First what happened at the Orlando Club Shooting was absolutely awful and a disgrace to humanity. The internet is filled with grief, disbelief, politicking and rage on the subject. I do not need to fill any more in on the those subjects. Today I am exploring what I sent through as a father when My children and I heard  NPR talking about the Orlando Club shooting. I thought for a moment about changing it. I was not sure if my kids could comprehend it with perspective, but I got surprised.

"Daddy what happened, who died?" Please imagine Dad for a moment with dear eyes driving a Jeep Cherokee and trying to find a reason to change the station to metal.  Then I stopped, I can't just change it because my daughter wants to talk about the Orlando Club shooting. I asked myself if I was afraid to talk to her about the evil, the twisted foolish religious fear and hate behind it, or if I was not ready to talk about what a gay club was for a second. We have talked about fear and evil before. We have talked about death, in our lives we couldn't escape it. Was it really the Orlando club shooting that was bugging me or that it was at a Gay night club? If it was why would it bother me? Am I afraid of explaining it to her?

Like many things I am faced with I went with the ah hell... Screw it...

By the way thanks Dad. You taught me to not be afraid to answer my kids questions honestly.

"Okay my bright-eyed wonder girl. There was a gay club in Orlando and early this morning as in last night an evil man gunned a lot of people down. Think super-villain with out any pinache" Brace for next question while trying not to look like i bracing for anything.

"Why would someone just go in and hurt all those people?" I couldn't see her but I knew it was a look of concern and confusion on her face.

"My children, there are evil men who use religion to bend people's minds, it's about greed and control. It ends in a lot of ways, in this case he was an extreme militant Muslim, part of a group that has a lot of hate and anger built up from the past. In the past there were men jsut like him who killed for the color of skin, or because they wanted to convert people to Christianity. There are those that teach being gay is wrong, that anyone who does not believe in their ways, or in the teachings of God as they see it are wrong. They also teach that anyone who is wrong is against their god and must die. So this hollow man filled with fear and hate cowardly went and planned this Orlando club shooting. He got a hold of a weapon and marched in and killed a lot of people. It has happened before. Unfortunately it will happen again. There were wars where many men died horrid deaths both a long time in the past and very recently related to things similar to this."

...

"Daddy? So he thinks he needs to kill anyone who is different from him?"

"Basically yes my love."

"That's stupid, there would be no one left. Everyone is different."

"Good point Darlin." This broken world could learn from a nine year old.

"Hey Daddy!" My son chose to speak, I wasn't even sure if he was paying attention. The topic was not related to TMNT or YoKai watches so I thought he tuned out. "What is a gay club?"

Crap... What would Pitbull Jim do? Ah hell... Screw it...

"Son a gay club is where people like to hang out with their own sex. Like guys dating guys or women dating women, and there is music, dancing and stuff."

"Oh, okay."

That was it. I have seen grown intelligent compassionate people struggle with accepting others on this topic. I was impressed there was not a stronger reaction. My kids are raised in a home where Maricar and I try so hard to teach them compassion for others. I was impressed that they were both more concerned over why someone would want to be a villain, then that there were guys dancing with guys at a club. There really was no reason to be nervous to talk about it with them, but for a few moments I was nervous about talking to my kids today We have family and friends in the LGBT community. Maybe that's why they didn't care. It's not like we talk about sexual orientation over dinner though. The few people we do know don't come over like a South Park episode and sing a gay anthem. Actually that's more something Kender would do, but he's Ten hours away in Seattle. Oh god I just realized there will be a South Park episode about the Orlando Club Shooting eventually.

Face Palm.

My kids reminded me that talking about the things that go on in the world is supposed to happen, and in context one should embrace it. Parents are here to protect them, but in order to do so many times the best thing to do is help them find context. I am not really one who finds the whole hide your kids thing to be the way to go. The parts they weren't focused on were fine, and the parts they needed to understand they asked about. I got the chance to talk about tolerance, and the corrupting power of hate... the dark side.  They also pointed out to me the simplicity, hating and killing others like you is a waste of time. Eventually there is no one left. Good point. There is no reason to be nervous to honestly talk to them. I felt the same when Camille asked where babies come from, but I got through it...slowly.

Sandy Hook, the Orlando Club Shooting, Oklahoma bombing, WACO, Nazis, Inquisition, KKK, that insane shooting in Norway, damn this world has too many villains and just not enough heroes. I wonder if more people spent time speaking to the inhumane treatments of others despite rationalization from beliefs related to otherworldly deities or genetic differences what our world would look like?

I don't have the answer to fix the fear and hate humans harbor. Oh how I wish I did. I also understand the anger people are feeling now. One friend very close to me has covered his FB page with his aggression. I understand this. If people hurt your family threaten your loved ones they deserve what they get. The Damage in me puts on his colors, lets the anger build, can feel the lightning behind his eyes and in his fists. When I was a kid that was a big thing, there was always lightning behind my eyes. It was Damage Inc. that let me find a path out. It was my kids and wife who gave me a reason to let it go. There are so many people desperate for a way to let out their anger. So many reasons to be angry. There is always reasons to be angry. But I refuse to be a villain, I refuse to be the bad guy. Some people are okay with it.

I think this world's problem is that we have villains and there are far too few heroes. Rationalization is replacing humane treatment of others. Greed over compassion. I won't lie I would prefer a different type of villain, and certain types of heroes.

To all the people affected closely by the Orlando Club Shooting, I am so sorry for the loss.

To those angry on all sides, listen to the un-poisoned minds of children. We have as much to learn as we have to teach, why waste it on fear and hate?

 

 

Angry but learning...