Assault weapon in the hands of any child?
This post is not about every child who experiences trauma. Not all children who experience trauma will resort to violence. This post is about how early intervention can be a lifeline and can help children to cope non-violently with trauma. This post looks in hindsight at trauma in a troubled teen and access to assault weapons.
During my Bachelor of Science in Humane Leadership studies I took a class called, First Strike: An Introduction to the Connection Between Animal Abuse & Interpersonal Violence. My teacher was Dr. Randall Lockwood who is one of the world’s leading experts on animal cruelty. I started learning about root causes of violence and how interconnected it is. I began to understand that when you talk about partner abuse, senior abuse, child abuse and animal cruelty they are all tightly interwoven together. One of my text books was “Linking the Circles of Compassion for Prevention and Intervention.” by Frank R. Ascione and Phil Arkow and I re-read it every year.
I decided in 2008 that I wanted to be involved in the prevention of violence to children and animals and so I started Kindred Farm (previously called SALI’s Farm).
Preventing violence. That sounds so daunting. We deal with some very sad stories at Kindred Farm. But….. we pair these stories with taking care of animals who give unconditional love in return and that really makes our work a joy. That makes Kindred Farm a happy place for children who have experienced violence and trauma.
I feel compelled to write something just about once a season as the world experiences another violent event. Top of mind today is the violence at an elementary school in Texas. Violence perpetrated by an 18 year old youth. I felt that as his life was investigated they would discover some severe trauma. But again it’s too late! He was a face cutter! Children who have unresolved trauma, who are invisible, who have no support system will be left to find their own way. Many times this leads to tragedies – substance abuse, animal cruelty, criminal activities, generational cycle of abuse as perpetrator or victim, homelessness or suicide. But couple that with access to an assault rifle (AR 15 Style) and innocent lives are lost and families are destroyed!
Let’s take politics out of this and make it about humanity. We all want answers, and I feel that Kindred Farm can give some answers. We can be there in the early years (Grade 1 – 7) for any child who is desperate for love and understanding.
Kindred Farm does not offer up thoughts or prayers or minutes of silence. We offer hope for a child that deserves kindness in a world that has treated them very unkindly.
As Mr. Rogers said, “look to the helpers.” Our animals are ready to help. Our animals will bring smiles and laughter to this world that needs more love and kindness to both animals and people.