This column was intended to be sarcastic.
After attending my youngest daughter’s fifth-grade graduation ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, I pretended to be outraged.
How dare this school teach my child about the dangers of alcohol and drugs, I would write. As a parent, that’s my job.
Books are banned and a sanitized version of American history is taught because of complaints from a few vocal parents. Mom and dad should teach children uncomfortable truths, easily offended people often argue.
Well, can we agree that it is also not an educator’s job to indoctrinate our children with “copaganda”, then? How dare the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Junior Deputy Program brainwash our children with its ineffective DARE tactics? Parents should be the ones discussing the dangers of illegal drugs and alcohol abuse with their little ones, not sheriff’s deputies and teachers.
This column would have been funny, wouldn’t it?
And then I learned that at least 19 children had been killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Two adults also died.
We have much more serious problems in this country.
The 18-year-old suspected shooter shot his grandmother before the mass shooting, according to reports. Necessary thoughts and prayers have been sent. Predictable outrage followed.
But until universal background checks become the norm, gun violence cannot be reduced in this country.
Mandatory firearms training and permits for those 21 and older to legally carry are essential to public safety. Too bad these regulations are not universal. Kansas and Missouri do not require concealed weapons permits.
Perpetrators of domestic violence and mentally unstable people should not be allowed to own deadly weapons.
But Americans love their guns. They should hate dead children more.
“Spare me the (BS) of mental illness,” U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said Tuesday afternoon. In 2012, a month before he was elected, 26 people, including 20 children, were killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in his home state.
“We’re not an outlier when it comes to mental illness — we’re an outlier when it comes to guns,” Murphy added.
At my daughter’s elementary school, children were honored. They happily took to the stage to receive their awards and certificates, and proudly posed for photos with their loved ones.
Of course, the cupcakes were involved.
These would-be college kids were oblivious to the fact that just hours before, a mass shooting had claimed the lives of their younger counterparts in Texas.
“I will be talking to some of my fellow mayors against illegal firearms,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted Tuesday night. “Maybe we can do a lot, maybe a little. But, I’d be damned if we keep shrugging off the avoidable killings around us seemingly every week.”
My granddaughter left graduation with her grandmother to celebrate. Mom and dad returned to the demands of daily work.
Parents in Texas must have mourned the loss of their precious children. It gives food for thought.
The kids at my daughter’s school will be going back to class a few more times this week not caring about the world.
Uvalde school children will never have the chance to live up to their potential. The survivors and the parents are marked forever.
There is nothing funny in that.