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Michelle Noehren Headshot

Let's Choose Peace Over More Guns

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Encouraging more guns in schools is not the way to protect our children. Teaching peace is the only way.

As I said this week over at HLN, we live in a culture of violence. We throw around the words kill and hate in our everyday lives without even blinking an eye. We watch TV shows, movies and play games that encourage violence. We bop our heads along to songs on the radio while we drive to work without even thinking about the words and let's face it -- so many popular songs across all music genres talk about dying young or harming someone you hate.

Just the other day I was watching the Madagascar penguins Christmas special with my daughter and I cringed when Skipper (the leader of the band of penguins) violently slapped around a bowling pin for pretending to be his missing penguin friend. I know it's a children's movie and a bowling pin isn't a person, but this small scene encourages our children to react to tense situations with anger. And I want my daughter to learn that it's always best to respond to people and situations from a place of compassion.

The fact is that at this moment in time violence is abundant; it's in our kids movies, it's everywhere.

The answer to violence is simple: peace. The answer is not more guns.

We must commit to creating a more peaceful culture in America and the only way we can do that is by committing to lead a peaceful life ourselves. Peace begins within. That means that it's time we really start investigating our own thought patterns -- are we plagued with negative feelings towards others? Do we think the worst of people or do we immediately assume the best? Are we able to extend loving compassion towards all living beings -- including those who have caused us harm and pain? These are very important questions to ask ourselves. This is where the work is to be done.

Can you imagine how beautiful it would be if every single person chose love over hate, compassion over frustration, peace over violence?

That's what I want for my child. I want her to automatically think nice things about people. I want her to never use her hands and to always use her words. I want her to know that it's important to be kind to everyone -- even the people that challenge us, put us down and act negatively towards us. I want her to always choose compassion. I want her to be free and happy.

If we all wanted this for our children, and I believe that most of us do, then putting more guns in schools is not the answer. The only way to combat a culture of fear and violence is to talk about peace, believe in peace and teach peace.

Peace is the only way.

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