The Trickle Down Effect of Gun Violence

“Daddy, I don’t want to go to high school.”

That’s what my 7-year-old told me the other day after one of our many conversations about the deadly shooting inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

His young brain is struggling to make sense of something senseless — how a 19-year-old could get his hands on an assault weapon and walk into a busy school campus filled with thousands of students and execute his deadly violent plans, killing 17 and wounding 17 more. Even adults are struggling to figure out how that could happen. Hopefully, our legislators will figure it out and do something about it.

My son and his 5-year-old brother think something like this could happen when they go to high school and they’re scared. They’ve mentioned a desire to be home schooled. For a child, it’s an understandable reaction. They want to be safe. They want to know they’ll come home at the end of the school day. We want that, too.

Their concerns hit me hard. We live in Broward County, where the shooting happened, and my kids attend school in the same school district as Stoneman Douglas, so they’ve heard people at their school talking about it and they’ve participated in fundraisers for the victims. My wife and I don’t talk about it a lot but I’m a journalist and covering the case has consumed every minute of my professional life for the past month. In other words, we’re all living with the tragedy.

Obviously, I don’t want my children to go to school scared and fearful that they might get shot and killed. No one should live like that. We, in the US, have become almost inoculated to the serial school shootings plaguing our nation and precious little has been done about it. Like many, I assumed that after the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary, gun laws would be tightened and things would change. No such luck.

We all hope that this shooting and the ritual of seeing students, with hands raised, walking out of a school, fleeing a madman, will spur change. Baby steps have been taken in our state and we pray that those changes come to other states as well.

Maybe, just maybe, enough will be done so that my kids won’t be scared to attend high school.

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About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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