In my life, I’m used to focusing on the trauma that caught my daughter in its web years ago in another world. Sometimes a child adopted from another country, like Russia, can seem like a princess in a fairy tale. But sad children, neglected infants and witnesses and victims of domestic violence do not inhabit storybooks alone. They are seldom the stars of a “happily ever after” Hollywood film. The trauma doesn’t end when they are placed in the arms of their loving adoptive parents. And violence doesn’t miraculously disappear from their lives or ours. It is on the news. It is in our schools. It is in our homes. And, it is in our children’s memories.
My daughter is afraid when she hears stories of children being harmed on TV. She asks “Will that happen to me?” When there is an earthquake or a tidal wave, she asks “Will that happen to our house?” She lives in a world where safety is always tenuous. The trauma she experience in infancy has colored her view of the world. She is always vigilant, always watching for danger. How do I explain to her when a child is shot by another child? When a father shoots another child’s mother. How do I explain that her friend’s brother has taken his own life with a gun? How do I tell her that someone we love, loves to kill animals when I want her to learn that their care is a sacred trust, that all life is precious? How do I keep her safe when sometimes there is Sandy Hook and sometimes there is Columbine?
The First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Kingston, Massachusetts, our church, is showing a film on gun violence tomorrow evening called Changing the Conversation: America’s Gun Violence Epidemic. The premise is that if we can view gun violence as a public health and safety issue, rather than a second amendment issue, we can all work together to prevent it. It opens the conversation; but, leaves the solution in our hands. I won’t be taking my daughter, the topic, the tears, the images are too frightening. But, I invite you. We must find a solution and we will only find it by working together.
Spotlight on Survival
Film Fest 2014
Changing the Conversation
Friday, February 28th 7pm
Stay for discussion and refreshments after the screening. Learn how you can participate in personal, local and state actions impacting public safety. Click here to learn more and view trailer. The Beal House, 222 Main Street, Kingston MA. FREE