More messages from Birmingham

Maybe someone more talented needs to write this story but as it turns out no one listens to the knowledgable, articulate, reasoned, experienced writers. So, you got me. Lucky you.

Today when I flicked on my iPhone, I checked the local news online and saw this story about Davieon. Three weeks ago, I heard a TV news story about a multiple shooting involving a family. From the report I knew it must be filled with horror, I turned the station to catch the lighter parts of the news. The thought of trying to make sense of a senseless murder within a family held too much anguish for me to grasp at the moment.

This morning the title made me aware that my dismissal of the story weeks ago was not going away. I read it. It was as horrible as I had expected. For several months since Sandy Hook, I have engaged in numerous FB arguments with gun advocates about the second amendment. Probably every one I tried to convince did exactly what I did with the story of Davieon, tuned it out hoping it would go away and all would be fine. However, as with the nature of truth, it will not hide.

What is it about Birmingham, Alabama that makes this place so uniquely poised to experience the truths our children must teach a nation? Two weeks ago , a 10-year-old lost his life in a freak accident at our newly renovated airport when a falling departure sign crushed him to death. The shock was felt all though the city and country. The finger-pointing and claims of lawsuits mounted. Everyone wanted answers, rightfully so. However, what about that ten-year old’s family story captured our sense of obligation to make sure justice was served, yet failed to capture Davieon’s family’s situation? You do not hear anyone demanding the NRA or the gun manufacturer be held responsible for the failure of a product which caused death and harm. As much as we all grieve for the family of the 10-year-old, we all know that eventually in a few years, they will be given millions to try to sooth the pains that can never be healed with money. But what about little Davieon? He survived, a five-year old shot through the head and paralyzed by a gun in the hands of his own father. Davieon told his Grandmother, “Dad did it.” Davieon lost his 3-year-old sister and his mother and the man he said pulled the trigger, but the 5-year-old survived. Who in the generous NRA is going to contribute to the care of Davieon? What “Big Pockets” is going to provide for this small child who will need specialized care for the rest of his life? Are the gun manufacturers or the gun dealers, who made it possible for the father to possess the gun,  going to pay? No, we don’t want to limit or bother gun manufacturers  because they are the bastions of our 2nd amendment rights.  If Citizen United made corporations people, then let’s take them up on it and make gun manufacturers and the NRA and those groups responsible for Davieon’s situation.  We all know that will not happen because the gun lobby has already gotten the legislators to exempt them from such trivialities. The Conservatives on the Supreme courts have already addressed that very issue.

I will not forget the courageous Davieon. If serious, thoughtful, responsible gun owners would exhibit the courage of Davieon, we might save some other tragedy from befalling another family.

Unlike the situation at the Birmingham Airport, where there are “Big Pockets” to right a wrong, Davieon has nothing.

Our children are teaching us a lesson again. Birmingham’s history is linked forever to its children who gave their lives to teach us lessons. Davieon gave more than his share. What did he ever do to deserve his loss? His Grandmother’s gripping words as she is trying to cope with the grief said it all, “Some minutes are easier than others.”

Please take the time to read his story.                                                                                              5-year-old Jeffco boy shot in head, left for dead remembers everything: “Dad did it,” he told grandmother

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