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Backwoods Home: Times have Changed – Kids’ perception of violence today

March 15, 2011

I subscribe to Backwoods Home magazine, and I follow them on Facebook. Their magazine covers practical ideas for self-reliant living, including home and garden and living off the land. They regularly have articles on guns, hunting season, firearms handling and safety, etc. Their firearms expert is Massad Ayoob. His recent blog post shows us just how much today’s children are impacted by the violence of the world we live in today. God bless the little children and those who care for them.


March 14th, 2011 by Mas

When I was a little kid, it never occurred to my classmates and I that some crazed adult might burst into the elementary school and attempt to murder us. Back in that day, the people likely to do that were institutionalized in the state asylum for the insane.
My friend and student Tony Rodriguez, a street cop and SRO (School Resource Officer, a law enforcement assignment that has sadly become necessary today), offers us the sobering reflection that follows. Thanks, Tony!

Hello All:

I hope this e-mail finds you blessed and safe.

I am sending this e-mail to all my brothers and sisters in public safety, education and ministry because I think this is relevant to all three areas.

I wanted to share a quick story with you about a conversation I had a few days ago with an 8 year old. Sadly, it showed me how times have changed and how our present day violence has impacted the lives of even our youngest children for the worse.

On Thursday I was asked to help at our after school program because several of the normal staff came down sick. These kids range in age from 6-10 years old. They are used to seeing me in an “officer” role (in uniform) all the time since I stop in and see them at least once a week.

This time, it was my day off and I came in regular dress. Immediately, this little girl says “Hey! Where is all your cop stuff!” At first I thought she was trying to be funny/cute as kids are at that age. I told her that, even I get a day off and wanted to come in just to spend it with them for fun! (Even though you guys know I carry enough stuff to give a metal detector a stroke!…wasn’t going to tell them that)

That’s when she took the conversation in a direction that I wasn’t expecting:

She proceeded to ask me how I was going to protect them (the entire group) if someone came in and was a “bad person” I told her that I didn’t think she had to worry about it and that if something came up the adults would handle it.

In the best sarcastic tone I’ve ever heard out of a kid she said: “How can you handle it! You don’t have your police gun or even your handcuffs!”

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked her why she was so worried about it…she simply said “people shoot kids all the time now!”
That started an entire conversation in the group of kids about their fears of violence.

After talking about it for 10-15 minutes with them, I was shocked at how well (unfortunately) they understood the concept of school and societal violence as a whole at that age.

These issues were NEVER a consideration when I was growing up, yet today, this is THEIR REALITY and they are keenly aware of it.

This entire experience made me reflect on just how much our society has changed, even in the last 10 years. I was talking with the 5th grade teacher I work with during my D.A.R.E. sessions and she reminded me of a simple fact that I think we often forget. We have been at war continuously for the past decade defending ourselves and fighting for our Nation’s survival. War and conflict is all these children have known.

I’ve said all that to simple say:

Take care of the babies! They shouldn’t have to live in this kind of world. Whatever profession you are in, fight to make it better for them. I believe that one of the best ways to bless our world other than straight out evangelism is to love our children more than we love even ourselves. That should be one of our primary witness tools to others.

That is all for now.

Keep your faith strong and your mind focused :-)
Blessings to all,

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