Children and Guns in America: Where Have We Gone Wrong?

August 29, 2014 26 Comments TAGS: Kids, Motherhood

By Guest Blogger Kimberley Blaine

Taking a LITTLE girl to a shooting range? To shoot a gun that shoots 600 rounds a minute? I’m speechless because this is all COMPLETELY ABSURD. Don’t we want our little girls to learn which sport is healthy and best for them? Don’t we want them to learn about their connection to this peaceful earth?

Most 9 year olds are reading fun books, ice skating, playing piano or soccer or kicking a ball in the street and so forth. This type of object, which is a killing machine, an unnecessary type of gun to be at a public shooting range, was put in the hands of an innocent little child who had so much to look forward to in life. This trauma will now part of her thought process/autonomic nervous system and will be a life long coping process.

Did this have to happen? That is the real question. My dad took me to a shooting range at 12 years old – he wanted me to be proficient at handling guns. All it did was make me fantasize how I could use it on the girls at school who bullied me.

Mental health is key. I’m a sharp shooter. My father taught me well. No matter how much I knew, and how much supervision I had, when girls bullied me in Jr. high school, my “new” knowledge of just how to use these guns kicked in. You can teach kids to shoot, but you’ll never be able to know their mental health status as they grow into the teen years. I knew how to use our household weapons – and that they were always loaded. I’m sure my father too told everyone how proud he was that I could use a gun… but the day I picked it up after being beaten by some girls at school and felt the heaviness of a loaded gun, I put it down. Had I not been exposed at that level, I would have never considered a family weapon as a solution to ridding my bullies who pushed me around in school.

Youth should not be exposed or encouraged to use weapons that kill living things. That poor man who died at the hands of a 9 year old girl… he was such dedicated instructor… he didn’t even know the realities of working with children. They all make mistakes… and often.

About Kimberley Clayton Blaine

Screen shot 2014-08-29 at 7.54.21 AM

Kimberley Blaine, MA, LMFT, has been named one of the most powerful moms in social media by Working Mother Magazine and one of the coolest power Moms in L.A. and featured on Mom.Me’s Favorite 50 Blogger List. She is the executive producer of the Go-To MomTM web series – She is an inspirational speaker, family mental health advocate and digitial media pioneer. The Go-To Mom life style shows were designed to address the overall mental health & well-being of mothers and was one of the first grass-roots web series launched in 2006. Kimberley is a licensed therapist (LMFT), author and healthy lifestyle expert. She also contributes to the soul healing site of SimpleReminders.com – and is contributer to 3M’s Post-it Note brand. Kimberley is a founding partner of MomPulse.TV, the fastest growing YouTube networks for moms owned by Fullscreen. She is the author The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children. Her spokesperson work includes: Lego Duplo, Disney Consumer Products, Schick Intuition, and Sony Electronics digital imaging and DreamsWork Animation. She has made a commitment to educate and advocate for families with young kids. Kimberley is currently the Social Marketing Director for a Los Angeles based Early Childhood Mental Health Campaign (Project ABC) funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA).She has launched a national campaign to help American parents be all that they can be in order to give their children a healthy and fair start. Her original webshow, TheGoToMom.TV has captured one of the largest growing niche audiences — parents who have children birth to seven, through professionally produced yet authentic and real educational videos.

Watch Kimberley’s Video with Vice President Joe Biden on Reducing Gun Violence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LYlkknrku4&feature=youtu.be

Kimberley is also my very good friend.

Would love your thoughts on this horrific tragedy and guns in America.

Erica3

    26 Comments

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    3. Christopher Fowler says:

      As both a parent and a veteran, well qualified to fire a wide variety of semi and fully automatic weapons, I was appalled by this tragedy. What in the name of all that is decent were these parents, and the weapons instructor thinking?

      This is a tragedy that should have been prevented. The NRA SHOULD have denounced this as a bad decision on the part of the parents and the instructor, both of whom should have known better, but they did not. Instead every gun nut out there doubled down on the stupidity and the NRA even tripled down on it with the release of a video showing how “fun” it is to go shooting.

      Now I am not opposed to firearms ownership, but these people have taken it to a level of crazy that even terrorists do not reach. A nine year old is struggling enough to fire a .22, let alone a fully automatic 9mm military firearm which I have seen a trained and exceptionally strong soldier lose control of at the range.

      Now, this little girl will have the rest of her life to live with the fact that, through no reasonable fault of her own, she has killed another human being. I do hope that she gets help to deal with it or her young life will be ruined forever.

    4. Tina says:

      Mitch,
      I do agree there is a lot of coddling today and yes, to a great extent that is what I am basing my assessment of maturity and seasoning on. But we live TODAY not 100 years ago. COULD children be more adult-like?– possibly. But they aren’t. Now. Girls got married at age 16 or even younger sometimes two centuries ago. Now we do not believe that is a “good” thing. I got married at 19 and happened to have been very mature – always – as a kid. And it worked for me. But that is not the case for most. Today. Now. I also suggest a big difference with the founding fathers and today’s world. The actual “uses” for guns are the same, yes. But the reasons the NRA and manufacturers and gun-proponents sell them are not. I truly doubt the founding fathers would approve the fear-mongering, hyper-violent, shoot first, ask questions later approach. I agree – they were, from what we can tell, largely very thoughtful. And it is amusing that these men are so frequently “called as a resource” when it comes to guns and yet not when it comes to religion and separation of church and state. You need to put the whole picture together to understand what the founding fathers were all about. That is another topic, but their worldview is relevant. In any case, I never read a story about a founding father going to a burger (or venison) and bullets shooting range for a playful pastime or vacation. That is the difference.

    5. David says:

      I also began to practice shooting at a young age (8-9) and I have no idea how that can be considered a bad thing. The more time that you are trained with and exposed to firearms the safer they will be in your hands. In elementary school I was bullied as well but I never thought that a gun would be the answer to any of that even though I did have access. Guns are tools that must be respected and mentally sound individuals young and old are capable of that.

    6. John says:

      This fear of being attacked in a dark alley by a gunman is just so much romanticized cowboy fantasy. Most home invasions happen when the people aren’t home. Mostly, I see gun nuts now walking around with loaded guns to flout their 2nd Amendment rights, such as they perceive them to be. You know who else likes to walk around town strapping guns? ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah….

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