Gun Violence in America: How Will I Explain This to My Children?

Sandy Hook, Orlando, New York, Texas, and Charleston. I don’t even have to say why I’m naming these cities for you to understand. I can’t help but think that these tragedies (not these alone) will go down in history books and one day, I will have to explain these things, these absolutely horrific events to my children.

It is no secret that over the past few years has seen a wave of gun violence. According to CNN, “there have been 307 shootings from Jan 1st-November 5th 2017 in which 4 or more people were injured or killed.” That is not counting the countless acts of violence which only injured or killed 1 or 2 victims. The numbers are absolutely alarming, disheartening and discouraging, all the while begging question, how do I explain this to my children?

There have been many a day or night that my husband, Steve, and I look at our phones or look at the news and think, “This can’t possibly be life.” Another shooting and more innocent lives lost, and a shooter who ultimately and infamously made their way into history. The faces and names of people who commit heinous acts live on in infamy, visible to everyone, including our kids. As a Mother, this is not something I ever expected to become the “norm,” a part of our lives as Americans. 

The issue with this is that this will continue until we come to a consensus that there needs to be some kind of gun legislation, and it needs to happen immediately. It doesn’t matter what side of the political fence you sit on, because these kind of violent acts have nothing to do with party affiliation, it has to do with empathy. Unlike some, I don’t believe we need to wait until this is any more closer to home, something should be done immediately. This is why local elections are so important- and we must participate in meaningful conversations about what can be done to pass meaningful gun legislation.

I am not going to lie, the events lately have left me a little uninspired and sad. Yet, I am not hopeless. I still believe in the good of the people, when we need to become cohesive and fight for what is right. Right now, my children are babies and have no clue what is truly going on in the world, fortunately. Although I am disenchanted with all of the happenings, I am hopeful that by the time my children become of age, we will have made large strides to solve these problems. Therefore I am going to do everything in my power to make the world a better place for them. I am going to continue to vote in local and national elections, and engage in conversations for the better good. I am not going to make this a Blue or Red issue, but instead an issue of humanity. Then, when it is finally time to explain this to my children, I will feel more prepared. I will be able to explain to them that we will not let a few people shake us or force us to hide, instead it gave us the opportunity to fight for the right of generations to come to live in a state freer of gun violence than we are now.

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