Mom Lesson: I Shouldn’t Have To Worry, But I Do

Cheerful mother spending a day in a cafe with her cute little daughter. They are laughing.

There are not enough words to describe how happy I am that little 5-year-old Ethan, the young boy who was held hostage in a bunker in Alabama for a week, has been returned to the loving embrace of his family, finally.

And, my thoughts are with the family of the bus driver, Charles Albert Poland, who, in an act of courage and bravery, stood up to the gunman, and stalled him long enough, giving up his life, for the rest of the children to exit out the back of the bus. Without his selfless act, who knows how differently this could have ended?

All of that said, I want to lock my child in a tower, surrounded by a moat infested with alligators. I will homeschool her, and she can Skype pen-pals around the world for socialization. It’s the only way I am ever going to feel comfortable letting her grow up in this increasingly scary and unsafe world we are living.

Seriously, am I just now realizing how messed up the world is, since I am an adult with a child? Have I been blissfully unaware? Or am I right in thinking that there must be something in the water, because this is not how I remember things?

I was in middle school when the elementary school shooting happened in Little Rock, AR, and I was in high school when the Columbine shooting happened. Two major events, yes, but they were at least years apart. It seems that every day now, I receive a breaking news update from CNN letting me know that yet another tragedy has occured in our country at the hands of a mentally disturbed person, armed with a gun. In a movie theater. In a school. At a mall. In a restaurant.

I find myself thinking of escape strategies while out in public. I make mental notes of where the emergency exits are, and steer clear of anyone who looks like they might be thinking strange thoughts. I can’t decide if this makes me smart or crazy, but it’s something I can’t help at this point. The world is beginning to terrify me.

And, with all of this going on in my mind, I wonder, why can’t we have a conversation about stricter gun laws? Why is this topic so appalling and completely unallowed? Gun enthusiasts and gun control advocates can surely agree that too many people are dying due to gun violence; that’s a fact that can’t be disputed.

With that as the bottom line, there should be absolutely no reason why we can’t sit down as an educated, civilized, first-world country and come to some compromises and agreements on what should be done. No, the fears of one individual should not trump the second amendment rights of another, but on the same foot, the want to own any and all types of firearms without regulations should not trump the right of someone who wishes to not live in fear of gun violence due to proliferation.

As a parent, I just want to send my daughter off to school without having to worry that she will be murdered. I expect to be worried about bullies, mean girls, and homework difficulties, but worrying that I will one day receive a call that her school is on lockdown because of an active shooter? That is something no parent should ever have to prepare for. And yet, that is the world we are living in.