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Largest Emotion from Parade Reveals Sadness Wins Out

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As a Husband and Father, I’m mixed with so many emotions today, most of them centered in disbelief and anger, that my first Super Bowl Parade ended in tragedy. This day was supposed to be celebrated with Chiefs fans from all walks of life and ages. Instead, those seeking power through violence decided to change the lives of all of us forever.

I’m not sure where to begin other than to say my heart breaks for those affected by the gun violence we witnessed Wednesday in Kansas City. First, our prayers go to the victims, their families, and those people in attendance who witnessed this horrific tragedy.

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Since July of 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs’ coaches and players began the quest for back-to-back Super Bowl titles. In that pursuit, the Chiefs’ Kingdom was invested, passionate, and rewarded nearly seven months later when the Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII, 25-22, in overtime on Sunday.

We were on top of the world. We talked three-peat, purchased merchandise, and generally had an extra bounce in our step. Then, as these great fans do, they united at Union Station to celebrate the accomplishments of their beloved team. The crowd was electric, the parade was magical, and the speeches were fun.

Then, the sounds of gunfire changed the narrative forever.

Attending the parade with my wife and son was supposed to be a great family moment. After all, as I mentioned, this was our first sports parade. Yet, the end nullified everything that had happened to that point.

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As we learned there was an active shooter, we were inside the Crown Center Hotel, feeling nervous, scared, and clinging to what little information was available; fortunately, we were allowed to leave the hotel and began the walk to our car.

It was an ironic walk because we decided to park a mile away instead of using the Crown Center Parking lot, where the last suspect was caught. In watching the parade, we happened to get passes that kept us in a secure area – ultimately away from the gunfire.

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Perhaps it was divine intervention, but that doesn’t escape the anger I feel this morning, nor the pit in my stomach that continues to rise thinking about the victims. At the center of that anger, the most sacred of our population was affected: our children.

They came to celebrate with their families, and now some are sitting in local hospitals, all expected to survive their injuries, asking their parents why this happened. Parents will have no words to give them because they won’t understand the answers. Instead, they’ll carry emotional scars for the remainder of their lives.

So why did this happen?

I wish I had a concrete answer because, with 800 police officers on the ground, they were ready for any action Wednesday. They did their jobs during the incident, cleared many to safety, and quickly caught the three suspects.

Still, we are left with the fact that Kansas City will be marred by this turf war shooting, mainly because it remains one of the most violent cities in America. Its current leadership, led by Mayor Quentin Lucas, is a social media Icon who enjoys being in the limelight. Yet under his watch and Police Chief Stacey Graves, they’ve yet to curb violence in Kansas City.

My resolve is to defend Graves, who worked under conditions defined by the budget Lucas allotted for the Parade.

However, the mayor is at the top of the hierarchy and has ONE job to keep the citizens of Kansas City safe. Where was the depth of security we had at the NFL Draft for those entering the area?

That’s harsh, and I don’t know the mayor, but I knew his predecessor, Sly James, very well, and I’m convinced under his watch, Kansas City would not be ranked so highly in homicide deaths.

Yes, Lucas, who was on stage at the time of the shootings, could not prevent three young men from their shooting spree where 22 victims suffered from this attack on our freedom. They wielded guns, shot bullets, and set forth to kill innocent children and anyone else in their path to settle their disputes.

They are cowards; they are the worst kind of human element in our country today. Sadly, they exist in Kansas City and other cities in America. 

In searching for answers, you won’t find many because gun violence is used for political warfare in this country. We are a divided nation led by a political system centered on greed, opportunity, and acquiring personal financial wealth.

Regardless of whether you’re on the left, right, or in the middle, lobbyists run this country, those with the most significant bank accounts fuel this country, and the gun industry is big business in the United States. A lot of money flows into the hands of politicians who support specific gun laws and ignore others.

Listen, I’m all for strict gun laws, but even with them in hand, those intent on using them for violence will get them by other means. Still, we can do more at point of sale in this country.

The Kansas City Chiefs are a global icon; they symbolize so much good for the region and the country. These kids play a game they love, where they sacrifice so much blood, sweat, and tears to give something back to their beloved community.

As the bullets were fired, they were still on stage; they were all safe from harm, but they, too, will forever be affected by the tragedies they witnessed firsthand. Further, this might end Sports Parades forever.

If 800 police officers can’t stop three people with guns, I doubt 1600 would have been able to prevent a single death. Now what I feared has happened.

Witnessing Sporting events firsthand was the ultimate escape from reality for so many of us. The celebration of a Championship was to be joyous and something to cherish, but that’s not going to be the case any longer.

Attending Sporting events and Championship celebrations are now in danger, and the innocence that we are safe in attending them in person will give us pause to attend them in the future.

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