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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


School children learn about mass shootings

As parents become more vocal about what they believe children should be taught in school, they may not have given much thought to what their kids have been learning: that they can be shot in their classrooms for no reason.

That has to be a more of a problem for young minds — and parents — than whether the lyrics of “Rainbowland,” a Dolly Parton/Miley Cyrus tune about everyone getting along, is too controversial for first-graders to sing. A Wisconsin school district said it is, without much explanation, after its inclusion in a children’s spring concert was questioned.

Meanwhile, down in Nashville, 28-year-old Audrey Hale shot her way into Covenant School with an assault weapon  and killed six people, three of them apparently third-graders. And they weren’t singing anything.

The randomness of this and other school shootings should be more frightening to parents than what their kids might pick up from books and song lyrics. Obviously, these kinds of attacks can happen anywhere, as more kids are learning.

Bear in mind that Hale obtained her stash of seven firearms legally even though she was reportedly being treated for an emotional disorder.

Surely, some people will say in defense of  putting curriculum monitoring above gun sales, Hale’s disorder was that she was gay, and that factored into her murder/suicide rampage. But whatever her gender preference was, she didn’t learn it at school. As a former student of this Christian institution, her early education surely did not suggest that any kind of alternative lifestyle was something to consider.

The problem, of course, has nothing to do with her gender identity or how it came to be, but is how she acquired the weapons when she was in treatment and others knew it.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has argued that “red flag” laws like Maryland has won’t prevent criminals from getting guns. Maybe so, but Hale, like so many others, wasn’t a criminal until she started shooting people. Maybe society just has to accept that some losses are acceptable and that the best we can do is to respond rapidly like police did in Nashville once the shooting starts … and lie to scared little kids by telling them don’t worry, it can’t happen here.