Last week, my son and I were having one of those meaningful conversations that seem to only happen in the car on the drive from school to home. Last week, the discussion was on guns, gun violence and the latest that happened in California.
My son is 14, and sometimes he doesn't recognize that not everything is black and white. Most mother's tell their children they can't talk about religion and politics in good company. However, growing up with a do-gooder lawyer father and me, those topics are always up for discussion. We especially bring up the gray areas, and note that not everything is black and white. I discovered that that is becoming more and more difficult to do when it comes to gun violence.
He now asks me what I think, and I explain that I feel like something has to happen and I'm frustrated nothing has happened. More and more people will die, he says. He's right. The evidence is clear. I mention that I've been to shooting ranges and have enjoyed target practice. I've known many hunters and understand the use of guns in securing food. But then, in the car, my Nissan Versa's motor humming along heading south on Oracle Road, I hear my son sigh. He says kids brought a gun to his school recently, but luckily it was handled before anything happened—ongoing school reality since Columbine. How sad, I think, about my son's sigh and how lucky he is to not always be bogged down by looking at the gray area. Perhaps he's right.
Perhaps most things in life need to be looked at as black and white.
Something needs to happen, as he says. On Sunday, Dec. 13, the Tucson contingent of Arizona Moms Demand Action, an anti-gun violence organization, is meeting at the Safeway at 7110 N. Oracle Road to mark the third anniversary of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children and six teachers dead. I don't know what to say to my son anymore. I love our car conversations. I suspect they will never end. I worry we will continue to talk about gun violence and that I will continue to hear him sigh. But perhaps, since showing up is what life is all about, this walk organized on Dec. 13 is a place to start. Organizers ask participants to wear orange. It starts at 1 p.m.
We will walk—and maybe we will see you there.
— Mari Herreras, firstname.lastname@example.org