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My little girl who just turned 7, my boy 9, my wife, and two of my oldest friends, who came by to visit yesterday had a serious discussion.

About real versus fake Christmas trees, wether it was ok for my boy to bike alone up to the Conoco a few blocks away to buy some bubble gum, wether he should be spending that amount of money on candy, and even about how much sugar is the right amount to put into biscotti.

You see the teachers at my kids school for whatever reason didn't discuss the tragedy that had occurred in CT. We are two time zones away and I'm sure they were well aware of it. My wife isn't into politics, our TV is never on except for the cartoon channel and even then only briefly.

My old friends are aging climbers from Boulder. We like to talk about other friends or climbing or politics or health care. They are both foodie vegetarians but not crusaders. Indeed part of the time we talked about the weird ingredients my wife was using in the stir fry with two pounds of elk she was preparing for the weekend. She was using a very pungent fermented crab paste called kapi that is hard to ignore when it's being cooked on the stove.

I'm not sure that my wife, or old friends, or kids are even aware that someone walked into a school in CT and started blasting away, and according to an article on parenting in today's NYT, maybe that's ok.

The school my kids go to has the same security features as that school that got shot up. We are surrounded by neighborhoods similar to those around Columbine. I've always known that there is a slim possibility that there could be a mass shooting here too, just as I'm aware there could be a bomb on an airplane or any other rare terrifying event.

Shouldn't I be preparing my children on how to deal with such a horrific tragedy you ask. Well no, really. I'm sure there will be kids at school Monday freaked out over their parents who have been glued to 24 hour news channels replaying scenes of carnage, but one thing I can count on is a level headed response from the principal and my kid's teachers. For those professionals it's about the kids, not you or I.

We do actively ward against violence by not being violent or angry ourselves. Our house doesn't have raised voices just as it doesn't have shoes on the floors. It's a cultural thing. We very seldom are angry at each other. We don't argue. We never ever use profane or vulgar language. We live in a place and a style of our choosing.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good diary. (6+ / 0-)

    I think there could be a little room for the "raising of voices" but I can tell you, having a childhood that was much more problematic, that you're doing the right thing.

    One thing we need to realize about this event is that it was an act of terror. It was a lashing out, but with the knowledge that the pain and terror would be leveraged many times over in the media.

    We have way too many acts of violence in this country. We must do something. However, at the same time, we need to remember that statistically speaking, the vast majority of our kids are safe. It is the media that makes it seem as if the next tragedy is next door or right around the corner, or in our own living rooms.
    This is a good thing and a bad thing.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:24:55 AM PST

    •  Low bar (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, David54, Joy of Fishes
      we need to remember that statistically speaking, the vast majority of our kids are safe.
      The standard should be are they as safe as kids in other developed nations.
      •  A lot safer than other places I've lived, like (4+ / 0-)

        Thailand, where three times the number of homicides occur from firearms. Or undeveloped places we've lived where highway fatalities are many times as high and people drive drunk with impunity.

        I've never been to Japan or Europe, above my pay grade, but I'll bet this place snuggled in amongst suburban sprawl has a much lower homicide rate than most of America. We are lucky not to live in a place where lots of people are poor.

        I don't worry about my kids being victims of violence as much as I do any of us not being able to go to the hospital. At least Thailand has universal low cost health care.

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:44:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. I'm just saying that the media is a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joy of Fishes

        participant. for better or worse.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:51:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  ya that guy was trying to do as much damage (6+ / 0-)

      to us in our most vulnerable sensitive place. I'd guess women make me feel worse than guys, and young women have made me sadder and little kids just break my heart. Don't know why we have a sliding scale of outrage over murder but there you have it. That guy was aiming for where it hurts the most.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:35:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What David54 said. (5+ / 0-)

    We cannot shield ourselves or our children from all harm, but statistically speaking, events such as this past week are an anomaly, and the chances of it happening at any given place and time are less than the chance of being involved in an auto crash, and about the same as being injured by a tornado.

    The best thing is to teach preparedness, but it is not healthy to cower in fear.  I agree that a lot of fear is media driven.  

    As a parent I ALWAYS worried about my kids and grandkids.  Now my youngest goes in harm's way every day, as she puts on her uniform, boots and tactical belt and heads out to the Sheriff's department.  I am proud of her.

    The most reasonable response, psychologically speaking, is to remain calm, and communicate that calmness to our kids.  

    The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

    by Otteray Scribe on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:32:17 AM PST

  •  Words of wisdom (6+ / 0-)
    ”When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:37:23 AM PST

    •  I think Mr. Rogers had the right approach. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Otteray Scribe, BOHICA, Oh Mary Oh

      Thank you for posting this quote, BOHICA.  I heard a snippet of it at some point yesterday, but not enough to be able to search for it.  I will share it with hubby and daughter.  Both work at schools, and either of them would do everything in their power to protect their kids.    

      ban nock, you know your kids. I think keeping young kids away from the news as much as possible is generally a very good thing, especially after something like Sandy Hook.  They will surely hear about it tomorrow and have questions, and your calm assurance is key.  Seems to me they are very lucky kids to have you as dad.

  •  Just as we pass through metal detectors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, Joy of Fishes

    at the airport and submit to all sort of security screen, we need to institute reasonable restrictions on gun ownership in the United States.

    The vast majority of Americans support such restrictions, but a powerful political lobby has convinced a majority of Congress and of state legislatures that those restrictions would violate fundamental rights.  The Supreme Court has even weighed in with a series of rulings that have profoundly upended more than a century of jurisprudence to find, falsely, that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to keep and bear arms.

    The massacre in Sandy Hook is a direct result of the weakening of gun laws in this country since the NRA was taken over by radical extremists and came to dominate our national debate over guns.

    Unfortunately, a group pretending to be progressives parrots NRA falsehoods here on Daily Kos, a group you have expressed sympathy for in the past.

    More than taking your shoes off in the house and not raising your voices in argument, you could help prevent gun violence in the United States by renouncing your past support for groups like RKBA that promote weakening the restrictions on gun ownership in the United States.

    We need gun control.  We need it now.

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:49:36 AM PST

    •  You should probably take off your shoes and rid (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, Otteray Scribe

      any anger from your mind when coming to my house. We smile a lot and are a mostly happy bunch.

      Perhaps come on back and set a piece after you've actually read who RKBA group is and what their stances are on various policies.

      Don't forget about the shoes.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:31:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We didnt have a choice but to discuss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, Oh Mary Oh

    it to a certain degree. my 7 year old wanted to know why the flags were at half staff in our town. And being the curious little monkey (thats what we have always called her, miss monkey) that she is, she wanted to know who died... which of course led to me having to tell her that children died at a school. and having to try and reassure her that she is indeed safe. Though how I am supposed to tell her that when I am not completely sure I believe it, is something I am still figuring out.

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