Columnist outraged over DNA kits instead of gun control

Columnist outraged over DNA kits instead of gun control
(AP Photo/Jaime Dunaway)

The state of Texas has ruffled a few feathers.

It seems that they now require DNA kits to be provided to students so they can be tested, keeping those records on file for however long.

And there are a lot of people who don’t like it. It seems they think what Texas should be doing is passing gun control instead.

Since the horrific Uvalde school shooting in May, Texas officials have done everything they can to protect the state’s guns and comfort the people who own them while doing little to help fearful parents.

In that vein, Texas schools are handing out “safety” kits that encourage parents to collect their children’s DNA and fingerprints in case of an “emergency.” These kits are labeled, without a hint of irony, “A gift of safety, from our family to yours,” right under a giant seal of the state of Texas.

Given that some of the 19 students murdered at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde had to be identified using DNA samples, the distribution of these kits has left parents sickened.

‘Our kids aren’t worth restricting guns’

Brett Cross’ 10-year-old son, Uziyah Garcia, was killed in the Uvalde massacre. He tweeted this: “Yeah! Awesome! Let’s identify kids after they’ve been murdered instead of fixing issues that could ultimately prevent them from being murdered. It’s like wiping your (expletive) before you take a (expletive).”

I removed the profanity, even though it’s spot on.

Except, these DNA kits have far more utility than just identifying the victims of mass shootings. Fires, weather events, flooding, kidnapping and human trafficking, and a host of other horrible things can befall a young child. They’re not overly common, from a statistical point of view–neither are mass shootings, really–but they’re enough to keep many parents up at night.

Meanwhile, the gun control measures pushed in the wake of Uvalde? Yeah, if you really think those would prevent mass shootings, you should seek professional help.

Over the years, we’ve seen far too many actual mass shootings–not by the definition some use to artificially inflate the number, but actually, honest-to-God mass shootings–to bother trying to count. We’ve also seen numerous weapons used and numerous ways they were obtained.

Someone who is determined to slaughter the innocent will find a way.

Meanwhile, the DNA kits are being spun and presented as if this is what Texas Gov. Greg Abbot decided to do instead of gun control. That’s not even remotely accurate. How do I know? Because the law authorizing this was passed in 2021.

“It has come to my attention that there is some confusion regarding the intent of the Child I.D. Kits current disseminated at schools,” state Sen. Donna Campbell said in a statement on Tuesday, Oct. 18. “The Child I.D. Kits for Safe Recovery Act was passed back in 2021 to provide aid in the reunification of missing and trafficked children. My hope is that these kids provide peace of mind to parents.”

As part of the act, the Texas Education Agency is required to provide the identification kits to school districts across the state for elementary- and middle school-aged children. Schools will pass out the kits to nearly 3.8 million children in Texas, KTRK reported.

It’s up to the parents to decide if they want to participate in the program, according to the Dallas Independent School District, which said Wednesday it recently began distributing the kits after receiving 92,400 of them.

As I mentioned before, kidnapping and human trafficking is certainly a valid reason for these kits that have nothing to do with Uvalde, gun control, mass shootings, or any other anti-gun hysteria.

Let’s remember that parents are advised to get their kids fingerprinted throughout their childhood. This is so they can be identified if something happens to them. The problem is that fingerprints are superficial. They can be removed, even if it’s torture to do so.

DNA can’t be.

That will make it easier for parents to be reunited with their children.

And yes, in the event of something else like Uvalde, it will help to identify the remains.

But that’s not what this is about. It’s never been what these DNA kits were about, and the anti-gun hysteria surrounding these is overshadowing all the ways this could ultimately be a good thing for Texas families.