Talking About Guns with My Teen

Sex and drugs? Nowadays we need frank conversations about survival

Mookie Spitz


This morning I discussed #gunviolence and #gunsafety with my 15-year-old:

Nicky: WTF is going on?

Mookie: People are shooting up schools, houses of worship, grocery stores, doctor’s offices, movie theatres, concerts…

Nicky: How?

Mookie: They buy automatic weapons like AR-15s, sometimes just handguns, tons of ammo, and go for it.

Nicky: Why?

Mookie: Some of the shooters want to kill Black people and Jews, others are angry or depressed and want to take as many with them as possible, still others nobody ever really knows. Their reasons are as unique and awful as the shootings.

Nicky: Am I at risk?

Mookie: Yes.

Nicky: Grrrrrrreat.

Mookie: Just keeping it real. You go to a New York high school. High population density, lots of crazies all around.

Nicky: What should I do?

Mookie: Keep going to school.

Nicky: Thanks.

Mookie: Guns in real life don’t sound like the ones on TV and in the movies. If you hear popping sounds more like fireworks, then get out of there as fast as you can.

Nicky: Don’t hide?

Mookie: Unless you’re already cornered. A proven survival technique is to get as far away from the gun fire as quickly as possible.

Nicky: Should I use the stairs?

Mookie: Do whatever it takes to get out of there ASAP.

Nicky: Shit.

Mookie: I hate that we have to have this conversation, but we have to have it.

Nicky: Yeah. Do other countries have this problem?

Mookie: Not nearly as bad as we do.

Nicky: Why are we so different?

Mookie: That’s an obvious question, but also a good one and hard to answer.

Nicky: Give it a whirl.

Mookie: OK. We have tons of guns all around, but so do many other countries with far less gun…



Mookie Spitz

Author and communications strategist. His latest book SUPER SANTA is available on Amazon, with a sci fi adventure set for Valentine's Day 2024.