I have been thinking about what life would be like for the next generation if no child was EVER abused, neglected, limited in terms of what they could accomplish, told they wouldn’t amount to anything, that their creative dreams and desires were frivolous, unrealistic, that their spiritual gifts were bad or not genuine if they were not exposed to tobacco-toxins and others’ addictions if the adults in their lives learned to heal their wounds that they inherited from previous generations so that they didn’t poison these precious young ones. Therapists would have to find a new line of work or adapt their skills so that they would focus on vitality rather than pathology. In my practice over the years, I have seen how much damage is done and it is amazing that some people I know personally and professionally are saner than they would expect to be, given their history. The good news is that history is not destiny. If we could see our way clear through those things, then violence would cease and no one needs to live in fear. You may say I’m a dreamer. Would much rather dream and take inspired action in every moment. How about you? Are you willing to do your part? Help because you can. Stop the cycle. Increase the peace.
I wrote that back in 2015 and sadly, it has aged far too well. It is even more pertinent seven years later that children are on the endangered species list. This article called “A Timeline of School Shootings Since Columbine” was written a few years back and horrifically, more young lives have been taken since then. Imagine sending your child to school on a ‘normal’ day only to need to have a DNA swab performed so that their mutilated bodies could be identified in the aftermath of a massacre. Imagine the residual trauma of the children who witnessed the murder of their friends at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, and one who covered herself in her dead friend’s blood and lay there for hours, pretending to be dead until help came. This 11-year-old will need intensive trauma recovery as will the other students who survived the massacre.
I am a mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law of a teacher who should never have to be in a position to put herself on the line to protect her students from a marauder. I look at her and my beloved grandchildren and surround them in prayers for protection. I send those prayers out to children throughout the world, knowing that it is not sufficient to keep them all safe. I think of the children who do active shooter drills and remember the innocence of my childhood when we would line up outside for fire drills. These days, steel doors, armed guards, and metal detectors are commonplace.
This wordsmith doesn’t have sufficient verbiage to describe my horror and disgust toward those who glorify and fetishize guns, cradling them like they are teddy bears, posing for family photos (are these the ‘family values’ we want to espouse?) proudly displaying them. Why would anyone who is not on a battlefield justify owning a weapon of war especially when children are the targets? Is the gun culture the one we want to praise? At the NRA conference deep in the heart of Texas, TFG (The Former Guy) rattled off the names of the little ones who will never again hug their parents, play with their siblings and friends, graduate high school, attend their prom, fall in love, marry, become parents…grow up. True to form, he mangled the pronunciation, and then, danced! WTF? This man has no conscience and I have doubts about his soul.
Gun violence is a public health issue and should be treated as such.
One of the reasons why I am an outspoken peace and social justice advocate is that I want a safe world, not just for my beautiful grandbabies, (one is 2 1/2 and the other is 3 weeks old) but for all of the children. Those children who have died in what should be safe schools, those children who are living (and dying) in war zones, those children who are starving for food and love, those children who are abused and neglected, those children who are getting ahold of guns and killing either themselves or others. As adults, we are responsible to do better. The children deserve it and they are watching and listening.
There are resources and suggestions for ways to approach conversations about gun violence with young people.
Actions you can take:
Donate to Mom’s Demand Action.
Contact your legislators to demand common-sense gun reform