By Lynn Venhaus
No parent should have to bury a child.

The anguish of these Uvalde parents is heartbreaking and we must do whatever we can to support them. We can’t let it be other people’s problems.

Columbine, Buffalo, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Virginia Tech, Las Vegas, the church in southern California and Texas and Charleston and Jewish synagogues, the high school kid in Michigan whose parents did nothing, and on and on…where is the next “it couldn’t happen here”?

The pain of the Uvalde parents and community at large is palpable. We can feel it? What parent hasn’t had a chill go down their spine? How many parents slept with their youngsters last night? Holding them close, however, does not protect them from evil.

The 21 victims’ parents are now in the same club I am in – and no one wants to be in this club.

The day you bury your son or daughter is the saddest day of your life. Everything is before and after. Nothing is the same Nor will it ever be. The depth of sorrow is unfathomable. The only thing that helps get you through it is the outpouring of kindness and comfort from others.

We can only imagine what it is like to drop your kids off at school and then they don’t come home.

Waiting…and waiting for word if they are safe. A community is shattered and a nation mourns. Why aren’t our kids or our loved ones safe? We should use this anger and grief to unite for change.

I have seen during the past couple weeks joyous photos on Facebook of parents celebrating their school children’s achievements and graduations. Happy, smiling families. Can you imagine if a gunman intruded on your special day? Something so innocent marred forever by tragedy.

Malls, grocery stores, concerts, movie theatres, schools, churches — why are we not safe?

Those who think firearms are not an issue? I would like to see the amount of money lawmakers receive from NRA and gun lobbyists.

Arm teachers? Make harsher laws on crimes involving guns AFTER people are dead while doing nothing to tighten how people get these weapons?

And you bear no responsibility? What about preventative measures.

Action. Stand up. No time to sit back and shrug our shoulders. Sure, I feel helpless and hopeless because NOTHING changes by legislators who let the gun lobby rule their conscience. No 18 year old needs an assault rifle.

Guns are now the number one cause of children’s deaths, surpassing car accidents.

Most of America is outraged and agree on assault weapons, background checks, etc. but we need to hold feet to the fire — to those speaking hollow condolences without any kind of reform. Ruled by partisan gridlock, when will we see change in Washington DC? You do not need an AR-15 to hunt deer.

You can’t deflect to mental health – you hold some responsibility by your cowardice to not do what is right regarding reform.

The second amendment was written in 1791 and wasn’t meant to be blanket permission for citizens to own weapons of war. What kind of sport is that exactly? Why does an 18 need nearly $4,000 worth of gums and ammunition.

We must demand change. Vote. Keep the conversation going. Do not let it fade away…and then the next time.

I thought things would change after kids were killed in the high profile cases. Apparently not.

What will it take? What is the tipping point? Why are we letting these things go on?

How many more parents have to suffer until something is done?

Aren’t we tired of these repeated scenarios?

Do more, America.

And PS Texas Deputy Governor Dan Patrick is a horrible human being.

Where to Help?

Uvalde Strong Relief Fund

The Community Foundation of Texas Hill Country, a nonprofit just northwest of San Antonio, started a relief fund for Uvalde victims and their families, as well as others affected by the shooting.

Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe set up a page with verified fundraisers put together by family members of shooting victims and nonprofit organizations.

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District created a bank account at First State Bank of Uvalde where people can send funds directly to shooting victims and their families. Funds can be sent electronically through Zelle using the email or through the mail at the address 200 East Nopal St., Uvalde, Texas 78801. Make checks payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund.”