Yesterday morning we awoke to news of another mass shooting, this one at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, that left 13 dead, including the gunman. The first headline I saw claimed it was the “First mass shooting in the U.S. in over 10 days”, as if that were a statistic in which we ought to take pride. First, a mass shooting every eleven days would be nothing to be proud of even if true, but the reality is that it was not the first, but rather the eleventh mass shooting since the shooting at L’Simcha (Tree of Life) synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27th. Eleventh. Think about this one for a moment. Did you realize there had been, on average, one mass shooting per day for the past ten? Why did we not know? How could we have missed it?According to statistics from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 307 mass shootings in the 312 days of 2018. It has become a common occurrence in our lives and we are, apparently, no longer shocked. Five people shot, nobody died … oh well, just another day in paradise, eh?
The words of one parent whose son, Telemachus Orfanos, lost his life yesterday morning tell it all …
“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control.”
Telemachus had survived the Las Vegas massacre last year, only to lose his life in this one.
Gabrielle Giffords, the former Democratic congresswoman from Arizona who was shot in 2011, tweeted …
“307. There have been 307 mass shootings so far this year. Do we really want to raise our children in a country where mass shootings like Thousand Oaks are a weekly occurrence? A country where every single day in America, more than 90 people are killed with guns? Classrooms. Places of worship. Newsrooms. Movie theaters. Restaurants. Yoga studios. Nightclubs. Playgrounds. No place in America feels safe anymore. No other high-income nation has this level of gun violence. I’m heartbroken, angry, and never going to accept this as normal.”
None of us should ever be willing to accept this as normal … it isn’t. I’ve quoted statistics in past posts, so I won’t bore you with them again, except to say that every other nation in the industrialized world has stricter gun laws than the U.S., and not a single one has the number of gun deaths … not even close … that the U.S. sees every single year. Every. Single. Year.
Tree of Life synagogue, Parkland, Las Vegas, Pulse nightclub, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook … how many more? How many more people in this country have to die before somebody wakes up and says ENOUGH!!! Small men who rely on guns to make them feel like big men need to find some other outlet for their anger! We The People are tired of the killing. The NRA owns most every republican in Congress, as well as the small man sitting in the Oval Office.
Please … don’t sit back and shrug this one off, don’t accept that gun violence in the United States has to be ‘the norm’. It doesn’t have to be. Write letters, make your voice heard, or one of these days it might be you who gets that call in the middle of the night.