Lifesaving Advice I Gave My Son When Someone Starts Shooting At His School

Last night I had to sit my 14-year-old son down and have “the ‘talk”.

It was uncomfortable, it should be, having “the talk” is never easy for parents and their kids. Unfortunately, this wasn’t “the talk” I thought I would be having with him. This talk was about what he needed to do to stay alive when a shooter comes into his school and starts mowing down innocent kids because our American government refuses to do anything about it.

I need to take my shoes off to get on an airplane because I might have a shoe bomb and want to blow up a plane. I have to do this because 1 person, 1 time, got on a plane with a shoe bomb and burned himself.

Hundreds of school shootings have happened and thousands of kids have been killed or hurt, and we can’t figure out a way to stop this from happening. It’s not important enough for our society to change this.

This isn’t a political statement. This is a dad crying out to the universe to please stop this so I won’t be that parent on CNN telling my own child’s story because they were never given a chance to tell it on their own.

Those who were voted into a position of political power in our country, every party, every single person, have failed this nation. This isn’t a party issue. This is a kid’s are getting killed issue. You don’t need an arsenal of guns in your house to go deer hunting. You need one rifle that shoots one bullet at a time.

The 2nd Amendment in our Bill of Rights that gives us this ‘freedom’ as Americans to bear arms was written and approved by Congress in 1789. 229 years ago we needed to bear arms because a bear actually might kill you! Now, we don’t need to bear arms. We have the world’s best, most highly funded military force to protect us.

That we live in a society that allows any kind of access to teens to get their hands on guns is shameful. Teens are mostly crazy! They’re emotional. They act impulsively. They don’t think beyond the minute they’re living in. That is not a good combination to mix in access to guns and ammunition. Every single parent in the world understands this simple concept.

But, now I have to give tips and strategy to my son on how to save his life when a school shooter commences to mowing down innocent victims because Timmy’s Dad had to have an arsenal in his basement because this is “America!”

Fuck you, Timmy’s Dad!

So, here’s the advice I gave to my son, and I’m sure you’ll give to your sons and daughters. I told him to survive. Do anything you have to do to survive. Like the Hunger Games, you survive. That’s an order. For some reason, we’ve regressed hundreds of years as a society that my ‘life’ advice to my son in 2018 is simply to “Survive”.

So, ultimately, this is a failure of parenting. We have failed as parents that we elected people in our own image who have refused to fix a problem that we all want to be fixed. We failed because we don’t think this will happen to ‘our’ kid. We hate that it happens to any kid, but it won’t happen to “my” kid.

We’re stupid. It is going to happen to my kid and I can’t sleep at night knowing when I drop my son off at school tomorrow there isn’t one thing being done to save his life by those in charge of our laws in this country. Not one single thing.

Just survive, I told him…

We can stop this. In our world, it takes money to beat the bad guys who have more money right now. I donated to – The Movement to End Gun Violence. I’m not associated with Everytown, but I donated money so I support them. If you want to support them, great! 

(Photo cred: Larry Nodarse)


15 thoughts on “Lifesaving Advice I Gave My Son When Someone Starts Shooting At His School

  1. I’m so terrified to ever send my son to school. It’s bad enough that these things are happening, but it’s worse that people are so against more effective gun control.

  2. I left the US when my son turned 13, and the decision was all based on violence. The war in Iraq was raging and reservists were not being allowed to return home and the school district I worked for was upping their mandatory draft campaigns for seniors turning 18. The district had 35,000 students across 4 high schools and 46 intermediate and elementary schools. I was the person responsible for ensuring there was an open CCTV feed to the police for all our schools and was developing the plans in case a school shooting happened in one of my schools. It was too much. We left the country and haven’t returned. Maybe we’ll return when sanity becomes more important than bullets. He’s 24 now…

  3. Voting out NRA supporters is the ONLY solution. Politicians will only choose sides if cornered.

    Make them Pledge to unanimously vote against the NRA and take no financial contributions from them, or vote for someone else.

    If we as individuals don’t hold the politicians to this pledge they will simply follow

    Once a couple of tenured politicians are removed from office the tide will change.

    It’s the only way.!

  4. Dangerous political commentary my friend, and the comments show that. Giving your son/daughter/nephew/niece survival advice isn’t political, but implying a solution is. What I agree with is that our government should be crafting solutions, not passing these events off as the next bad news story.

  5. Hi Tim,

    I haven’t talked to my 9 year old about this, however your post is a reminder and especially that this problem isn’t stopping that I should. Nine. Years. Old. I can’t even. It’s hard enough talking about strangers, standing up against bullying, and other elementary school pressures. Hell, I think it’s easier to talk to my 9 year old about becoming a woman than to talk about this.

    But I think yours is a good one. Survive and do what you can to get the hell out of there no matter what. I don’t care what school protocol is or some drill policy that the school has done. You do what you need to do to live and run, run far away.


  6. Tim,

    As someone who has been far too close to a mass shooting for comfort (we had 11 Engineering student interns from Virginia Tech when the shooting happened in the Engineering building), I’ve been obsessing over what to tell my kids for years and the best advice I’ve seen has come from the research done by the FBI. Run like hell. If you can’t run hide until you can no longer hide. When you can no longer hide charge the shooter and fight for your life. So sad that this is even part of our reality, but since it is I thought I’d share.

  7. First of all, I am not a parent, just an Aunt. But when it comes down to you don’t need to be a parent to feel angry, saddness and heartache for these violent acts that are happening across our nation. It is not political and we need to stop pointing blame and just get down to business and put in place how we are going to handle this in the now and how we can work better to prevent this from happening again. The shooter did not take his own life. To me that says alot. He was reaching out for help but did not know how to get help. We can dissect this individual and his upbring at a later date. Now we need to realize that all children are not being raised the same way and look at how can we help out the parents become parents. When I was in high school this was not even an issue. We need to get organized as a nation and resolve these issues of our youth. Working in HR I have seen a huge change in the makeup of new hires/ applicants, etc. Just my thoughts.

  8. Tim, I’m jealous in a way – working in corporate gigs prohibits me from using the language I would like when discussing this matter. I’m the Dad of two teen boys, we had this same talk years ago – that’s in itself is heart-breaking.
    I’m still waiting for any explanation besides “it’s an adrenaline rush” that explains the use/ownership of a sub-automatic/automatic weapon. I’ve owned one gun, a shotgun, and that went bye-bye on Jack’s first birthday.
    Gun “enthusiasts” need to check their phallic insecurities at the door, spare the rest of us.

  9. No parent signed up for this. And if you think it’s only the parents – and not the students – that are gripped by the fear that an active shooter will someday be spraying bullets across their campus, we are sadly mistaken.

    The Republicans (I’m just going to say it; it’s the truth) are operating under the philosophy that if you can’t prevent all gun violence, we shouldn’t try to prevent any gun violence. It’s ridiculous on its face; no counter-argument is even necessary. We can do better. Vote in 2018, and change can happen.

    (FYI, that graphic at the top of your post that’s gone viral since #Parkland was created and drawn by my friend Larry Nodarse, a Miami-area schoolteacher, should you want to give credit.)

  10. As I’m sure you’re aware, many of the GOP in Congress, including our President, have received huge monetary incentives from lobbyists for the NRA so that they are compelled to turn a blind eye.

    The solution is quite simple. If the lobbyist-controlled politicians aren’t willing to return their blood stained investments, then we the people need to vote them out.

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