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February 2011, Parent Kids Right Newsletter

Autographed Book Winner

Congrats to Celia Balfour, winner of an autographed copy of my book ParenTips!

News from Dr. Heins

ParentKidsRight is based in Tucson. I am writing this not quite three weeks after the shooting event here on January 8 which killed 6 people and and wounded 13 others including our congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords.

This was a shocking and devastating event that has affected the entire community. It has certainly been a difficult time for me. I knew Gabby Giffords for many years before she ever went into politics. We sat on a board together when she was still in the tire business.

I remain filled with horror at what happened and immense sadness for those who died and were injured. The Tucson community has come together in a heartwarming way but our loss is great.

Why did this happen? We know who the killer was and he is without question a troubled individual. But it’s important to realize he had never committed a crime before. Our society is both free and complex so there will always be some people who slip through all the cracks and attempt antisocial acts.

But let’s face it. We live in the eye of a perfect storm. Guns are widely and easily available. Our mental health system is dysfuntional. 9-11 shattered the illusion of safety our two huge oceans provided causing a sense of fear and uneasiness. There is fear and despair among those suffering because of the economic downturn. Political rhetoric feeding into 24-7 media and the internet has gone beyond incivility to the dangerous realm of hate speech. Fear and despair provide a fertile soil in which to grow the destructive seeds of hate speech.

I remain, albeit with some difficulty, optimistic. We came together after a terrible civil war. We mobilized a nation struggling to get out of a depression to win World War II and had the wisdom to provide Marshall Plan money to rebuild Europe. This is the country that practically invented quality public education and our federal government had the foresight to provide land-grant money to build state universities. This is the country that made the concept of a middle class a reality.

We can come together to fix our current problems. We can teach our children about optimism in the face of adversity. And about civility in the face of differing opinions.

Please share your thoughts.

Thank you loyal subscribers! If you have any suggestions for me or for ParentKidsRight.com please respond to this e-mail.

Happy Parenting!
Dr. Heins

You can find Dr. Heins on Twitter where she will post website updates: http://twitter.com/drheins and on her parenting blog at Dr Heins’ Post: http://www.drheins.blogspot.com/