Discussing touchy topics with family members often generates more heat but not more light. Because of this, touchy topics are often avoided. But one touchy topic we must touch upon in family discussions is gun violence. Only an ostrich buries its head in the sand and there can be no ostriches in our families when it comes to this important and recurring issue.
No matter what your perspective on the Second Amendment, we can all agree the spate of mass shootings is not only deplorable, but must be discussed. Rationally. Civilly. Creatively. And especially with our children.
Many of us feel ill equipped to talk about gun violence with our kids. Maybe we are reluctant to raise uncomfortable subjects in general. Perhaps we think we’re under informed about gun related issues. But for the sake of our children and our families we must nudge ourselves over the speedbump of conversational hesitation and give a little forethought to what we’re going to say.
I could suggest the usual approach: (1) make all discussions with children age appropriate, (2) don’t let your kids only see news reports, talk to them about how they feel about it (3) assure them that you will keep them as safe as possible. But in light of recent mass shootings, aren’t we well beyond “the usual” approach? Isn’t it time we try something different?
The epidemic of gun violence in the United States demands a new approach in our country and in our families. Talk to your children—and adult family members—about practical actions your family can take to prevent gun violence and then (to co-opt a phrase) “Just Do It”. For starters, go to the Prevention Institution website for practical ideas about “first steps” you, as a family, can take to prevent gun violence.
When all is said and done, more is said than done. Be the exception to this tired bromide. Do something to prevent gun violence by beginning with your family. Don’t just talk about it. Do something!