America’s gun violence has changed the way we parent

In their recent piece for The Washington Post, Amy Joyce, Caitlin Gibson, and Elizabeth Chang quote an array of American parents discussing the impact of gun deaths on how they rear their children. 

Among the remarks: 

“Anytime the kids have received a gift that involves shooting, I’m hesitant to allow them to use it, and they also know and say “Momma, we won’t use this, right?” At this point I’m not interested in having them use anything related to guns. I have Black children. So the first thing is I don’t want them around anything that looks like a gun or thinking about that. The idea that a Black child will be blamed for anything to do with a gun even if they didn’t have anything to do with it is definitely a possibility. How is it something that someone can just go and buy and use? I have a lot of fear around that and what would make a person want to use it. Even if for self-defense. I know people do it, but I just don’t have a comfort level around guns.”

— Garlia Cornelia Jones, metro New York. (As told to Amy Joyce.)


“I make sure to always say “I love you” when I drop them off at school, just in case. I stay aware of exit paths everywhere I go. I don’t take my children to big outdoor parades or festivals anymore. I’ve had conversations with my children about what to do if they ever see a gun (NEVER touch it and tell a grown-up immediately). Most importantly though, I’ve become active with Moms Demand Action. My children ask me to do everything I can to help end gun violence, and I’m doing my best from my corner of the country.”

— Patricia Boe, Santa Ana, Calif. (Submitted to The Washington Post.)

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