Mr. Rogers Should Teach Today's Children About Guns
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Mr. Rogers Should Teach Today's Children About Guns

In the face of unspeakable tragedies, we can turn to the iconic children's show host to remind us how to be kind to each other

Fred Rogers

In the past 48 hours, the United States has been shocked to the core with two unspeakable tragedies related to gun violence. El Paso and Dayton, Ohio unfortunately are not the first gun violence tragedies that hit our country. Since Sandy Hook Elementary School, there were 2,193 mass shootings that occurred and each and every time we have always said "Never again." However, kids growing up in this day and age are now desensitized to mass shootings. The breaking news banner could scroll across the television screen about another shooting and young viewers have the potential to not even bat an eye. It's heartbreaking to know that we are exposing the future of this country to the realities of violence and destruction and not even teaching them how to process these feelings in a manner that is healthy or appropriate.

The children's show icon, Mr. Fred Rogers, welcomed kids to the neighborhood of Make-Believe on February 19, 1968, a place where humans and puppets can gently explore their feelings, be it happiness or frustration, and children can actively learn how to deal with complex feelings of today's world. My sister (more than me) grew up with 'Mister Roger's Neighborhood,' and can say with some confidence that Fred Rogers made her (and probably many kids of the 90s' and 00') feel loved and accepted by all. Fred Rogers had such a way of being able to connect with his audience members in such a way that it impacts them to this day.

"It's ok to feel what you feel" was one of the first things that children saw on "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" when addressing how to process feelings of anger and frustration in the wake of the assassination of presidential candidate Robert Kennedy. Four months into "Mister Roger's Neighborhood," Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, leaving the country in disbelief. Rogers, in an attempt to help kids process their feelings with two assassinations in a 4-month span, taped and aired a special episode the day before Kennedy's funeral utilizing Lady Aberlin and Daniel the tiger. Daniel asks what does assassination mean to which Lady Aberlin gently explains that "it means somebody getting killed in a—a sort of surprise way." The lesson in just that one episode, is that everyone process their own feelings on gun violence but it is important the adults and children talk about these things in an open manner.

"I plead for your protection and support of your young children. There is just so much that a very young child can take," is the last line of this poignant episode that still speaks volumes to this day. For children to understand what it is like to live in a world where assassinations and mass shootings are the norm, there must be an outlet for them to start expressing themselves in order to know how they would relate to this world.

Fred Rogers has been an iconic figure in trying to teach children about gun violence since that fateful episode and he was successful to a certain degree. His show taught viewers the importance of talking about how you feel and that having control of these feelings is a good way to express them.

But how does it relate to gun violence today? The answer is mental health. When someone doesn't know that their environment, life, or whatever it is that makes them think that violence is the answer, they act upon it. Mister Rogers tells every viewer that they are his neighbor and that he loves them just the way they are. And he keeps on doing this for over 31 years. It's a simple message that every person should take responsibility of the vulnerable and that every person deserves to be loved. If many of the people that are implicated in these mass shootings were told that they were loved or given a helping hand, maybe we wouldn't be facing the tragedies that we are now.

That's why 'Mister Roger's Neighborhood' is so relevant today. There is a lot of lessons that the man teaches us about loving our neighbor, helping others, and accepting who you are. So many lessons that I believe that kids could benefit from today and hopefully we don't turn out a generation of kids who are apathetic and prone to violence (potentially).

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

To My Fellow Girls With Resting B**** Face

A letter to my friends with RBF about understanding your own face and helping others deal with it.

Jupe du Jour

To the girl with resting b**** face:

Keep Reading... Show less

The Boyfriends Of The 2000s

Thank you, J14, for the Posters

J14 magazine

Every girl remembers her first crush. Even if your first crush was the boy in your kindergarten class that ate crayons, your first true love will always be the one that holds the key to your heart. Growing up in the 2000s, everyone knew who your dream guy was. Your family probably still give you grief and your best friends probably still reminisce, so it is impossible to forget your first celebrity crush. You bought a Tiger Beat magazine every chance you could just to read up about what your favorite celebrity was doing. Your room was fully decorated with posters of them, and it wasn't unusual to have fights with your best friends over who was going to marry him. If you were a 90's baby, lucky you because the 2000s were full of boys that were easy to love. I hope you enjoy a walk down memory lane and quickly realize that Bieber was definitely not the first guy with that hair cut. Here are 15 90's baby's first boyfriends.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

20 Things I Learned By The Start of My 20s

No one expects you to have your life together by the time you're 20, because honestly, they didn't either.

Allyson Foutty

We are all often faced with many life challenges throughout the time leading up to our 20s. Before this time, and throughout it, we often look back at the things we've learned and how they've influenced who we are as people today. Some of my biggest influences were some of the challenges I've faced, but they've taught me 20 important things by the start of my 20s.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Boyfriend Recipe

The ingredients to build a relationship are a little more complicated than just a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.


Relationships. Long distance or not, significant others are much more than just that. I would be lying if I said I did not love the sweet gestures that only a boyfriend can give. The flowers, funny phone calls, hand holding, breakfast dates, and tight hugs are special but my relationship and many others out there exist on much more than just these little gestures. It is a tricky concoction that consists of one part boyfriend and two parts best friend and would not work without one part or the other. While having a relationship may not be quite as easy as baking a batch of cookies, it has its own recipe (with a few variations for flavor) to follow for a good match.

Keep Reading... Show less
google images

Fashion just keeps growing and changing and old trends are made new! Now, I'm no beauty guru, just a beauty guru wannabe, but personally I have compiled some stylish wardrobe must haves! These can be cute assets to go back to school or just to catch up on some of the latest trends...

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments