What if It Was Your Child?

In Family, Life, Life Lessons on December 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm


Every time there is a shooting tragedy, gun lovers immediately launch into their usual 2nd Amendment diatribe.  In light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, where 20 innocent children perished at the hands of a gun-wielding maniac, I was hoping that we would be spared the “guns don’t kill people…people kill people” rhetoric, but that seems to be nothing more than wishful thinking on my part.

I’ve always stayed away from proactively taking a public stance on this issue because it is so divisive, but in light of the slaughtering of innocent children, I decided that it was worth the risk of ruffling some feathers.

I believe that people should have the right to possess a weapon for self-defense, but I see no purpose in stockpiling weapons or possessing assault rifles, both of which go well beyond the scope of self-defense.

To those who staunchly disagree with my position, I have one simple question for you…

What if it was your child?

Take a moment before you post another rant about the 2nd Amendment, or another pro-gun image, and put yourself in the place of the parents who lost their children yesterday in Newtown, CT.

Close your eyes and imagine dropping your child or children off at elementary school.  You give them a hug and a kiss, tell them you love them and to have a good day.  You go about your day business as usual, with the full expectation that you will see your child at the end of the day like you always do.

Now imagine that you get a notification from the elementary school shortly after the school day begins.  You find out that there has been a shooting in your town, and your stomach is instantly tied up in knots.  Then you find out that the shooting has taken place at your child’s school.

You get into your car and drive as fast as humanly possible to the school where you are given instructions to wait outside, not knowing whether your child was a victim or not.

You see a line of children walking together in single file, their tiny hands resting on the shoulders of the classmate in front of them to guide them because they have been told to keep their eyes closed as they exit to shelter them from seeing the carnage that has taken place moments earlier.

You wait and watch as parents are reunited with their children, hugging, kissing and crying uncontrollably (parents and children alike).  You pray that your child will be the next one out the door, and you wait.  And you wait.  And you wait some more as you watch parent after parent breathing an emotional sigh of relief that their child is safe.

Now picture that the school officials come out and tell you that there will be no more reunions, and you are amongst the 20 sets of parents that is left standing, knowing that you may never see your child again.  You pray in disbelief that there must have been some mistake.  It’s tragic beyond words what has happened, but you can’t imagine that it can happen to you.  Not to your precious, innocent child who has so much more living to do.  Not to your child who gave you a hug and kiss and told you that they loved you just hours before.  The world can’t possibly be that cruel…can it?

Sadly, the answer is “yes,” the world can be that cruel.  And now you are left to pick up the pieces to be there for your other children.

Do you go home, look at their room, their photos and every other reminder of them and crumble to the ground wishing that you had been the one to take the bullet so that they could have lived?

Or do you sit down at the computer, login to Facebook, and shout to the world that you lost your child because there are not enough guns in the world?

Do you stand on a virtual soapbox raging about how we need to protect the 2nd Amendment at all costs regardless of the increase in the number of senseless shootings that take the lives of so many innocent people?

Do you even for a minute think to yourself…guns don’t kill people…people kill people?

  1. Wow! Well written! While I count my blessings because this morning, I too, get to hug and kiss my 4.5 yr old little man!

    Last year, in our little town of Seal Beach, like last Friday in Newtown or last summer in Aurora or fifteen years ago in Columbine or 9/11 or Oklahoma and after senseless and tragic murders we naturally are upset and angry and want to feel as if some way these events and others could have been prevented if we somehow had in place more laws.

    But we live in a free society. And with that freedom comes responsibilities to our society. And, if evil or sick people want to take advantage of our freedom by shooting in malls or schools; or blowing up buildings or parking a car bomb in Times Square, then there is and will always be great opportunity unless we severely restrict the rights of all the good responsible citizens of our country.

    The 2nd amendment, like the 1st amendment, like the entire Bill of Rights, is not a product of happenstance. They are the foundation to our Liberty!

    Our emotions say damn the liberty after a senseless shooting. Our emotions say damn liberty after a bombing. Our emotions say damn liberty after a drunk driver murders. Damn Due Process! Damn Miranda rights! I know my emotions due!

    But then, when my emotions subside, I realize liberty and freedom is what I want to pass onto my little man. Its what our parents and grand parents gave us!

    They say that if you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger.

    But, if you put a frog in a kettle that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant,
    and then you gradually heat the kettle until it starts boiling, the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late. The frog’s survival instincts are geared towards detecting sudden changes.

    So it’s not the 2nd Amendment that is in danger!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Brad. I think that what gets lost in translation often times is the fact that people who are in favor of more gun control are not necessarily anti-2nd amendment. Personally, I think that people should have the right to own a gun for personal protection, but I think that it shouldn’t be easier than getting a driver’s license. There should be background checks and a waiting period. As far as assault rifles are concerned, I think that they should be reserved only for law enforcement and military. I will never be convinced that private citizens need these weapons, nor do I believe that this has anything to do with the 2nd amendment. After all, when the 2nd amendment was written, the founding fathers had no idea that assault rifles would even exist. I understand that emotional events create emotional responses, but even though time has passed since Sandy Hook, I still believe everything that I wrote in this post. And though I cherish living in a free country, I am willing to give up some freedom for safety. We are not as free as we once were by virtue of cameras being everywhere that we go. My feeling is that if I’m not doing anything wrong, I don’t care that there are cameras there to deter or capture those with bad intentions. Gun control is only one thing that should be looked at, but it certainly isn’t the only thing. I am strongly in favor of having an armed officer in schools as well because I know that laws alone will not stop a maniac.

      • I don’t want to debate gun control. I only wish to ask you two question: We have a massive system of drug control laws. Yet, most will argue that the war on drugs has been an abysmal failure. And the war on drugs surely hasn’t prevented tens of millions of Americans, including teenagers, from obtaining drugs illegally. Why, then, do you believe that a war on guns would be any more effective than the war on drugs?

        And, do you fear a massacre by any decent person; friend or neighbor, (I imagine you must have more than a few gun owner friends from your days in Texas) who own guns you want to outlaw?

        And I leave you with this Benjamin Franklin quote: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
        Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

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