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The More Things Change…

…The More They Don’t – One Damn Bit.

American example: mass shootings, commonly defined as “act(s) of violence, excluding gang shootings, domestic violence, or terrorist acts sponsored by an organization, in which shooter(s) kill or injure at least four victims”.

The U.S. continues to suffer them – AND suffer political impotence to stop them.

     

Recent shootings in Atlanta and Boulder remind us innocent people (potentially, any of us or our loved ones), simply going to the grocery store or to work, might never return home. Boulder police officer Eric Talley never did, to his wife and seven children – after bravely confronting a shooter to save others.

Recent sobering statistics reveal mass shootings in the U.S. are happening MORE FREQUENTLY, according to USA Today:

A USA TODAY analysis of Gun Violence Archive statistics from 2020 shows that mass shootings surged by 47% as many states reported unprecedented increases in weapons-related incidents. In 2020, the United States reported 611 mass shooting events that resulted in 513 deaths and 2,543 injuries…

Another big factor in last year’s surge is record gun sales… According to the FBI, the agency performed 39.7 million background checks for gun purchases in 2020, up 40% over 2019.

Editor’s Note: TMM addressed this issue in June, 2019, with the first post in a three-part series: https://themodernmoderate.com/2019/06/14/the-gun-battle-part-one-america-we-have-a-problem/.

We were struck by how relevant it is today; so we’re re-running it, intact (updated with photos and recent charts), so Moderates can verify America’s ongoing inability to address this deadly dilemma.

Here, then, is TMM’s 2019 take on gun violence. Reminding us again, the more things change…

The Gun Battle, Part One: America, We Have a Problem

Regarding guns, can Americans AGREE on anything?

  • Can we agree we live in an unprecedented era, with more mass shootings in America than ever before?

Sadly, we have more mass shootings (and other gun homicides) than any other country. Worldwide, nearly ONE-THIRD of them between 1966 and 2012 occurred here. In 2015, we averaged one PER DAY. So far this year (June, 2019), we’ve suffered over 150 of them.

  • Can we agree Americans have plenty of guns?

With 4% of the world’s population, our civilians own 40% of the world’s firearms, the highest per-capita gun ownership rate. If the “more-guns-mean-more-safety” argument were true, we’d have the safest country in the world. Doesn’t feel that way, though, does it?

  • Can we agree students of all ages (and their parents), and teachers and staff who serve them, should NOT have to fear for their lives in our schools?

Unfortunately, they must. Since the Columbine High School massacre in CO (1999; 13 killed) shocked America, researchers estimate more than 226,000 students in 233 schools have been impacted by school shootings, with at least 141 dead and 284 wounded.

  • Can we agree worshipers in churches, synagogues, and mosques should NOT need to fear for their lives, either, while gathering to pray in peace?

But they do. Carnage at our houses of worship includes the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX (2017; 26 killed), Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC (2015; 9 killed), and Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA (2018; 11 killed).

  • Can we agree people should feel safe at work while making a living?

Not anymore. Workplace shootings are so common we barely notice them, except the worst, like Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. (2013; 12 killed) and Virginia Beach municipal building (2019; 12 killed) bloodbaths.

  • Can we agree people should be able to temporarily escape their worries (including news of mass shootings), by going to a movie?

Not since the Aurora movie theater butchery in CO (2012; 12 killed).

  • Or enjoy a night out at a concert or nightclub, without worrying it could be their last?

Not since the Las Vegas concert (2017; 58 killed, 851 wounded) and Orlando bar (2016; 59 killed) slaughters.

  • Can we agree no place in America feels totally safe anymore?

That what we’ve been doing to prevent gun violence isn’t working – and we need to do SOMETHING different?

We’ll explore those subjects in future posts; stay tuned.

And wherever you go, remember the old frontier advice (appropriate today, since we’ve returned to our Wild West mentality): “watch your backside”.

 

Images: Google Images

Gun violence protesters: Forbes

Atlanta mourners: ABC News

Boulder police car, Talley: New York Post

Mass Shootings Incidents chart: The Conversation

Gun Homicides chart: THE PROWLER

More Guns chart: UMKC WordPress

Columbine High School: The Denver Post

Mother Emanuel AME Church: Fox Carolina

Washington Navy Yard: Los Angeles Times

Aurora movie theater: Daily Mail-Getty Images

Las Vegas concert: The Boot

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