May 27th, 2022

“How do you talk to your children about what happened in Uvalde?”

I don’t.

My daughters are seven. They barely know about guns, never mind school shootings. They don’t know that children can be murdered like that. They simply have no idea. I will keep it that way as long as I can.

In bed last night, I nonchalantly asked Eliza, “So, do you guys ever do safety drills at school?” (I know they do.)

“Yeth,” she answered, with her little lisp that slays me every time.

“Like fire drills?” I ask. 

“Yeth,” she says, “We have to go outside and find our teacher.”

“Do you do other kinds of drills?” I ask. 

“Yeth, intruder drills,” she tells me. I probe. She says, “It’s for if bandits come inside.”

“What’s a bandit?” I ask.

“Someone who wasn’t invited into the school but comes anyway.”

I am so grateful for her teacher, who has found a way to explain a horrific thing to her students. She should not have to do this. They should not have to know about this.

“What do you do if a bandit comes inside?” I ask.

“We are supposed to hide under our desk,” she says. “But I don’t really understand. They would find us there.”

I have nothing to say to this, because she is right. If a school shooter comes into her classroom, what will a tiny child’s desk do to save her?

I simply say, “Don’t worry, this is just for practice. It’s good to practice, but nothing bad will ever really happen.”

Before I sent my children to public school, this was one of my biggest fears, and it still is. I live in a state with very liberal gun laws, and anyway, does it really matter where you live?

Uvalde, Texas.

Kentwood, Michigan.



Washington D.C.

Erie, Pennsylvania.

Greenville, South Carolina.

Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kingman. Arizona.

Yakima, Washington.

Dorchester, Massachusetts.




Des Moines, Iowa.

Olathe, Kansas.

Buffalo, New York.

Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Baltimore again.

Birmingham, Alabama.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Richfield, Minnesota.

Beloit, Wisconsin.

Rockville, Maryland.


Sanford, Florida.

Rockford, Illinois. 

Twenty-seven school shootings in under six months. Red states, blue states, cities, suburbs, East Coast, West Coast, the Midwest, the South.

The only thing all of these shootings have in common?


To be a parent is to be helpless and terrified and hopeful all at once.


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