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America’s children deserve so much better

Children should be off-limits to the many bad things of life, although they should grow up knowing bad things exist and they must have a sense of caution when they encounter things that don’t seem right.

Meanwhile, children should be able to grow without experiencing violence in the home, for whatever reason.

In their homes, children should not have to be exposed directly or second-hand to drug use by others, including the smoking of substances that turn what should be a protective environment into an unconscionable, illegal fog.

Children should not be exposed to uneasiness or outright fear caused by parents or others consuming too much alcohol that turns them into people who they are not when they are sober.

Children should not be victims of bullying, whether outside their homes and playing, in a school environment, at a playground, via social media or anywhere else.

Wherever, children should not be allowed to be intimidated, threatened or victimized by sexual predators. There should never be the proverbial slap on the wrist by courts in response to such crimes.

Children never should have to fear going to school or church or to an entertainment or sporting event.

Adults of all ages — and that includes politicians and others in positions of authority and responsibility — should have the foresight and common sense to reflect on the experiences of their own lives — good and bad — in forming or rethinking their own attitudes about what life should be like in America 2022.

What happened in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday; at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012; at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, in 2018; at a high school in Parkland, Fla., also in 2018; and in so many other deadly school shooting incidents prior to Tuesday and extending decades back should never have been allowed to happen.

Yet, they will continue to happen until this country develops the mindset to opt for reasonable, fair measures to prevent some of the carnage that otherwise lies ahead.

The current hands-off attitude, especially by politicians who should have the collective spine to commit their service to addressing difficult issues, rather than being consumed for much of the time just positioning themselves for re-election, is not doing this country any favors.

Rather, it is positioning their districts and states and the nation for outcomes like what occurred Tuesday — and for myriad horrific consequences outside the scope of mass killings.

America deserves better. The people of America should demand better and be committed to doing their part to ensure that an environment for positive change is allowed to evolve.

Much study of what happened in Uvalde needs to be carried out in the weeks and months ahead. And unfortunately, much attention needs to be focused on the response — or lack thereof — of the first law enforcement officers who arrived at the scene.

Reports by some witnesses have not painted a glowing picture regarding that response — rather one of lack of preparedness or sheer cowardice.

And some politicians, police officials and others in authority are not looking good in the aftermath of their comments during the hours immediately following the tragedy.

Again, children deserve better. America as a whole deserves better.

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