This was the advice a former Secret Service agent gave to people in case they find themselves in an active shooter situation. A situation not unlike what occurred at a mall in New Jersey last night. My thoughts are all over the place on this. Another unstable person enters a public place and fires a weapon with God knows what kind of intent. Every single time a shooting occurs (which is just about weekly at this point), my mind reels. What if I was there? What would I do? What if my girls were with me? How would I protect them? Is that whole adrenaline thing a myth? Would I freeze up or would I know just what to do?

When I heard the words RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. tonight on the national news, it stuck with me as a sort of sad irony.

We teach our kids to run. Toward the kids on the playground. Toward opportunity. Into our open arms…

And now we have to teach them to run away. TO RUN FROM EVIL.

We teach our kids to hide – their eyes for a big surprise, or themselves in a game of hide and seek. 

And now we have to teach them that hiding may be the ONLY WAY TO AVOID GETTING SHOT.

We teach our kids to fight – for themselves, for their country, for the little guy, for what’s right.

But now we have to teach our kids to fight off evil. TO LITERALLY FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES.

I don’t know what else to do.

I let my elected officials at the state and national level know how I feel about gun control (if you haven’t guessed, I’m highly in favor of stronger gun control, stricter background checks, and a complete ban on assault weapons. And don’t go all ‘gun rights – second amendment’ on me).

I’m part of a few grassroots social groups on Facebook and other social media sites that leverage the power of numbers and their voices to make real change.

And I support mental health support and outreach to help those people who are unstable and should be nowhere near a pair of scissors let alone a weapon of any kind.

I didn’t intend for this post to be so heavy. It just infuriates me that we all need to be on high alert all the damn time.

Is this our new normal? Is this the kind of world we want to live in? It sure as hell isn’t the world I want to live in.