Obviously we are all devastated by what happened on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. It's been 48 hours and I still find myself on the verge of tears. I keep catching myself starting at Will and trying to imagine if all of a sudden he was no longer here. If he was a victim of such senseless evil, how could you ever survive it?
I'm happy that he is too young to be asking why I picked him up early on Friday. When he asked why I started to cry when I grabbed him, I told him that I was just so so happy to see him. And it was exactly the case.
Last night, we went to a Christmas party with a slew of old friends. There were daughters who I've known since they were babies home from University; babies who are now little people and newborns on the scene. It was a beautiful way to realize that life goes on after tragedy.
We went to the basement to play with the throng of kids and the first thing I saw was a couch full of boys picking which gun to have their player use in a video game. I'm not being dramatic when I say that I threw up in my mouth. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not for a minute judging the kids or the parents, all kids that age are into those games but it just hit me like a ton of bricks. This should just not be so nonchalant. They are guns. GUNS that kill people. Guns that slaughter classrooms full of little children. Why do kids need to know the difference between a semi-automatic weapon and a handgun?
We left the room and while I enjoyed some Christmas cheer with my friends, Will was playing upstairs with another group. I went up to check on him and out he came running from a room holding a gun and pretending to shoot it. It took my breath away. One of my friends said, "oh it's just boys". I get that that is the case, but does it make it right? I didn't want to be a pain in the ass or have that discussion with Will right then so I just let him go. But it shook me.
When we left to go home, I told him that while I understood kids play with guns, that I didn't like it and we will never have play guns in our house. He nodded in his tired haze and snoozed the rest of the way home.
This morning he asked me why I didn't want him playing with guns. And I remembered a tweet I had read on Saturday morning that stuck with me and I used it to explain why to him. Guns are only here to hurt people or animals. There are NO other reasons to have guns. Later this morning, he said he wanted to go back to the party house for a playdate but he didn't want to play with the guns. I'm sure he was just trying to make me happy and for that moment it did.
Here is a quote from a father of a Columbine victim. This sums it up. It's time for change.
I am here today because my son Daniel would want me to be here today. If my son Daniel was not one of the victims, he would be here with me today. Something is wrong in this country when a child can grab a gun, grab a gun so easily, and shoot a bullet into the middle of a child's face, as my son experienced. Something is wrong. But the time has come to come to understand that a Tech-9 semi-automatic -bullet weapon like that, that killed my son, is not used to kill deer. It has no useful purpose. It is time to address this problem.