From a deeply committed “Free-Range Dad” comes this cry from the heart after yesterday’s church shooting:
Hello Lenore. I write to you today totally distraught. I suppose I’mbeing emotional, but I really am at a point of questioning things to adeep level..I’m beginning to think that if my kids were newborn today vs 8 & 10 asthey are, I would be absolutely “helicopter” in my approach to themafter all. Either that, or if I had to do it over again, I would justnot have kids at all because I WANT to have them raised Free-Range butthe way things have been appearing lately I just don’t know that Ican..What am I referring to? I am referring to Las Vegas only a month laterbeing followed by the church shooting today near San Antonio. I swearLenore it at times does appear as if every single time you turn aroundthere is YET another such occurrence. I am having a hard time anylonger believing that things really aren’t worse than 20+ years ago.If the past month is any indication, that certainly sounds like asilly thing to say right about now, all those people talking about howcrazy things are nowadays are now making much more sense to me..What in the WORLD is going on around here? This is ridiculous. Ihonestly can’t take much more of this. Anymore I don’t know that I canin good conscience complain when they want to run a background checkon me or others for routine things. If this sort of thing is going tokeep on occurring, I don’t know that I can argue against it anymore.Honestly it’s getting to where I’m this close to saying I’ve beenwrong all of this time..What is your response to this?.
Here it is:
Friend, I’m deeply disturbed, too. I’m just not sure how helicoptering would have prevented any of this..The Texas gunman WAS a security guard. The guy in Vegas would have passed any background check. And if, for instance, you had teens and you decided not to let them stay home for the weekend because it’s “too dangerous,” or you had kids, 5 and 9, and you decided you didn’t want them playing at the park by themselves, or if you had an 11-year-old and you didn’t want to let her go on an overnight for fear of “something bad happening” — so you took them all with you to a wholesome country music event in Vegas instead….How would helicoptering have helped?.Fate is so fickle, and we wish there was some way to tame it. Background checks. Helicoptering. Never letting our kids do anything on their own..These may give the illusion of control. And because USUALLY nothing bad happens, we may even believe they DO grant us control. “See? My kids are safe. It must be because of all these precautions.” But what’s really at work is decent luck and the fact that most of the times most of our country is safe. Not perfectly safe — never has been, never will be. But safer than at most other times in history, despite these tragic tantrums by people with guns (or rental trucks)..What really does truly upset me is that we hear SO MUCH about these awful massacres that someone, somewhere gets inspired..What we can’t do is live our lives in constant fear of rare and random events. Random = cannot be predicted, so our only choice would be to retreat from the entire world, since terror can happen anywhere, anytime, even the smallest town in the safest place, with mom holding your hand..What we can try to do is make this world a better place. It gives our lives meaning and it inspires our children, too, far more than just saying, “This is a terrible place. Let’s hole up.”.We brought out kids into the world. Yanking them from it doesn’t seem fair..And it doesn’t work..So I understand your frustration and fear. I feel it too and it can almost overwhelm me. But it doesn’t make kid safer. Remember the saying: All the worry in the world doesn’t prevent death..It prevents life..Love (I mean it!),.Lenore