Boys with Guns

My son was nine when he got his first gun. Don’t worry – it was a Daisy Red Rider BB Gun. My husband claimed the bullets would bounce off a cat. Somehow I think he knew for a fact.

Still. I worried. I fretted. I called every girlfriend I knew with boys and asked if their sons were shooting guns. (I live in Georgia. Most ALL of those boys were already shooting guns.) But my dad wasn’t a hunter, so we didn’t have guns around the house (other than that rifle my mom used once to shoot a snake in the backyard to save my brother when he was three).

With much prayer and apprehension, I finally agreed to the gun. Of course, there were specific rules that would accompany the gun because, you know – he could shoot his eye out.

Christmas morning, the children opened all their gifts, except the gun. My hubby had to do it “Christmas Story” style and pull it out from behind the tree at the last minute. Colin was elated and ran outside immediately to try it out.

Shift gears with me now.

I chose to give my son a gun. A BB gun. Knowing full well he may shoot dings in my fence, stray birds and possibly – cats.

But what if someone gave my son a gun without my permission. An AK-47. And forced him to shoot people. Or me.

It’s happening, even as you read this. Sometimes in broad daylight, frequently in the dead of night, men are coming and snatching children from their homes and families to force them to become soldiers. The boys are often made to do unspeakable things to other boys or family members. Things they will be so ashamed of they wouldn’t dare try to return home again. The girls are most likely sold as sex slaves.

Lately, there’s been a lot of press on Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord that heads the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). While numbers upward of 104,000 have been tossed around, it’s been said Kony has forcefully recruited at the very least 60,000 children.

I hate talking in big numbers because it’s not easy to grasp their enormity. So allow me to break it down for you. Imagine that each child is represented by one mile. The distance by plane from New York to Los Angeles is approximately 2,139 miles. So 60,000 of them would be a total of 28 flights or 14 round trips from one side of our nation to the other and back again.

Or let’s look at it another way. Each child is represented by a matchbox car. If we place those cars side to side (not end to end), with each one being about an inch wide, we could place side-by-side toy cars for almost an entire mile. That’s a lot of cars! Or I should say that’s a lot of kids!

So, why am I telling you about this? Because, Beloved, we need to know what is going on in the world around us. We have to stand with one voice and say enough is enough. Would you sit on your couch munching chips if it were your child?

So, let’s talk about what you and I can do.

1. Educate
Learn all you can about what’s going on. I’m terrible about not watching the news because it depresses me. But I need to be aware of what’s happening around me. Watch the movie about the Invisible Children. (Find it below) Click HERE to read some startling facts about child soldiers.

2. Give
Whether you give your time or your money, donate where and what you can. You can find the website for Invisible Children HERE if you want to donate to help support the child soldier cause. Or you can go HERE to Do Something. It’s a great website to find ways to help. You have the option to put in how much time and where you will be able to serve, then they will tell you some available places and opportunities.

3. Tell
Share what you’ve learned with others. Use Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest and other networking sites to share information you’ve found helpful to educate others. If others know, then these causes won’t be invisible anymore.

4. Pray
This really should be the first thing you do. Pray for those in political office to continue to support the search for Joseph Kony. Pray for the children who are sleeping by the hundreds on the grounds outside of hospitals and local village building so they do not have to sleep alone in their huts and risk abduction.

I won’t be able to watch my 10-year-old son shoot his BB gun without thinking of those precious boys who have been forced to take lives. Would you become an Everyday Missionary with me as we work to make a difference?

 

*This movie is 30 minutes long. It’s worth the watch. If you are like me, it’s hard to find a 30 minute block of time. So watch 15 minutes now and 15 minutes later, but please watch it. It’ll really help you understand what is going on.

 

Carol

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