On Tuesday 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas were killed by a gunman, joining the far-too-long list of victims of gun violence in the United States.
Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell of California shared a conversation he exchanged with his young son after news of the shooting spread.
“My little boy just asked ‘did the bad guy from the grocery store come back?"
"Is he going to come to our house?’"
“*Now the MAGA-Republicans will mock my son or say I’m making this up as they did when he asked about Buffalo."
"But these are the questions parents are fielding tonight.”
See the tweet below:
Others got similarly political questions and comments from their young children.
One person responded:
"Some of us are still trying to figure out how to tell our children because we don't want them to go to school in fear tomorrow and we also don't want them learning about this while in school."
"We need to do better."
"Something needs to change."
Someone else shared:
"I read a story about a pre-schooler who wanted to give back his new lightup shoes because he was afraid the lights would tell a shooter where he & his classmates were."
"Tell me why it's okay for a 4y/o to think those thoughts & not for him to know that his classmate has 2 dads?"
When Swalwell was asked how he responded to his son's question, he answered:
“I told him he is going to be OK and he shouldn’t worry."
"Which is a total lie."
"He lives in a country of unrestricted weaponry.”
Teachers chimed in, too, sharing stories of the dialogue they hear in classrooms.
One teacher tweeted:
"I’ve been a teacher for 15 years."
"I have led my kids through active shooter drills, and the questions they come up with - it breaks your heart."
"And it should."
"I wish the [GOP] loved and kids as much as they love and protect guns and fetuses that can’t live outside the womb."
Another educator wrote:
"As a retired teacher I can honestly say that all teachers are broken hearted right now and will have some questions to answer in the am, and to do so without tears, will be tough."
The hearts of people across the globe are plagued by the horror of another senseless act of mass murder by gun, but none as deeply as those who rightfully fear they could be next—children in the United States.