It should be zero

Last week, Oliver was diagnosed with a fractured bone in his foot, so I have been driving him to his school. Usually we’re listening to the SiriusXM soccer talk show or U2X music station for the short drive, but this morning I tuned to WUNC. As we pulled up the hill and the school property, the hourly NPR news update came on (NPR News: 10-25-2022 8AM EDT).

“The shooting at the St. Louis school was the fortieth this year,” said the reporter at the very moment I turned the car into the drop-off lane and the school resource officer — the armed police offer who is at the school every day — came into sight.

I noticed this intersection of news and relative safety, and I knew Oliver was beside me and listening, and I recognized it was a moment to say something meaningful, but I did not know what to say and a moment later we were stopped and Oliver was getting out of the car, grabbing his notebook case and his saxophone and he was closing the door just as I uttered, weakly, “Have a good day.”

I want to live in a world where soccer highlights and rock-n-roll hits don’t have to give way to tragedy and insanity.

I want to live in a country where there are zero school shootings ever.



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