It’s a tough time for kids growing up, I’ll admit that. We are divided as a society pinning right against left, red against blue, and black against white. Every day you can turn on the news and watch for hours without hearing a single positive note. As an adult living in today’s world, how do you think kids feel? Have you ever asked them? How are they feeling about the world they’re growing up in and do they feel confident that the future will leave them something to be proud of?
As a parent myself, I often question what my kids think about everything going on or have they simply accepted it as the norm. Whether it be covering their face with a mask or crawling under their desk during an active shooter drill, what are they thinking?
I grew up in Pennsylvania, the Northeast section to be exact. An area ripe with blue state corruption, deep pockets, and strict regulations. You’d sooner dull out before you could cut through all the red tape.
The one thing it taught me was acceptance of those who are different. I grew up middle class like most of my friends and family although today, that same middle class no longer exists. I spent a lot of time fishing the lakes of NEPA, hiking, camping, and playing sports. We all spent our summers outside as much as possible and between the clap of a baseball hitting the mitt and the rustling of leaves in the woods, I barely had time to notice what was going on in the world.
I feel like kids didn’t know as much then. Was it because our parents just didn’t tell us? Or, did the media not inundate us with negativity like they do these days. Isn’t that interesting? My parents watched a lot more news than I do as an adult and yet, I didn’t know any of it.
Today, I’d likely find out about a school shooting across the country from my kids before I hear it on the news.
Kids today are taught to be constantly alert, aware of their surroundings, and protective of themselves and their bodies. We’ve put a wall around them. Don’t talk to that person son, be careful son, don’t go in that yard son, don’t get too close son. We’re always telling our kids what they can’t do and then they go to school and get told more about all the things they can’t do.
Is it any surprise that more and more kids are dealing with anxiety and depression? When you constantly teach kids that the world around them is dangerous and they need to be careful everywhere they go, the natural response is to worry. Could our attitude and handling of negativity be the cause of childhood stress and anxiety?
The same goes for how we teach our children about guns. We’ve never experienced a split decision like the one we have in our country right now, it’s unreal. When I was growing up, every household had at least a few guns. My parents weren’t the type of people to go shooting on weekends but we had some guns in the house because everyone did. I was told they were for our protection and we only use them if we have to. My dad showed me how to shoot my first gun when I was 12. He taught me how to hold it, how to aim, how to shoot, and how to protect myself and the people around me. I was raised around guns and I knew that I was never to use them to harm anyone unless I was protecting myself or my family.
Yet, there’s such a stigma about this. We’re living in a world where our second amendment rights are at stake. I know, people have been saying this for decades but we’re serious now. They’re really at stake.
So all the good law-abiding citizens get rid of their guns and what happens? All we do is funnel more guns into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them in the first place. Welcome to my new reality.
I still live in Pennsylvania and as an adult, I see things a bit differently. I see the negativity that hangs over the second amendment. Today, gun ownership is a secret where I live. You don’t tell anyone, you don’t talk about it, and you never show anyone your guns. People will start to change their attitude if they find out. Your friendly neighbor will stop accepting packages for you. The old man down the road will stop waving at you when you drive by. The lady next door will raise her nose at you when you walk out to get your mail. It’s a different world and I’m living it every day.
How on Earth am I supposed to raise responsible children who understand the importance of the second amendment in a world that teaches them that guns are the problem? What happens when my kids start to question their own parents and whether or not we’re good people because of our gun ownership?
It’s a mental and emotional battle that didn’t exist 20-30 years ago. Kids today know too much and I think it’s a problem for both them and the adults that raise them. But it does open a unique opportunity to raise children who respect the differences of others and I think generation by generation; we’re getting better at this.
The adults of today are more accepting than the adults of yesterday but we still have a lot of work to do. My opinions will never change on the second amendment. Our right to bear arms is the only thing that truly protects us from evil. Once we give up that right, we give up a lot more than we believe.
It’s also our duty to educate children and teach them the importance of the second amendment but to also teach them that we have an important role to play in protecting it. No matter where you live in the country, you shouldn’t have to fear for your safety and you shouldn’t have to worry about upholding our God-given rights.