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Dec 10 2014

Talking to My Son About Tamir Rice, Racism & Other Things We Still Don’t Get

By at 12:33 pm

toy gun

My 10-year-old son came into the room while I was watching the news yesterday. On screen, they were talking about Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police in Cleveland.

“Why would the police kill a kid, Mom?”

I stumbled around for answers I didn’t have.

“Well, I guess he was carrying a BB gun and the police thought it was a real gun.”

“My cousins have BB guns. Are they going to get shot?” Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 11 2014

How Do We Protect Children From School Shootings? Bulletproof Blankets, Apparently

By at 3:20 pm


It’s safe to say that security blankets have taken on a new meaning. Meet the Bodyguard Blanket, the latest bulletproof product on the market to protect children in schools from increasingly tragic events like school shootings and natural disasters.

Created by Oklahoma company ProTecht, the $1000 bulletproof blanket is designed to withstand being punctured by debris falling at 200 mph and protects against “90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States.”

Gun-control lobby groups say there were at least 44 school shootings in the U.S. between December 2012 and February 10th, 2014—that’s an average of about three per month. Read the rest of this entry →

May 29 2014

People Were Murdered and It’s My Fault

By at 12:15 pm


People were murdered last week. And it was my fault.

Last Friday night, a mentally ill man stabbed his roommates and then, with a gun, proceeded to murder college women on the street.

And it was my fault. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 15 2013

Dad, Don’t Bring Your Gun to My House

By at 5:03 pm

no guns signMy dad and his wife are coming to visit this weekend. In addition to the various conversations we’ve had about his travel plans and restaurants preferences, there was one more logistical issue I had to address.

I had to tell them to leave their guns at home.

My father and step-mother both carry guns with them on a regular basis. They are fully licensed to do so, and they have both undergone extensive training and practice in the use and maintenance of firearms. Even so, I’m not comfortable with guns in my home. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 21 2013

How Do You Explain the Violence in Israel to Young Kids?

By at 4:02 pm

israeli idf soldiers jewish quarter“Abba, what are those doors up there?”

“I’m not sure, I think it is some kind of a fence.”

“Can we go visit them?”

“No not tonight, sweetie, we are going home now.”

We are driving back from Tzur Hadassah, a suburb of Jerusalem within the Green Line (which separates Israel and the Palestinian territories). The quickest route back into Jerusalem (and into the beds of our two sleepy children) is past Betar Illit and kvish haminharot, the “tunnel road” which connects Jerusalem to the Gush Etzion bloc in the West Bank.  Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 24 2012

Guns Have No Place in My School

By at 11:50 am

security guard badgeLast week, the NRA responded to the unspeakable, horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut with the proposal to have an armed guard in every school in America. Several NRA supporters went further: the phrase “arm the teachers!” frequented Facebook and my Twitter feed for days.

I fumed.

Guns have no place in schools. They have no place around children. They have no place in a learning environment wherein the most fundamental tenets are tolerance, respect, community, and peaceful conflict resolution.  Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 20 2012

No Guns (Not Even Pretend Ones) In My House

By at 9:52 am

We don’t have any toy guns in our house.

Okay, that’s not 100 percent accurate. We have a handful of miniscule, grey, plastic Lego guns so tiny you don’t even notice them until you step–barefoot–upon them, and then you notice them plenty. But they don’t count. They’re not real approximations of guns that can hurt or kill.

I’ve battled with myself over the toy gun issue for years now. When my son was 4 he suddenly picked up an interest in guns. I’m not sure where his intrigue or even knowledge of guns came from. Television and other media was limited to family-friendly shows from PBS and the like, and neither my husband or I are gun enthusiasts or ever felt the need to discuss guns around the house. I may have watched one or two seasons of 24 while nursing my son on the couch in his first few months of life–but I can’t imagine that’s what turned him on to guns… right? Read the rest of this entry →


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