The worst part is we’re going to forget.
We’ll forget the two little boys who ran out onto the porch to greet their daddy and found him waiting for them with a gun in his hand.
We’ll forget how he chased them through the snow, firing bullet after bullet until they stopped moving. How he killed them, then killed their mother, then turned his gun on himself.
William and Nelson Schladetzky, ages 11 and 8, should be in school today. Or playing in the snow. Or sitting down to supper with their kind, clever mother, Kjersten Schladetzky, who swam with dolphins and worked with museums and loved her boys more than anything.
What happened to the Schladetzky family in south Minneapolis on Sunday was so awful, it almost seems like somebody should do something about it.
Guns killed so many of us this year.
We lost Larry Klimek on New Year’s Day 2019. His brother walked into a party in their mother’s home in White Bear Township and shot Klimek, a 54-year-old Metro Transit driver, in front of his 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter — then shot himself.
Raven Gant, 27, died on Thanksgiving, shot in the back while her little girl watched. Police who responded to the scene of Minneapolis’s 41st homicide of the year found Gant’s 2-year-old daughter standing over her body. They arrested Gant’s ex-boyfriend at the scene.
On Valentine’s Day in Hubbard County, sisters Heidi Pierce, 40, and Candi Goochey, 37, were shot and killed by their brother-in-law, who then killed himself. Pierce was a mother of four; Goochey had three children. Their children spent this year marking the first milestones — birthdays, Mother’s Day, trick-or-treating, Christmas wish lists — of a lifetime without them.
Mark Franklin Jr. of St. Paul died in March, defending his cousin from a boyfriend who was trying to choke the life out of her. He was 21 years old.
Alexandra Jacobs, in a wheelchair and slipping into dementia, was shot by her husband, who then shot himself, in their Orono home in April.
Mary Jo Loons Jansen, 46, was shot and killed by her husband in February — on the day of her mother’s funeral — a few months after she filed for divorce. No need to “worry about a divorce,” her husband reportedly told the officers who came to arrest him. She was a member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that American Indian women face murder rates 10 times higher than the national average.
In August, retired NFL player Barry Bennett, 63, and his wife, Carol, 66, were shot and killed in their Long Prairie home. Their 22-year-old son fled to Mexico.
Shane Woods, 9, and his 4-year-old brother, Frederick York, were killed by their mother in their rural Ogema home in March. She then shot herself.
After tragedy comes talk of change. Tougher background checks. More resources for mental health.
But this is America, where guns are cheaper than health care.
And some people will still try to tell you that guns aren’t the problem; guns are the solution.
So our neighbors keep dying and we find ways to forget. Because remembering is almost more than we can bear.
firstname.lastname@example.org • 612-673-4008
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @stribrooks