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This is about your children.

Once again children have been killed.

Yesterday’s slaughter of little children cut me to the heart, coming the day after I spent hours watching our granddaughter. Hours of delight, wonder, love, joy and promise.  Sitting together in a swing as she munched on goldfish, picking dandelions, working on puzzles and learning more colors, doing nose kisses and picking out her outfit for the day (rain boots, shorts, and a favorite shirt, with a pretty awful ponytail (as it always is when grandpa does it)).

I cannot imagine the heartbreak suffered by families in Uvalde Texas, nor can I imagine how this reverberated among parents of kids killed in Sandy Hook Connecticut a decade ago, ripping open wounds painful beyond measure. That’s awful indeed – what’s worse – if that’s possible – is there have been dozens of mass shootings this year alone.

Look at your kids, your schoolyards, your sports fields, your graduation ceremonies and school plays and imagine the impact of a Uvalde/Sandy Hook/Buffalo/Laguna Woods/Milwaukee/Brooklyn/Sacramento.

If we do not do something about gun violence, some of you, dear readers, may come to understand all too well the heartbreak and utter devastation suffered by families victimized by gun violence.

Make no mistake, this butchery would not happen without grandstanding by vote-seeking pols, lax background checks, wildly inadequate mental health care, incredibly permissive concealed carry laws in some states and easy access to guns, many of which serve no purpose other than killing people.

What does this mean for us?

We are failing to protect children, loved ones, parents and family. This is a national disgrace. 

Note – I am a gun owner and hunter. Family members are first responders, former law enforcement and national security.


12 thoughts on “This is about your children.”

  1. One of the first things we have to do is dispel the false narrative that more guns make us safer. This is patently untrue and has been proven many times over. Now they want to arm our teachers. I have not talked to one educator, some who are conservatives, who think that is a good idea. Most think it is crazy.

    1. thanks for the note Fred.

      with over 400 million guns in the US today there’s no question that more guns do NOT make us safer.

      be well Joe

  2. Something needs to be done to protect our children and their schools. Metal detectors at every entrance should be mandated. Law enforcement officers should be mandated. (The amount to be determined). And that’s just the beginning.

    1. thanks for the note Michael.

      I’m afraid that unbalanced people will always find a way around “armoring” solutions. These would not have prevented many of the mass shootings at schools nor at supermarkets, subways, concerts, neighborhoods.

      If schools are “armored” shooters will seek targets at bus stops, field trips, sports fields and other places.

      I’d suggest much better background checks and removal of firearms from people with significant potential proclivity towards violence would be a good first step.

      be well Joe

  3. My granchildren live in central Texas, so much like you, I felt similar feelings. I too am a gun owner, in California, with family in the military and law enforcement. Add to your list of grandstanding, mental health issue etc. is the inability or unwillingness to enforce laws already on the books. Texas is a “constitutional carry” state, with fairly lax laws. California on the other hand has some of the strictest gun laws on the land, but more laws just doesn’t make us safer, much like more guns don’t make us safer. There is something in our society that is broken, where the safety and wellbeing of human beings is being trumped by political sensibilities and partisan politics on both sides. New Zealand isn’t looking so bad right now …

    1. Hey Chris – thanks for the note.

      Please allow me to comment on the gun law issue.

      One of the issues re gun laws is the interstate variation. D.C. has very strict gun laws, so miscreants just drive into Virginia which has pretty relaxed laws. Similar issues arise in other states – Maryland and Illinois are examples as well. Notably Hawaii has the second strictest gun laws – and the lowest rate of gun violence in the US. Obviously Hawaii doesn’t have any issues with neighboring state regulations/laws re firearms.

      I have a somewhat different take on the effectiveness of firearm control laws; enforcement of universal background checks and restrictions on sale of firearms to individuals deemed potentially violent would likely reduce the carnage somewhat.

      Interesting note from the UK; after a school shooting in Scotland 26 years ago the UK passed tight gun control legislation. There have been NO school shootings since then in the UK. None.

      be well – Joe

      A recent study found that states with stronger firearms legislation have fewer gun deaths.

  4. Let’s not overlook our inadequate mental health system. Guns are a problem, but we need appropriate, timely, and easily accessible resources.

    1. Hello Karen – of course you are correct; first responders must be able to address mental/behavioral health issues, and additional care should be accessible and affordable.

      A national standard/requirement for mental health coverage would be a most excellent start.

      be well Jioev

  5. Excellent commentary Joe,
    As a nation we’ve got to come together and force our politicians to take up the challenge of eliminating the absurdly easy access by civilians to military weaponry and equipment. As someone who has owned guns for over 60 years and carried a shortened M-16 (actually called a CAR-15) for 19 months in combat, I’m saying that there is no reason for a non-military or law enforcement citizen to have a weapon that was intended only for killing other humans. What legitimate non-combat purpose does a 30 round stick magazine or 100 round drum magazine of 5.56mm ammunition have? Why are body armor and Kevlar military helmets permitted to be readily sold to the public with no questions about their intended use? How does one justify needing a 40 round magazine for a pistol? There truly must be a reckoning with our elected officials on both sides of the aisle to force the question of what their honest priorities are: the safety of our people or the continuance of their career funding by arms merchants, gun lobbies and a very small minority of highly vocal citizens who will fulfill their desires no matter what the cost to our society.

    1. John – You more than anyone know the destructive power of these guns, and I deeply appreciate you sharing your views.
      The reality is just in the past week these have been used to kill elderly Black Americans in Buffalo and now precious, innocent, and blameless children in Texas.

      Moms, make this stop.

      Be safe Joe

  6. I’m currently traveling in Italy and I was/am devastated to hear this news. Uvalde is 70 miles from where I grew up in Bandera, TX. I can tell you Italians are heartbroken over this news and they are baffled as to why we continue to allow our kids to be slaughtered. It is really difficult to look Italians, or any people from outside the USA, in the eye to offer any kind of explanation. There isn’t one worth the breath it takes to explain. I am incredulous that we are living this way.

    1. Yvonne – thanks for the note.

      Unfortunately it is all too easy to explain – politicians in the thrall of the NRA and their allies are terrified of opposing the NRA.

      Their re-election is more important to them than the lives of the kids they are supposed to serve.

      enjoy the family time; you well deserve it!

      my best Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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