The US is such a gun-saturated culture that even many pacifists have mixed feelings about them. We are contaminated from birth by a cultural nationalistic DNA that affects millions. I'm one of the lucky ones whose father simply had no interest in them, sparing me the upbringing that involved shooting birds, rodents, deer, or anything at all. A World War II veteran of the war in the South Pacific, he had seen enough, I believe. His father was not a hunter either, preferring to express his machismo as an athlete. My grandfather had a full football scholarship but needed to drop out to go to work to help support his large Catholic family. My father, too, had no need to wield a weapon; he was a star hockey player. As a boy, I loved paging through the old scrapbook with newspaper stories of my Dad's hockey glory from high school to the University of Minnesota and on into the bush league pros, until my mother made him quit. Guns? Irrelevant.
Can we protect all children always from all violence and injustice by nonviolence only? No, of course not, and no one with a rational mind would assert that any method is foolproof, certainly including violence. We choose how we train our children--communication, persuasion, assertion, de-escalation, compassionate challenging on the one hand, or violence on the other. Then our children default to training. Listen and think hard about how to reach the attacker or the one who threatens to molest you, or kick 'em in the nuts? Focus on humanizing the threat to himself so he can subsequently humanize you, or place your wager on violence? What skill sets do we impart? One set is hard to teach and one seems easy. But is the easy method the best bet? I will not claim to know, and how I wish there were methods that were perfect.
I was a married Dad for four years and a single Dad for the rest, until my youngest was 17. Although I was in the peace movement and was in fact a nonviolence trainer, I was not necessarily effective in imparting my own skill set to my boys. I have wished a million times I could redo so much, repair whatever I neglected or mistakes I made. Indeed, the lack of nonviolent parenting training is pandemic. I'm sure the Amish and Dukobars do it well by their own insular societies that don't feature physical violence between humans, but it's another world out here living in a society that valorizes violence, is awash in weaponry, and is the world's largest arms dealer with the most treasure devoted to its own military. The idea of training children to deal with threats using nonviolence is nearly invisible (probably except for dealing with physical restraint when you are nearly a physical match, such as some aikido training for children), even in the peace world. I hope someone changes that.