My kids are really good at making huge messes. They don't mean to; they're just busy playing, creating some playscape or making confetti or trying to help by pouring their own juice or milk.
The result is something sticky covering the floor, splattered on the counter and cabinets and inevitably on the boys themselves, bits of paper everywhere, pillows, blankets and stuffed animals scattered throughout the house, draping over this or that, pulling down lamps and picture frames.
I know I should make them clean up these disaster zones, but I know from experience generally their version of cleaning up a mess only results in bigger messes that make me a steaming, angry, stressed out mom; which is another type of mess altogether.
So, I banish them from the desecrated area, and I clean up the mess. They do have to clean up toys scattered about; it's just these sticky, dirty, destructive messes that I take over.
Yes, I know. You're shaking your head and thinking. "That's the way to spoil them and make them think they can get away with anything."
Perhaps, but it keeps me sane, and avoids the chance of a headline like this, "Mom loses mind, runs screaming from home, never to be heard from again after sons attempt to clean up spilled apple juice with down comforter, only to rip seam and allow all the feathers to float through house, adhering to all sticky surfaces covered in apple juice, including the boys and a giant dog."
Sometimes it's just better to step in and take control of a smaller, still fixable mess before it becomes a giant, sticky, slippery slope heading straight down the tubes.
Guns in Schools
A few days before Christmas I happened to see a newspaper headline, "NRA leader urges armed guards in every U.S. school." Surely not.
I read more. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," says NRA executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre. Hmmmm.
While I agree that gunmen on rampages who seem to all too often end up in schools of some level is a definite problem, I don't agree that throwing more guns into the mix is the answer.
The NRA's current plan is like standing to the side and watching my sons spill a gallon of apple juice all over the counter, the floor, the cabinets and themselves as they attempt to pour a small amount into a child-sized cup, then letting them clean it up with the socks on their feet and whatever else they can find to sop of the sticky liquid, leaving the residue behind to collect hair and dust and dirt, turning the whole thing into a filthy mess.
That doesn't solve or teach anything.
I realize that there are a number of schools in large cities that already have trained armed guards/off-duty police officers patrolling the halls, approximately one-third of public schools or 23,000 schools to be precise. I acknowledge this is necessary to keep the students in those schools safe, but I do not find this statistic to be an acceptable standard for schools.
Good Guys v. Bad Guys
This figure alone speaks volumes about the state of our country and the culture we live in. It saddens me to no end. But this proposed "solution" from the NRA enrages my faculties, breaks my heart and frightens me.
More guns, especially guns of the caliber and capacity that match those that the "bad guys" have access to do not belong in our schools. What lesson does this teach? The "bad guys" have big guns; well, the "good guys" will just get bigger guns.
Where does it end? Why stop at schools? How about movie theaters, churches, all government buildings, federal, state and city, malls, parks, the grocery store, libraries, parking garages, and every other public building? Perhaps it should be mandatory that every household owns an assault rifle. That ought to stop the "bad guys."
Of course, if we're all running around with guns all the time, that might make it difficult to tell the "bad guys" from the "good guys." Then what would the NRA propose?
I don't have all the answers, but I feel certain that adding more high powered weapons to our warped society is NOT the answer.
I am not advocating for all guns to be ripped from lawful gun owners' tight grasp. But I do support bans on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips; weapons that belong only on a battlefield, if anywhere at all; weapons that can wipe out a great number of people in a few short seconds; weapons capable of ripping gaping holes in bodies and exploding through flesh and vital organs.
Weapons of this nature go far beyond hunting and "protecting" your home and family. If you oppose this type of ban, please explain to me the need for such devastating weapons.
Of course, bans are not the only aspects to be considered. Historically, horrible killing sprees that have taken place in schools, malls, churches, offices and theaters are carried out by people who have a mental illness of some sort. Therefore, mental illnesses, detection and treatment are also issues to be considered.
Call me naïve, but I don't want to live in a world where "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." And I just don't think we have to live in such a world...if we wake up and proactively start dealing with this issue.
The current gun laws are not adequate. We don't necessarily need more laws, but better laws. I challenge our lawmakers to disregard the powerful, $12-billion-dollar-a-year gun industry and its puppet, the NRA and find a way that protects our citizens' safety and rights. Over and out...