Shortly after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, it was announced that an anonymous donor was paying for the funerals of the 19 children and two teachers. Former NFL and MLB star Bo Jackson was revealed as one of the anonymous donors. The former Pro Bowler said he felt compelled to do something.
“I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting old,” said Jackson, a father of three and a grandfather who will turn 60. “It’s just not right for parents to bury their kids. It’s just not right.
“I know every family there probably works their butts off just to do what they do. … The last thing they needed was to shell out thousands of dollars for something that never should have happened.”
The Uvalde massacre was one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
According to Gun Violence Archive there have been 357 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2022, with still five months remaining in the year. In those shootings, 2,440 children age 17 and younger have been injured and 941 have been killed.
Polling data indicates almost three-quarters of Americans think that gun violence is a big or moderately big problem. And a majority of Americans think that the epidemic of school shootings could be stopped with drastic changes in legislation.
Among all other economically developed nations, the United States far exceeds all in gun- related deaths. Major point of difference? Gun laws in the other countries are far more restrictive.
Given all of this data and the will of the people, why are politicians committed to doing nothing? We can point to the NRA, lobbyists and Super PAC groups. But the reality is one side of this country’s two-party government system has decided to make guns and the safety of its citizenry a political issue to consolidate minority rule.
This was an incredibly kind and empathetic gesture by Jackson and he should be commended for it. But he should’ve never had to make this donation in the first place. If parents can’t feel assured that when they send their kids to school that they’ll return home safely, where are we as a society?
On the day of the shooting Jackson tweeted:
“America…let’s please stop all the nonsense. Please pray for all victims. If you hear something, say something. We aren’t supposed to bury our children. I’m praying for all of the families around the country who have lost loved ones to senseless shootings. This cannot continue.”
America…let’s please stop all the nonsense. Please pray for all victims. If you hear something, say something. We aren’t supposed to bury our children. I’m praying for all of the families around the country who have lost loved ones to senseless shootings. This cannot continue.
— Bo Jackson (@BoJackson) May 25, 2022
Again, the right sentiment but what are we collectively going to do to stop this?
Whether you have children or not, this impacts all of us. These are our fellow citizens and as fellow human beings we want them to be safe.
Politicians that don’t support common sense gun laws and highly restrictive gun ownership should not be receiving our votes. Regardless of their party affiliation. Showing our collective strength as the body politic is the only recourse.
“Uvalde is a town that sticks in your mind. Just the name,” Jackson said. “I don’t know a soul there. It just touched me.”
Just as the massacre touched Jackson, so too should it touch all of us.