My husband, the level headed soldier who has seen more then I would like to imagine, came home on Friday and immediately turned on the news. He watched for a quite a while, standing there stunned. Then the man who is never sick complained of a headache the rest of the night. I don't know if it was a headache as much as heartache.
I can't help but wonder about 'gun control'. To be frank, I don't know that much about guns and the different reasons people would use them. The assault weapon that the killer used looked awfully menacing, no doubt! However, what rings through my head is, "It isn't about the guns. It is about the state of America. The mental state of America."
What is turning our youth into cold-blooded mass-killers? What in their brain has triggered the off button on love, sympathy, the sanctity of life?
My boys this weekend had an epic Nerf-Gun battle. My boys are 19, 10, 7 and 2. There was laughter galore; lots of 'GOTCHAS!'; and boy-howdee a lot of noise. Sure they were playing with 'guns' (Nerf guns) but not one moment did I think 'Am I raising the next generation of monsters?' I rest in the knowledge that emotional stability is important to our family. We ask, "How are you?", "What's going on?", "Are you hurting?" even when those questions are uncomfortable. (Look at the ages of my boys again. We run the gamut and hubs and I know all about the different stages of "uncomfortable".)
We eat together, pray together, worship together. We laugh together, cry together, get mad together. We talk together, sit quietly together and make a whole lot of noise together. We are family.
I'm not as worried about gun-control (ie government control) as I am mental-health which starts with family, moves onto the school environment (teachers who care and aren't afraid to incorporate a little morals into day to day lessons) and the ultimate safety found in the love of Jesus Christ. We are so worried about what we eat, how much we exercise, how good the schools' test scores are that we attend are. When are we going to get that what lies in our heart is the most important piece of it all?!
I hope you hugged your kids extra tight on Friday but then I hope that you asked them around the dinner table, "What was good about today?" and "What was hard / bad about today?" Let them know they can confide in you. Help them develop healthy hearts and emotional stability. As parents, that is ultimately our responsibility.
If you are looking for resources to talk to your child about the shootings these were passed along to me. Some good stuff!
- How To Talk To Your Kids About The Conn. Shootings
- National Institute of Mental Health - Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disaster
- A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope
- If you need some additional help give MilitaryOneSource a call, 1-800-342-9647. They can hook you up with the resources you need.
- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com