Jazmine’s death a tragedy in every way


January 9, 2019 - 9:54 AM

It was easy to believe. A 7-year-old black girl had been shot to death while riding in a car with her mother and three sisters. Witnesses described the possible assailant as a white man. Immediately racism was suggested as the likely motive. And why not? White separatists seem emboldened these days. The FBI says hate crimes are up in America.

But now an apparent confession suggests Jazmine Barnes’ murder isn’t one of them. Does that make her death any less of a tragedy? Only if we’ve accepted the solemn drumbeat of news reports involving child gun deaths as predictable background noise.

Add Jazmine’s name to a long list of innocent children killed when gunfire erupts where they are supposed to feel safe — outside their home, in places of worship, at school, or riding in the car with their mom to the store. That’s what Jazmine was doing when she was shot Dec. 30 in northeast Houston. “I turned around and my 7-year-old was shot in the head,” said Jazmine’s mother, LaPorsha Washington, who was shot in the arm.

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