Two Teens And Their Mama: Stop The Violence

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Stop The Violence


On the final day of school last month, my sixteen year old son came home, and when I asked him how he felt about finishing up his sophomore year he said, and I quote, "Good. I made it through another semester without getting shot at school".  He stopped me in my tracks.

As my older son was getting ready for his first day of community college, he commented that there should be a class about what to do if a shooter shows up on campus.

These statements from my boys literally made me cry.  I am so sad that they are growing up in a world where they have to worry about gun violence in the classroom every day.  When I was their age, I felt perfectly safe at school.  In fact, I didn't even give it a second thought.

We live in a small community with a relatively low crime rate, but my boys are still worried.  Our kids can't help but think about it every day, even if it's in the back of their mind.  

There have been 31 firearms attacks at U.S. schools since the start of the year.  In the eighteen months since the horrible incident at Sandy Hook Elementary, the frequency of gun related events has actually increased.

I don't know what the answer is, and I'm not prepared enough to discuss gun control or mental health needs, although those things certainly must be part of the solution.

What I do know is that I want to do something.  I don't want to just talk about it or debate it anymore,  because enough of that has been going on, and as shown by the statistics above, it's obviously not doing any good. 

I don't want my boys to be afraid every day when they go to school, and I certainly don't want my someday grandchildren to experience the same thing. 

I want to know what I can do to stop the violence.


12 comments:

  1. I think we need to change the way we think about gun violence. In my previous job, I was in charge of developing and maintaining the safety and security procedures at the college level.We are spending so much time and money on prevention and response and almost nothing on understanding the underlying causes. Why is this happening? Why do some people feel so frustrated that they believe that they must resort to violence in order to have any sort of impact on their surroundings?

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    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. There is definitely an underlying mental illness issue that's not being addressed. I really think we need to start there.

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  2. Lana, you always know how to get right to the heart of an issue. You have done something - but laying out the statistics and writing about the need for us all to figure this out.
    Mothers shouldn't have to be afraid to send their kids to school - and kids shouldn't have to worry about being there!!

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    1. Oops! I just saw my typo! That should have read “by laying out...”

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    2. It's very sad that our kids even have to worry about this, rather than focus on their day.

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  3. I want to DO something, too, but honestly, I don't know what to do. I do all of the things I hear about regarding stricter gun laws, etc. I am terrified of this, and can't believe how often I actually think about it as well. It's horrible.

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    1. Me either - and that's my problem. I feel like it has been talked into the ground, but no action has been taken. Just wish I knew what!

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  4. I too wonder what can be done. The fact that they've increased makes me feel that the media has something to do with it. When people who are off-balance hear how a horrible event is sensationalized in the press it creates copy-cats. But, since I believe in free press, I don't know what to do either.

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    1. Good point - I think the media definitely has something to do with the increase. The reporting needs to be more balanced and not sensationalize it so much.

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  5. I think the discussion of mental illness really needs to come into play here. They've barely brought that up. I just read in the newspaper this morning that a woman in France stabbed a preschool teacher to death in front of her students...and that she had a history of mental illness. Newtown is a couple towns over from us and we have friends that live there. That was heartbreaking. All of them are heartbreaking. But that one was very close to home for us. One of the things my youngest son said to me was that it made him nervous to have a police presence in his school, because it felt like it could happen there too. And the reality is, it could happen anywhere. I'm not sure what the answer is, but mental illness seems to be a factor in all of these shootings. Why aren't we talking more about that?

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    1. You're right Michelle - I think mental illness is the MAIN factor. We seem to be failing as a country in addressing mental illness as a whole - nobody seems to want to deal with it.

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