Two days ago, here in the county that my family lives in, a grown man fired his gun among a group of young teenagers. Let me repeat these facts. A grown, adult man, pulled a gun from the waistband of his jeans, and fired it. Whether purposely or not, it does not matter. (Warning: the following image may be hard to look at.)
Facebook/Unión del Barrio
What happened next? Two CHILDREN were arrested, and the gun-wielding adult? He remained free to go, and today was put on paid leave from his job as a LAPD officer. (An officer with questionable gun safety practices, if you ask me.)
There are a lot of stories and videos swirling around. In most of them the facts remain the same. Kids were walking home from school. A young girl was walking on a neighbor’s grass. Said neighbor spoke to the girl in a very unsavory manner. A young boy talked back to the neighbor, standing up for the girl. The neighbor became irate and grabbed the boy, not letting go when asked multiple times, and eventually pulling a gun out to “protect himself” from children.
I don’t care what happened before the cameras turned on. This is not the world our children deserve to live in. A real man doesn’t call a child a c*nt. A real man doesn’t grab a child because he’s angry. A real man doesn’t pull a gun out on a group of unarmed middle school and high school children. Did they verbally disrespect him? Probably. But when he uttered the c-word to that young girl, he earned it.
I teach my kids respect. But I don’t teach them to respect their elders. Because some of their elders do not deserve their respect. I do not want my children to feel pressured to submit to someone who thinks age equals authority. I want my children to stand up for themselves and others. I want my children to know right from wrong, and that sometimes adults are wrong.
I won’t teach my kids to respect their elders. I’ll teach them to respect those who are respectful to them.