12/26/2012 10:53 am ET Updated Feb 25, 2013

Violence Prevention Starts at Home

Over the past week, I've been pondering on the tragedy that recently happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. And amidst all of the media coverage and the quantity of Internet coverage the subject has gotten, I can't help to think how painful it must be for families to cope with this tragedy. To imagine that one of those kids could have been my brother or sister, devastates me.

The truth is that these shootings are becoming all too regular in our country. Just this year alone, over four shooting rampages have occurred.

Our country has a terrible obsession with violence. Everywhere we go we are constantly being fed with violence -- in video games, in movies, and all over the Internet.

As Americans, we owe it to the memory of these children and adults that were recently killed to take meaningful action in order to prevent this type of horrifying events from ever happening again. But all too often, Washington will open up the dialogue about gun control, mental illnesses, and how the media portrays violence.

Although all of these topics must be discussed, and certainly can't be ignored, we can't forget about smart parenting. Before a child goes out onto the world, before it sets foot in a school, or goes out and buys a gun, whether legally or illegally, parents must educate their children so they are ready to face the world and its complexity.

So before Washington and all the pundits start to talk about gun control and everything else, let's not forget that parents carry a large responsibility to make sure their children are not being nurtured in a nest filled with violence. Parents have the ability and responsibility to monitor what their children are watching on TV or what video games they are playing. A responsibility to make sure that if they do watch TV, it's only for a short period of time, or after they've finished all their homework.

We as Americans, must take responsibility to educate our children, and help them understand that the world is not a movie or a video game.

Yes, lets address the issue of gun control, mental illnesses, and everything else. But before we start pointing fingers, lets start by looking at ourselves in the mirror. What can we, as parents, brothers or sisters, do to prevent these tragedies from happening again?

So this holiday season, before you go out and buy presents for your kids, think about what you're buying. Instead of buying the latest Call of Duty: Black Ops for your 10-year old, perhaps its better to buy him the latest skateboard, a challenging puzzle or a good book.