Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Young Man's Fancy Turns to Thoughts of.....

He's 13 years old.  

At about 2:30 AM I started drawing and I was just searching the computer for ideas
 and I realized how relevant shootings are 
so I created that.

His mother sent the artwork to me this morning.

Her son's late night thoughts should revolve around pretty people he'd like to kiss,
not dead 9 year olds, or 17 year olds, or college students, or high schoolers.

Ta'Nehisi Coates's Between The World And Me describes his daily struggle to get through the day.
His body language, his clothing, his gaze - all circumscribed by the violence surrounding him.
He didn't relax.  He couldn't.  It wasn't safe.  
He might die.

When it's the other who is afraid to walk home from school, it's easy to shake your head and sigh.
When it's a friend's son facing the reality of gun violence at 2:30 in the morning, it's harder.

Perhaps this is what the current focus on guns can achieve.
Our children are watching and they are terrified.
Bombarded by images of his peers being carried out in body bags, it's only natural that my 8th grade friend's thoughts would turn to handguns in the middle of the night.  

He realized how relevant shootings are.
That is outrageous.
They should be irrelevant to schoolkids.

Here's my wish for 2016 -
Let's make gun violence irrelevant.


  1. When we were growing up the big concern was nuclear war. We had drills in school where we would crouch under our desks or along the hallway walls. Images of the mushroom cloud haunted our dreams. It was scary and unsettling, but it wasn't happening at random places all around us. Gun violence is happening in random places all around us every day. People of all ages are being killed and injured every day. If this number of citizens were dying and being injured by any other cause we would be all over it, passing legislation and regulations to prevent it. It is incomprehensible that we don't do that to curb gun violence. If we did that, not in half measures but fully and robustly, gun violence could once again be irrelevant to our school children. That is my wish for 2016 as well.

    1. Yes, we worried about nuclear holocaust, but it was a BIG political problem that would take us all out together. This is individual, personal, and, consequently, I think, more terrifying.

  2. Can I tell you how disturbed I am that this is what our kids are thinking about? And I don't want to hear one more damn thing about how Obama is taking away guns. That is simply not true. The paranoia is just infuriating. How many people have to die before people wake-up? And children should not be living in fear of being shot. I hate that our kids do active-shooter drills. My 8th and 5th grader told me they do them once a month. :(

    Sending hugs!

    Megan xxx

    1. Megan, you are in that generation between Sonoran Cruiser and me - the generation that didn't hide under desks to protect ourselves from nuclear fall out (ha!) or have active-shooter drills. This should not be our children's reality!


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