Dear Son

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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9 Responses

  1. KenP says:

    It is a horror beyond our understanding. Your son remains lucky though. He isn’t going to a Carolina cotton mill at the end of this term to start his work career. Sickness transcends time and place. Right now he sitting in one of life’s sweet spots surround by love. That won’t change ever. You and your wife will handle all this well because you’re damn fine parents.

    There is another sickness coming from this tragedy. Our news radio station has embarked on the frenzy and is currently interviewing a shrink on what those parents are feeling. Really! There was similar just minutes before with a grief consular pushing buttons. That isn’t news in my book. If it is then why aren’t those interviews constant about Afghan or Syrian children’s lives as egregiously taken.

    There is plenty to grieve about beside what has just occurred and there are things still around we can celebrate. Some days are harder than others, true.

  2. Linda Casey says:

    Well said

  3. NT says:

    Someday, maybe, we’ll know what to do to prevent this kind of horror. It’s a goal worth putting resources and energy into investigating.

  4. Jon Weedon says:

    Feeling your pain Brad and finding comfort in your words. There is something very powerful about writing. It encourages self reflection. It helps you get your thoughts straight. It provides an outlet for ones emotions. Like you, fatherhood brings an additional poignancy to news like today’s and despite the thousands of miles between us not to mention the political divide, such tragedy is making grown men weep the world over. Naturally the media want to find the answer to the question why and far too many people are already trying to gain political capital from this unspeakable tragedy. As an ex police office of 15 years standing in London, I personally feel safer living in a country that does not have the same gun culture as the US, however, I dealt with the aftermath of too many shootings to understand that gun control has little to do with keeping guns out of the hands of anyone determined to get hold of one. I wish the anti-gun brigade would keep quiet right now and focus on the only important thing here at the moment – that is supporting and praying for the families of those poor children who lost their lives today.

  5. Steve Wood says:

    Thanks for a very moving essay on a day that has brought many of us to tears. I hope I can say what I feel needs to be said without making it a political issue. It certainly shouldn’t be. It is a simple common sense issue.

    You accurately wrote with regard to firearms: “Police and soldiers need them to protect our countries. Some people use guns to protect their homes and property. Some people use guns for hunting. A lot of times, guns are used for good reasons.”

    What common sense should tell us, regardless of politics, is that you mention two categories of people. (A) Police and Soldiers and (B) Hunters and people protecting their homes and families. It should also tell us that Category A people need rapid fire assault weapons (short or long), and Category B people don’t.

    There are a few category C people who believe that they need assault weapons to fight our armed forces when our government goes nuts and orders the army to come after us. I’m not sure where common sense fits in here, but even if what they believe had any chance of happening, having an assault weapon isn’t going to do them any good.

    We need to do more than make possessing an assault weapon without a difficult to obtain permit a serious felony. We need to institute a buy-back program to get the ones already on the streets and stashed in closets out of circulation. We need to make the production of such weapons a non-profit activity, and crack down hard on any manufacturer or importer who makes them available illegally.

    Will that eliminate tragedies like the one we saw today? No. But if it were to prevent just one deranged fountain of evil from having the capability of inflicting mass casualties when he goes over the edge, it would be well worth losing our “freedom” to own something we don’t need.

    FWIW, I believe every competent adult should own a rifle and/or shotgun. They should be trained to use it, maintain it and store it safely. I’m not a member of the anti-gun brigade. Recruits wanted for the common sense brigade.

    — Que le vaya bien…Steve

  6. rainer.carp says:

    i can’t imagine all the sadness you are going through right now.
    all my condolences to you.

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