During the holiday season, the last thing anyone would want to welcome is the news of unfortunate acts of violence that continue to take place. The holiday season is meant for happiness and cheer, not acts of violence. It's the time of year when families are meant to come together — not be torn apart. In incredibly sad news, the number of toddlers shot in 2016 rose this week, following a disturbing road rage incident in Arkansas that resulted in the death of a 3-year-old boy.
There are some things in life that don't need explaining, while other things demand it. Explanation for senseless acts of violence would help people understand the motivation behind them — and maybe help bring some closure to those who lose family members because of these things, or spur on assistance from those in positions of power. On Saturday evening, a 3-year-old toddler who was in a car with his grandmother was shot by a fellow driver due, after the other driver, in a fit of road rage — exited the vehicle and opened fire. According to ABC News, the suspect, who was not immediately captured, "felt that the woman's car wasn't moving fast enough at a stop sign." This caused the driver to step out of his vehicle and shoot inside the slow moving one — therefore, shooting and killing the 3-year-old boy in the car. The driver of the car — the boy's grandmother — was not hit by the gunfire.
According to the Little Rock Police department on Twitter, the victim and his grandmother had "no relationship" with the suspect who remains at large. USA Today reported that a manhunt to find the suspect was underway, as of Sunday afternoon.
Violence is never the answer, especially over small "offenses" like driving too slow. But perhaps more importantly, this act of violence contributes to the rising number of children who have been fatally shot due to gun violence in 2016: According to Gun Violence Archive, 648 children under the age of 11 have died in the United States this year.
And the baffling facts don't stop there: According to NPR, the little boy is the second toddler to die in a car-related shooting in Little Rock in the past month.
There is no reason for anyone to lash out and shoot a toddler for any reason at all, least of all because someone was slow at a stop sign (whether or not the suspect had any idea that the toddler was in the car at the time was beside the point). These senseless acts of gun violence — especially towards innocent children — have got to stop. Unfortunately, in a nation where the shooting deaths of children seem to provoke little action in Congress, it appears stories like this will continue to make headlines for some time.