I’ve been trying to put into words just how I feel about the Las Vegas mass shooting that occurred only days ago. I’m sad, I’m pissed off, I’m confused, and I’m scared. Watching the news coverage on the shooting and hearing witness reports nearly brings me to tears. It’s hard not to show emotion, am I right?
It’s a crazy world we live in today- filled with violence and full of hate. It’s almost as though you can’t go out in public without fearing for your life.
As a mother of two, I fear for their safety. I fear for their innocence and their lack of understanding the horrible events occurring daily all around us. If I could shield them from the violence within the world forever, I would, but I know that I cannot save them or shield them from all that is happening nor should I. I want them to know that there is love and there are good people within the world, but unfortunately for them to full understand that, they must see the evil.
I want my sons to know that hate does overpower love. I want them to know that humanity can still be saved, and I want them to know that if we all work together, collectively, then we can end the violence. But until we admit that the real issue has to do with gun control and having stricter gun laws, that violence will continue. I’m all for protecting yourself, and for those who feel like a gun is the best way to do that, I respect that. For those who say regulating gun laws isn’t the answer– you’re not seeing what is going on all around us. How can we justify all of the shootings that have occurred this year?
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 11, 716 gun related deaths this year already. Of that, 548 were children aged 0-11 and 2,442 were aged 12-17. How do we explain to our children that nearly anyone can own a gun or dozens like the Vegas shooting suspect? How can I explain that living in constant fear is the new norm? How can I, as a mother, confidently put my children on a school bus or send them on a class field trip knowing wholeheartedly that they’ll safely return home?
We can no longer hold onto an unrealistic sense of security when it comes to our safety. We cannot even go to a movie without fear of someone opening fire, and please don’t try to tell me that living in fear is silly, because this is reality! The violence that has occurred this year around the world is enough to make anyone fear for the safety of their family.
For those who say that the real issue isn’t about the easy accessibility of guns, you must be living under a rock. For those who say we have to only fear those who are different than us, you must realize that the offenders vary in backgrounds. We cannot focus on a certain ethnicity, a certain color or a certain gender because terrorists exists in all shapes, sizes and colors.
I wish I had the answers to end the violence. I wish I had the words to calm my anxious heart or confidently soothe my children if and when they ask about all the violence and hate going on around them. How can I tell them that I can keep them safe from the “monsters?” I cannot promise them anything at this point, and that, my friends, is terrifying.
I wish I had the answers.
I wish I could single handily end the violence. I wish I could end the hate. I wish I could end the discrimination and judgement. I wish I could tell my boys that this is only a phase and that world peace is right around the corner. I’d be lying if I said I had all of the answers or even that I was confident when answering then. My heart is heavy, my thoughts and prayers go out to those affected directly by the Vegas shooting and those affected indirectly. I pray for my boys who I pray will know a world filled with less hate, with less violence and more love.
For now, I’ll hold my loved ones near and pray for peace.