A Conversation

I just want to go ahead and share this from my sister-in-law’s Facebook:


My son: “Why are they crying Mommy?”

Me (holding back tears): “Because a bad man with a gun came to their school and hurt a bunch of people”

“Did they get the bad man?”

“yes baby they did. Ben do you know what to do if a bad man comes to your school?”

“We hide in Mrs F’s bathroom and be quiet”

“And I bet she locks the door, right?”

“Yes”

“And you wait quietly until Mrs F says it’s ok to come out right?”

“Yes”

“Do you practice that at school? Like you practice when the fire trucks come?”

“We do!”

“Good, always listen to your teacher baby, she’s there to keep you safe”

***

He’s in Preschool. This is the world we live in now. In all my years in school we never practiced what to do in case of an active shooter, it wasn’t a problem then. My son is four years old and I have to have this discussion with him, because it is a very real possibility today. Fire drills, tornado drills, active shooter drills. That is the world we live in now. How sad is that?

If we can’t discuss gun control in America because “guns are part of the American culture” then maybe we need to have a discussion about why that is. If we can’t discuss gun control because “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” then we need to discuss why that is. If we can’t discuss gun control because “it won’t solve the problem” we need to discuss why that is. We need to have an honest discussion about why this is the 18th mass shooting THIS YEAR! It’s only February.

How many more have to happen before Americans stand up and say “Enough is enough.”

How many more parents will loose their children to gun violence before we start to realize that maybe the freedom to own guns isn’t on the same level as the right live without fear of being gunned down.

You have to have a license and in many states a class before you even drive a vehicle. Why is it that at 18 years old you can just go get a gun? Doesn’t that seem strange? You’re not old enough to buy beer yet but as long as you pass the background check, you can buy an AR-15? How does that even make sense?

“But he was mentally disturbed!”
“Criminals don’t follow the law!”
“The 2nd amendment!!!”
“It was his parent’s gun!”
“He got it illegally!”
“It’s not time to be political”
“It’s about mental health!”

I know the answer is complicated. I know that gun control won’t solve everything. I know that there is more to discuss, but you know what? It’s time to be real. It’s time for people to admit that there is a fundamental problem in this country when it comes to our obsession with guns. We as a people have created this problem and we as a people have to figure out how to solve it.

I don’t know what the answer is but I’m praying to God we figure it out soon before another child sits in fear, huddled in their classroom. Before gunshots ring out not in a war zone but in a lunchroom. Before children have their innocence stolen from them by witnessing bloodshed first hand.

This is America, Land of The Free, but living in terror isn’t really freeing is it?

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