While I will not debate gun control here, I will argue that our biggest issue right now is a parenting issue - or more simply - a LACK of parenting issue.
Being a parent is the most difficult job on the planet yet it does not require an education nor previous work experience. There is no handbook for being a parent. No penalty for missing days. These precious babies are placed into our care but for a brief few years and if we are lucky enough - we get to see them become strong, successful, independent adults.
The job of parenthood isn't an easy one and the task should not be undertaken lightly. It is certainly not a job for the faint of heart. You will have rough days. You will argue with your children. You will become frustrated and maybe a little lost.
And your children may hate you for a while - if you are lucky.
They may hate you because you give them a curfew.
They may hate you because you limit their video games and introduce them to the great outdoors.
They may hate you because you ask for names and phone numbers of friends and places they are going.
They may hate you because you talk to their teachers or even (gasp) chaperone their school dances.
They may even hate you because you encourage them to put down their social media and actually become social.
But hear me on this one. They may hate you for the moment but they will thank you later for saving their lives.
You see, children's brains are still developing even as a Pre-Teen and Teenager and what they need is a role model - NOT a friend. You will have plenty of time to be a friend to your children when they are adults. What they need now is a parent.
And not a parent who coddles them or entitles them. They need a parent who allows them to lose so they can learn the value of failure in future successes. They need a parent who teaches them proper work ethic so our future economic state is secure. But most importantly - they need a parent who is not afraid to be vulnerable and who can show them they are loved unconditionally.
When I see stories on the news of these teenage boys committing these monstrous acts, my heart breaks. My heart breaks for those parents whose children were taken in such a senseless act of cowardice. Those students did nothing but show up that day and lost their lives because of it.
But as I continue to read the stories, I begin to ask more questions and find fewer answers. Where were the parents of these young men who committed these crimes? What was so bad in their home that they felt this was the only answer? Were there any signs? Why were these young men not receiving the emotional support they needed to thrive? What is the missing link?
Now I don't know the family life of any of these shooters so I will not comment on them individually. But what I will say is that I am seeing a total break down of our young people and I personally believe it stems from lack of parenting.
Ethics and morals have become an after thought instead of the norm. Teachers have lost control in their classroom. Respect has become a four letter word.
This young generation is lost and it's up to us to find them. Children need rules. Children need discipline. But beyond that, children need our unconditional love. They need to know we are present - whether physically or not - and they need to know someone has their back.
If we do not gain control of our children, who will? We must start taking our job as parents seriously and stop allowing the electronic devices to be their baby sitters. Create boundaries for them. Let them fail on their own. Let them succeed on their own. Find out who their friends are and where they are going. Be present in their lives. It's okay if they hate you - for just a little while.
And love them. Let them know they matter. I am not saying that simply loving these young men who committed these crimes would have made a difference - evil does exist in this world. But be the parent who makes a difference in your own child's life.
When we choose to become parents again - only then will we save our children.