5-at-10: Kansas City shooting tragedy, SEC hoops rewind, Caitlin Clark’s record-breaking moment

Emergency medical technicians walk around the scene after an incident following the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. The Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Emergency medical technicians walk around the scene after an incident following the Kansas City Chiefs victory parade in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. The Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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Another shooting

The words have become far too redundant.

Tragedy. Horrific. Nightmare. Heart-breaking.

Oh, those words are still every bit as true today after Wednesday's mass shooting in Kansas City at a parade to celebrate the Chiefs' Super Bowl win.

So is the pain.

And the fear.

And the frustration that becomes anger that will in the coming days turn into the next extension in the divide among our nation.

The Bill of Rights is a great thing. The backbone of what I still believe to be a great nation.

But like so many other parts of the Founding Fathers' vision that have been altered or tweaked or adjusted to the times, we are long overdue for some common sense changes to the Second Amendment.

Gun violence is an epidemic, and in truth, has invaded even the most cherished of sacred places, be them churches, schools, homes and now community celebrations.

Yes, protecting the rights of law-abiding and responsible gun owners 100% should be a top priority in the discussions for change and searches for solutions.

But this is less about violating the rights of the individual in my mind than collectively trying to salvage the most fundamental right for the man and the masses — life.

The three suspects who have been detained have rights as Americans. Of course they do.

But the math is staggering. And sickening.

Because the 22 injured and the one person killed have/had rights too. And the right to walk around in the post-Super Bowl bliss in the middle of the day without fearing for their lives seems even more basic and fundamental than any other right.

Yes, I believe in the Second Amendment. I own guns.

But I believe in the first principle — life, liberty and pursuit of happiness — of our great country and all of humanity more.

Maybe this is just the next in a long line of hand-wringing diatribes after what is becoming a much too long of a line of American cities that will forever remember the day their community joined this awful support group.

I don't have a great answer to this because taking all the guns is nonsensical and unAmerican.

But even trying to form a talking point that this event is isolated — we have now had shootings at the last three major sports championship celebrations for Pete's sake — or that we don't have a major gun violence problem in this country is even more nonsensical and worse than being unAmerican, it's unforgivable.

Half of those 22 injured reportedly were under the age of 15 as schools closed in the metro K.C. area so fans could celebrate with fellow Chiefs supporters and the players and the community.

Again, I don't know the answer; I'm not that smart. (Insert Auburn joke here, Vader.)

But I am smart enough to know the status quo is clearly not working. And I'm also smart enough to know that when it takes jumping through more hoops to legally catch a fish or drive a car, it's way too easy in this day and age to put your hands on life-changing and life-ending firearms.

SECond thoughts

OK, that was heavy. And lengthy. Hey, think the TFP could pay me by the word?

Now that we have passed Valentine's Day, we are roughly a month from the March 17 Selection Sunday hoopla.

With that in mind, we will spend the next several Thursdays with an SEC review of the week's activities and results.

Here, after a blurred week that was filled with extremes, are five takeaways as the SEC sprints to the finish line of the regular season:

1. If the NCAA tournament was played in Nevell Arena, Auburn should start printing championship memorabilia now. Wowser. Admittedly, this is the same Auburn team that got worked in Gainesville five days ago and even lost at the metropolises known as Starkville, Mississippi, and Boone, North Carolina. But good gracious Bruce Pearl's bunch shows up and shows out at home, and what they did to a very good South Carolina team last night was harsh.

2. I still think UK has the most top-end talent, when healthy, and especially when D.J. Wagner is on the floor This leads us to the most pressing non-tournament question in the league: It's time for John Calipari and Big Blue just amicably part ways, right?

3. This is the best Final Four chance for UT so far in Rick Barnes' tenure. The Vols are deep and physical. They have a bona fide 1A scoring option for one-possession games. They are big and defensively aggressive. And they are extremely experienced.

4. The bubble race will be head-spinning. I think Florida and Texas A&M added line-item double-digit wins last weekend over Auburn and UT respectively. The top seven in the league should feel safe — right now that is — and the line after A&M starts with Ole Miss and goes from there.

5. Lamont on the move? Lots of folks nationally have mentioned Lamont Paris as a leading candidate for the now-open coaching gig at THE Ohio State. Wow, from Chattanooga to Columbia to Columbus in a little more than 24 months would be NUTS.

Clark's big moment

Barring an unforeseen debacle like an injury, Caitlin Clark will become the all-time scoring leader in women's college hoops.

In truth, Clark is already the greatest offensive college player ever as the only member of 3,000-point club to also have more than 1,000 assists.

She needs nine points tonight against Michigan in what should be one of the most-watched regular-season women's games of all-time.

Also of note, her season-low in scoring is 21.

Her accomplishments are legendary, but as crazy as this sounds, does she crack a potential women's hoops Rushmore of say, Maya Moore, who went something like 150 something-4, or Brianna Stewart, who was a four-time All-American with four nattys, or Cheryl Miller or even the Candace Parkers, Dianna Taurasis or Brittney Griners of the world?


This and that

— Wait, what? Speaking of Clark, here's an interesting story from the AP about a former Francis Marion player who scored more than 4,000 points in her college career.

— Here's another awful story as a former Olympic sprinter who became a sports camp instructor in the late 1970s admitted to 14 acts of sexual assault on young boys over his three years at the camp. Worse still is the court from the prosecutor saying they may never know the true number of victims.

— Morgan Wallen is on Hits 96, the big pop station locally. Now Beyonce is on USA 101, the big country station around Chattanooga. So there's that.

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on the smaller plans for UT's spring football game.

— Here's Gene Henley's account of the red-hot Mocs and how they walloped ETSU on Wednesday. Should have picked the Mocs in my Plays.

Today's questions

It's an anything goes Thursday — the ol' AGT as the kids call it — and we're open for business.

Does Caitlin Clark make the women's hoops Rushmore? Discuss.

Because of safety concerns was Wednesday the last celebration parade for a major sports championship team?

As for today, Feb. 15, let's review.

Wow, 19 years ago today, YouTube launched. What a monster that has become.

The first Teddy Bear was sold on this day in 1903.

Matt Groening — the creator of "The Simpsons" — is 70 today. Funny dude.

Chris Farley would have been 60 today.

Seattle Slew would have been 50 today.

Rushmore of Seattle and have a little fun.

And remember the mailbag.

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