For parents who’ve been through shootings, raising kids requires grappling with fears

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — By the time Hollan Holm pulls the family minivan into Chickasaw Park, the buzz rising from a crowd clustered around a large picnic shelter makes clear this afternoon’s story-sharing is already underway.

In the thick heat just outside the pavilion, a youth football coach recounts the grief of losing his 19-year-old son, shot dead in the parking lot of a local liquor store in 2012. Under the rafters, a mother of five, infant son balanced on her hip, recalls her 15-year-old cousin, gunned down just across the park last December.

Holm also carries a story of trauma. But it’s from his own youth, when it was shattered by gunshots.

“Dad, are you speaking today?” asks his daughter, Sylvia, a sixth grader wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, shot by a Taliban fighter at 15 for asserting girls’ right to an education.

“They’ve got other folks lined up,” says Holm, who a generation ago survived one of the first school mass shootings to shake America’s consciousness.