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Innocence lost: Dad asks, 'Is anywhere safe?'

  • Bert Weiss is a syndicated radio talk show host and a father
  • He says he's always used Batman to bond with his two sons
  • Weiss: 'Is there any place I can feel my children are totally safe?'
Innocence lost: Dad asks, 'Is anywhere safe?'
Bert Weiss

Editor’s note: Bert Weiss is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show The Bert Show. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Stacey and their two sons.

I'm feeling a deep sense of heaviness today after hearing about the shooting during the screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Colorado.

There are reports that toddlers and a three-month-old baby were among the victims.

Is there anything more innocent than a child eating popcorn and sipping Coke with the lights of a movie screen reflecting off his face?

That image was shattered last night in Aurora.

I have two boys who are nine and five years old. I couldn't possibly count how many times I've dressed them up in their Batman pajamas and tucked them into bed. There was a two week period in which my then-three-year-old refused to wear anything but his new Batman cape and mask.

How many fathers were in that Aurora theater, trying to connect with their sons, when they suddenly found themselves frantically hitting the floor and covering their children in an attempt to protect them at any cost? How many parents innocently dropped their children off at the movies that night and silently relaxed, assuming their kids would be safe for two hours in the confines of a movie theater?

Is there any place I can feel my children are totally safe?

Rather than being excited to share this movie together, now I’ll spend a considerable amount of time addressing what happened in that theater with my sons. Frankly, I wish someone could explain it to me. As a parent, I wish I could postpone the reality of conversations like this for just a little longer; keep my kids innocent for as long as possible.  

But I won’t allow this tragedy to make me think twice about walking into any theater. I think each time you give in to fear, the world shrinks.

As a parent, weeks like this make me feel lost. How can I possibly protect my children when so many violate the notion that children are our most precious commodities?

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