How do I protect our children from mass shootings? As parents, my husband and I have to ask ourselves this question. Can we? Better yet, what can we do? We all begin to have the thoughts of what if it happens to us. What do I do?
It’s back to school season here in Indiana and my heart palpitates not just because my kids are getting older. The dangers of the world crowd my mind as I get them ready for the day. Met with the news of a NEW mass shooting in El Paso Texas only increases my anxiety. I can’t help but ask the question, How do I protect our children from mass shootings? The thought of not being right there to shield my babies from the dangers of the world sends my mind into panic mode. And I begin to remember the shooting victims of:
The El Paso shooting, Sandy Hook, Dayton Ohio, York Town, Vegas and so many more…
Even here in Indy in our own back yard of Noblesville. Mass shootings in America are becoming all too normal. We are met with a news headline a picture and a snippet of those affected and then we move on.
We Never Fully Recover
Gun violence seen or unseen is just that. No news conference reassuring us that politicians are making changes can take away what we’ve seen. The horror that our unconscious mind conjures up as I see my kid get on the bus really snowballs into how come. Propelling me into thoughts of home school and a plethora of other things to ensure my child won’t be shot and killed.
Sadly, with the talks of new teachers and new friends and; while Picking outfits and scheduling after school activities. We also talked about mass shootings, hate crimes and gun control in the united states. We talked about what to look for in an active shooter plus how to protect yourself if you encounter one. Writing this brings tears to my eyes. Oh, how I wish that this was an untrue narrative.
It doesn’t just affect children. A moment of truth for me… I went to the gym the other day LA fitness to be exact. There were so many people carrying around gym bags. This is a fact that earlier on I would not have noticed. But, in today’s world, my mind tells me to take note.
Take note of what they are wearing or if they are moving suspiciously. Stared at their bag to see if I could notice the shape of a weapon. I look them in their eyes, wait to see if they smile back. I wonder if they have a family to go home to. (crazy, right) I then check myself, say a prayer and clear my mind. Shaking those feelings. AS God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of courage and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1-7).
This is not a drill
The words Active Shooter ring loudly in my head. Protect my children from mass shootings? It’s rhetorical. Right? There is no way for me to be everywhere that they are. To see everyone that we come in contact with; while assessing what they may be carrying under their jacket. Then try to figure out if they are a mass murder or not in an OPEN CARRY STATE! Yes, think on that.
This is the weight that American parents are carrying on their shoulders every day. I’ve become more susceptible to these thoughts after moving here to Indiana. (while I hate to say that, it’s true for so many reasons). Not just worried at the school but in the grocery store or when we take our kids to the movies. Seeing a concert, getting school supplies or just serving the God we love.
It’s been rough talking about this with the Girls but so necessary. So I wanted to share Five ways I bring up mass shooting with our girls to make them think about their surroundings. And get them asking us and themselves questions on how to keep themselves safe if ever met with these horrific situations.
Five Ways To talk to your kids about Mass Shootings:
- Watch the news together. While it’s hard letting them see what’s happening. It can keep them safe. ( Would not do this with elementary age kids)
- Bring it up. ( talk about their feelings and thoughts on the topic)
- Ask if your local school has a plan.
- Pray together. Covering those who have lost their lives. And covering those they love
- Get Active: Find ways that you can support your community to prevent this.
You can also stay in the know with these sites: On how to protect our children from mass shootings.
Let’s All Be Active
People are being killed. Each time this happens families are being affected, fear becomes a driver in our communities and we lose. We lose out on those that may have greatly affected us, parents lose out on seeing their kids grow up, grandchildren and weddings.
We can all be more active. Arguing about gun laws and background checks isn’t changing anything. In looking at this shooters all seem to come from a broken home or have been bullied in some way. Let us encourage our children to be kind, respect different people and opinions. Simply put, to love thy neighbor.
Maybe we can reach out to counselors to see how we can volunteer. Even getting involved with local mental institutions to seek volunteer opportunities. I am learning that every little bit helps and change starts with us in the driver seat. As we are the first responders to our kids.
In The MeanTime
I will be praying for not only my girls but all of us. Praying for strength in our communities and our country. I will push pass my personal barriers and become more ACTIVE in the change that needs to occur. God doesn’t give us more then we can bear. So lets all bear witness to being a part of the solution.
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The All Purpose Woman