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Who has more grief?

June 6, 2022

What are the headlines telling us about the school shootings in Texas? Perhaps we are being grossly misled. As you will see later in this commentary, when I try and answer the headline question, all lives have value. According to Education Week in their story of school shootings published May 25, 2022, 24 students have been killed in schools so far in 2022. Education Week is recognized as the premier source of news, information, and analysis on K-12 education. Campus Safety reports that from 1970 to this year, 637 people have died in school shootings, or a little more than 1 per month. 

The most common weapon used is a handgun, not an AR15, used by a male shooter around 18 years of age. According to a report on the website “MEME Policeman” in September 2018, "Over 2/3's of all fatal school shootings since Columbine were from handguns. In fact, handguns outnumbered "assault rifles" almost 10 to 1 in school shooting events. This disparity narrowed with fatalities, but handguns were still responsible for almost 3 times what rifles were. If all school shootings were examined, not just fatal ones, the results would be even more skewed towards handguns."

America has 73 million children under the age of 18. If we can believe the Center for Decease and Control, in the two years of the pandemic, about 700 children have died from COVID-19, and almost half of them had serious medical issues that may have been the actual cause of death. Again, let me say in the strongest possible tone the loss of the life of a child is a terrible thing to happen. Last year 107,000 young adults and children died in America of drug overdoses, mostly from drugs brought into this country illegally. Every hour of every day, 7 days a week on average 12 children are killed by an overdose of an illegal drug.  The DEA Seized a record 12,000 Pounds of Fentanyl in one bust; this is enough to give a lethal dose to the entire US population.

Here is a challenging question to ask, but I believe it needs to be asked in the debate on gun control. Is the grief of a parent or parents any less who lost a child due to an overdose than the loss of the child shot in a school? We know that 24 sets of parents lost a child from gunshots so far this year, but tens of thousands of parents have buried their children from drug overdoses during the same time. Which has gotten more news coverage? Which has gotten more government attention?

Our leaders want to address the loss of life from guns by taking away law-abiding citizens' guns and putting restrictions on gun ownership. One of the suggestions being offered is to raise the purchase age for certain weapons to 21 years of age. The Department of Defense says, "the age requirements for Active Duty enlistees of each branch are: Army: 17-35 years old, Marine Corps: 17-29 years old, Navy: 17-34 years old. We can ask a young man or woman to volunteer to serve and potentially die for their country, but they can't own a gun under the new laws until they are 21 years old.

Remember, the ownership rule changes will only affect good law-abiding people. The bad guys will not obey the law. Some have proposed eliminating the 10-round or larger capacity magazines and want to place a limit of 5-round magazines. The new magazine, in all likelihood, will not fit in the old guns. Can you imagine how much a larger number of round magazines would go for in the black market? If the government gets its way, the old guns will not be able to fire 5 rounds. The new weapon could require three or more reloads to match the firepower of an older weapon. You could lose your life while changing magazines, while the other person is still firing at you.

Let's return to the serious question I asked at the beginning of this commentary - Who has more grief? Both parents will no longer have their children, and both will grieve. In either case, I do not think that either side has greater grief, but I think the country suffers greater from the children who die of drug overdoses because there are so many more. 

The drug that kills our children comes from a foreign country and is brought into our country illegally. Our government knows what is happening and doesn't do anything to stop it from coming into America. The question that needs to be asked is this - should America be more concerned about the number of children shot and killed in schools vs. those who die from drug overdoses? 

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Dan Perkins is the author of 9 books, a nationally syndicated talk show host, an expert on energy, the founder of the Black and White radio and TV network promoting free speech, and the host of two shows on the network, Blacks and Whites and Dan After Dark. His newest outlet for commentary is https://yournews.com/33908. You can find more info about Dan and his works at danperkins.guru.
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