An article in Science Daily caught my attention:
With more than 30,000 Americans killed by guns each year - 85 deaths per day - setting limits and regulations on gun ownership is just one aspect to be considered in curbing the violence.
85 gun deaths per day! Over 30,000 a year! That is equal to a 9/11-sized tragedy per month, or nearly four Newtowns per day! If this many people were being killed by anything but guns, we would make it a number one priority to deal with it by any means possible. We all remember what freedoms we were willing to sacrifice as a result of the World Trade Center, but we are not willing to sacrifice even the most egregious weapons - large magazines or assault weapons - in the face of these numbers.
I very clearly remember Columbine. My son knew kids there. Many of my co-workers had children there. It was frightening and everybody was numb with grief. It was tragic and it was senseless.
However, in the wake of Columbine, I began to be bothered by something that continues to bother me in regards to Newtown. Columbine was an upscale, primarily white community, as is Newtown. The nation was riveted by this senselessness, it seemed, in part because the children who were killed were upper-middle class in what was perceived to be a safe neighborhood. However, as tragic as each death at Columbine was, as tragic as each death at Newtown was, there are more children killed by gun violence every day than were killed at either school. Many of these children are on their way to or from school, or hanging out in their own neighborhoods. Every one of these deaths is as tragic as each Columbine or Newtown death. But the country merely mentions them in passing, if at all. Why is that?
Is it because they are killed in onzies and twozies? Is it because many are of color or poor? Is it because the perps are often gang members or have a criminal element to them? Is it because we assume (incorrectly in most cases) that the victims are not innocent? Whatever the reason, these deaths are as tragic as are the deaths of the Columbine and Newtown shootings.
Imagine if they were as thoroughly reported as were the mass shootings (including Aurora and the Sikh Temple). How would the country react? If this country realized that we suffer from four Newtowns, five Auroras and five Columbines a day, and a World Trade Center each and every month, would we tolerate these weapons that have no purpose but to kill? Is this the message we need to drive home?