I received the message from Kati while making lunch for the boys. While we’d been playing at a playground, a shooter murdered several people at a parade thirty minutes north of us.

First came the shock, then the anger and the tears. Several children were shot by a man who evaded the police for the entire day. All public events were cancelled. Friends were at a similar parade in a nearby township. The total injured and dead is still not confirmed, but we’re looking at dozens.

In the morning, we’d felt disappointed that we wouldn’t enjoy the fireworks because we didn’t want to keep our boys up late; by noon we were trapped inside our apartment waiting for a child-murderer to be apprehended by the police.

I am not a person who readily dwells upon potential dangers. When the what-if fears do surface: “what if Amie gets in a car accident while taking the boys to school,” “what if Royal falls off that ledge and suffers permanent brain damage,” I do my best to silence the fears by reminding myself that the Lord Jesus will support us through any suffering and that I must release those I love to take measured risks.

But answer me this: how am I to measure risk in an environment where my son can be shot at a 4th of July parade? Or in his elementary school classroom?

Do you know that Highland Park was only the most fatal shooting yesterday? There were 7 mass shootings across the U.S. There’s already been one more today and it’s not even noon.

Before you assume these are happening in gang neighborhoods, go look at the data. Pull up a few of those addresses and see where they’re located. You know what, fuck that, let me show you right here.

Kansas City, 4 Injured
Richmond, 6 Injured
Chicago, 5 Injured
Boston, 4 Injured
Sacramento, 1 Dead, 4 Injured
New York, 4 Injured
Chicago, 6 Dead, 31 Injured

Tell me this, dear reader. Is it an acceptable risk to take my son to a 4th of July parade? 😭


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