America’s heart jolted by loss of 6-year-old

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 29, 2000

Just as the images of Columbine had begun to fade from America’s collective memory, it happened again. Tuesday an angry 6-year-old boy apparently tucked a gun into his pants and headed off for school. Within an hour, a shot rang out and one of his 6-year-old classmates was dead.

It’s become all too familiar.

Such cases have become so common that now the immediate reaction most folks have often isn’t one of horror and surprise. The first question many folks ask when they hear there has been another school shooting is: How many were killed?

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It seems the value of a single human life isn’t as important as two or three or 12 as was the death toll in Columbine.

So here we are at the dawn of the new century. We’ve created medical miracles and computers that can do math quicker than 1 billion human brains. But none of that matters if we can’t figure out how to keep first-graders from killing one another.

It seems everyone has a solution for solving the problem of children with guns.

Schools have invoked elaborate plans to keep guns out of schools with spotty success. Advocacy groups attempt to eliminate violence from television and films.

Law enforcement promises to crack down on existing laws. And lawmakers attempt to do their part by passing tougher laws.

All are well-intentioned in their efforts.

Unfortunately children can still fall through the cracks with tragic consequences.

Parents are supposed to be there with arms open wide to catch those children, but all too often the parents are too wrapped up in their own lives to be concerned with their children — until it’s too late.