Dad Is Fatally Shot Outside Son's School -- & Yes, Something Needs to Change


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Yet another young father has lost his life to gun violence, and as if that weren't tragic enough, the shooting took place in front of a school -- just moments after the man dropped his 5-year-old son off in the morning. Twenty-eight-year-old Keenan Beard of Detroit took his little boy into Mark Twain Elementary School at 8:10 a.m. on Wednesday, and when he got back into his car, there was someone waiting for him in the backseat. Someone who shot him in the head and ran away. 

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The killer has not yet been apprehended, but police say Beard knew the man. They also say Beard had been targeted previously, and that this murder was likely in retaliation for another. Beard was reportedly the prime suspect in a 2014 murder but hadn't yet been arrested; in 2015, someone shot Beard with an AK-47 outside a gas station, but he recovered. His house was shot at last month. 

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Thankfully, no children were harmed, though the school was temporarily put on lockdown and some parents reportedly chose to pick their kids up early (understandably!). There's no word on whether any children actually witnessed the crime, but even if they didn't, knowing that someone was killed right outside the doors of their school must be deeply unsettling, to say the least. Gun violence is becoming so rampant that there are no safe zones left, no place where children and families can truly feel that they are out of harm's way ... and yet, our leaders refuse to see the need for gun control. 

As you're probably aware, the United States has a remarkably significant problem with gun violence compared to other countries across the globe. To put this issue into perspective, consider these troubling stats published by the New York Times in June 2016: In the US, being killed by a gun is about as likely as dying in a car crash; in Japan, being killed by a gun is about as likely as getting struck by lightning here. In England, being killed by a gun is about as likely as dying from "contact with agricultural machinery" here; in the Netherleands, being killed by a gun is about as likely as dying from "accidental gas poisoning" here. Our inner cities, of course, have been disproportionately affected; Detroit has been especially plagued. 

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What would Donald Trump's solution be? Well, considering the fact that he just suggested sending in "the feds" to combat Chicago's current epidemic of violence, I think we can guess. Gun control is certainly not on his agenda; even before he was elected, he promised to get rid of gun-free zones at schools and on military bases and to unsign Obama's executive actions to streamline gun purchase background checks. He spoke in support of the national right to carry in all 50 states. None of these measures will make our schools or our children safer. Quite the opposite.

Our thoughts are with Beard's son. May he know a life free of violence.

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