Headlines fade away; but grief never ends


Mary Henkel Judson is editor and co-publisher of the South Jetty. She welcomes your input via an email to editor@portasouthjetty.com, calling her at (361) 749-5131 or sending a letter to P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.

Mary Henkel Judson is editor and co-publisher of the South Jetty. She welcomes your input via an email to editor@portasouthjetty.com, calling her at (361) 749-5131 or sending a letter to P.O. Box 1117, Port Aransas, TX 78373.

Little is left to be written, little is left to be said about the horror in Uvalde.

The pain and anguish have been described in detail. The positions regarding gun control, mental health and school security have been made over and over again – after all, Uvalde is not the first time a gunman has unleashed his fury on a school, a church, a grocery store or a concert.

You say you are tired of reading about it; it’s time to change the subject?

My friends, funerals are still being held for those 9- and 10-year-old children and their two teachers in Uvalde. It takes time to hold funerals for and bury 21 people.

Grief does not end when the funerals are over and the news cycle moves on to the next breaking headline.

The families of the slain Uvalde children will feel that gut-punch for a long time to come. It will be fresh again in 2030 when those kids are not graduating from high school. And again in 2034 when they are not graduating from college or getting married. And in the years after when they are not having babies themselves. Grief changes, but it does not end.

It’s not just those families in Uvalde who are hurting. People are hurting in Buffalo, New York; in Santa Fe, Texas; in Newtown, Connecticut; in El Paso; Columbine, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada – the list goes on and the grief does not end.

Is this our new norm?

It will be unless something changes. After all the mass shootings this country has endured, little has been done to stop them. More has been done to prepare for them. That that is our response to mass shootings leads to the conclusion that our lawmakers are more concerned with our right to bear arms than with making sure that school children are not killed in their classrooms, that worshipers are not killed in their churches or synagogues, that music lovers aren’t massacred as they sway to the beat of the drums, that mom isn’t killed as she shops for the weekly groceries.

Instead of attacking the source of the problem, lawmakers are focusing on the symptoms by promoting such practices as arming teachers to protect their students, drilling students on what to do in the event of an intruder, increasing other security measures at schools, churches and public venues. The killers are left to roam and unleash their venom and bullets on the innocent.

No kid in this country should be afraid to go to school, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the kids in Uvalde are going to be terrified to go to school next August. I suspect other kids will be, too, because if it can happen in Uvalde, Texas, it can happen anywhere.

This is not to say that Second Amendment rights should be taken away from gun-loving, law-abiding citizens. They’re not the ones we worry about; they’re not the ones who need to a buy a gun immediately with no background check. And no one needs an assault rifle other than members of the military.

We’re past thoughts and prayers. We’re at a crossroads. Either we decide to do something to protect law-abiding citizens who purchase guns while keeping guns out of the hands of those who will do harm, or we do nothing and let the carnage continue, because if something is not done to stop perpetrators, the carnage will continue. Not could or might. Will.

There is something terribly, terribly wrong when ordinary citizens of the United States of America – land of the free, home of the brave – are afraid to go to school, to church, to a concert or to a grocery store.

Our plea to lawmakers, Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Independent: Do something different. Stop the killing.

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