“Have a Great Day at School! Don’t Get Killed, Honey!”

Am I a lazy parent because I sent my sons to school knowing there’s a decent chance they will be shot and killed, but all I can do is hope for the best?

Because resignation is the feeling I had this morning reading more about last week’s “child murders children story.”

Do school shootings now occupy the same class of “terrible, unpredictable, unavoidable” as car accidents – they happen, but there’s nothing to be done besides crossing one’s fingers and not dwelling on the negative “what ifs”?

I know there are actions to take. Groups to support in their tireless efforts. Women Against Gun Violence. The Brady Campaign. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. There are messages and memes to share on Facebook. But what does that amount to? The gun that the Washington state football-player-Homecoming-Prince boy brought to school was bought legally and registered to someone in the family. Distraught over a breakup, it seems he texted his friends to join him in the cafeteria and then vented his sorrow with bullets. We can imagine that if there were no gun at home, he’d have punched a hole in the wall, or even someone’s face, and lived with his sadness until things got better.

I join the groups and I share the buttons, but look: even legal guns wreak havoc! So is the solution to accept that this is the way things are, or to radically change the way things are…or to believe in slow change? Slow change doesn’t seem to be working.

Do you want to keep crossing your fingers every day that it’s not your kid who gets shot?

Do we end this tyranny of guns? Share your concrete suggestions. And please be civil to each other.

5 thoughts on ““Have a Great Day at School! Don’t Get Killed, Honey!”

    • Hi Mercy. I totally shared your first instinct — homeschool, keep them close and nothing will happen! — it’s natural and, alas, a fantasy. We want our children to go out into the world unafraid and bold and curious and to make connections and relationships. And even if we were to hide our children away, what about our neighbors’ children? They all deserve to be safe from bullets. I don’t know the answers, either, but it seems apparent that it’s time to join the fight to find them.

  1. Like you, I find this overwhelmingly frustrating. I just want to live in a kinder world, and I’m trying to focus very hard on being as kind as I possibly can. My son received 7 Nerf guns for his birthday. I hate them. He loves them. My father gave him a BB gun without my permission. We have discussions about this and my son swears he knows the difference between play and reality, but it’s a whole spectrum of aggressive behavior that confounds my desire for peace & love & honoring life. I don’t understand where the male rage behind these school shootings is coming from – and yes, having guns at hand means that rage = death, instead of broken knuckles. I don’t have practical suggestions… I suppose mothers have been mourning this ever since there were sons.

    • “Mothers have been mourning this ever since there were sons.” Too true, and too many.
      Confession: I finally gave in to the Nerf guns — even buying them myself — because I saw how much my son enjoyed playing with friends with them and it got him running around outside. Of course, his older brother never had them, but that was because he wasn’t interested. At the time I thought that meant I was a superior mother. Now I realize it was just a different kid, different interests. What let me finally cave was my memories of playing cowboys, etc., when I was little — at a friend’s house, because my parents wouldn’t even allow squirt guns! I would draw the line at anything that could actually hurt them.

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