 994 - recently presented in the N.C. House - would allow her to have her record wiped clean (for a small fee). What else would this Bill do? It would allow private citizens to possess a small amount of marijuana for personal use. Now regardless if you smoke pot or not, let’s take a step back from all those that immediately condemn this proposal. If alcohol is legal – and believe me we all know horror stories about drunk driving and angry drunks – why should marijuana be classified as “dangerous?” In my 50 plus years I can honestly say I have never met a person that I considered a threat to myself or others while under the influence of marijuana. You want to fight the opioid epidemic? How about we give people in pain an option that doesn’t include addiction or possibly over dosing?

Remember knowledge is power, stress is terrible and nature gives us what we need if we just pay attention.


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.