Tuesday, February 12, 2013

less is more

there was a shooting at our mall on saturday.

we were driving by and saw a crowd in the parking lot along with several police cars. we figured it was some kind of police safety event. we didn't find out til later that evening, while watching the news that it was a shooting.

a 23 year old young man, who would be a father in 4 months had been killed. he wasn't even involved in the original fight, he went outside to support his friend. the fight was over something one guy tweeted to another guy's girlfriend. things like this are so senseless. a young man lost his life, an unborn child lost his father, a mother lost her son, and on and on, for absolutely no reason.

there is so much debate and emotion and passion on all sides right now about gun violence and what to do about it. one side wants more guns "fight fire with fire;" the other side wants fewer of the bad guns and less of the bad ammo.

i have to admit that i don't believe that more people carrying guns in the mall or in schools, or anywhere is the answer. there are so many nuances to the gun laws and so many things that i think are right and so many things i think are wrong, but on the topic of gun violence in our society, i think that the wrong things are being debated.

i think the bigger issue is the violence bombarding our kids ever day. this exposure is desensitizing our kids to violence and on some level to death as a result of violence. i try to protect my kids a bit from violence, but i don't want to over-shelter them. they did have lives before they came to us, so they were exposed to so much in that setting that shocks me when i hear about it, so we are starting from behind, but i will continue to work toward reversing those tendencies.

toy guns are not allowed in our house - not because i'm morally opposed to guns, but because guns are not toys. if the kids wanted to go hunting (at an appropriate age) with my father-in-law and brother-in-law, i'm fine with that. i'm fine with them learning responsible use of guns. i'm not even opposed to having a gun for self defense. but when you see 2 and 4 year olds pointing guns and making shooting noises with their mouths and when a 4 year old points his finger at you to shoot (not maliciously, just as part of play), it's sobering.

there was so much talk of shooting and killing and cutting heads off in our house, we started talking about the reality of what happens when you do those things; people die and they don't come back, or people get hurt really really badly - AND we've banned power rangers and other similar cartoons that end up being a fight-fest. there is a noticeable difference in our kids when they watch those. sometimes, we allow them because you can't shelter your kids from everything, but for the most part, all things violent are banned in our home. and you know what, when they are watching educational cartoons, they don't miss the others. there is so much excitement in our house on sunday mornings when it's time for dinosaur train.

so my thought is, let's try to protect our childrens' minds and hearts from violence. of course we try to protect them from physical violence, but let's go one step further and protect their tiny minds from violence. less is more when it comes to exposure to violence.

less exposure to violent cartoons
fewer violent toys
less tolerance for violent play
less violent talk

let's teach our kids about how super heroes help people and focus less on how they fight the bad guys. let's say no to violent video games. let's say no to violent movies. let's work to build beautiful little minds that grow up to be beautiful big minds that conceive of solutions and cures and beauty rather than minds that even consider it a remote possibility to use a gun to resolve a silly argument.

more gun laws are not the answer - committing to starting with change in our homes is the answer.


1 comment:

  1. Amen. Instead of the violent videos, put the cell phone down and get up and take your kids to the park and push them on the swings...take them to an empty field and fly a kite with them...or just chase them in the park. I have never seen a child not laugh and giggle at the phrase "I'm gonna get you"...Just spend time with them. They really don't need a bunch of store bought toys...my 2 spent 45 minutes playing in the freshly tilled garden soil, only to leave that for the rock pile under their play house. Give them the best present of all....you!