By Gordon Forgey
Gazette Publisher 

More shootings

 

August 8, 2019



Last week in a 24 hour period, 31 innocent people were shot and killed in two mass shootings. Nearly 40 additional people were injured. The massacres occurred in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

Sadly, the shootings were predictable, not as to time and place, but as an increasingly regular event in America. These two shootings followed the attack in Gilroy, California. Although the definition of a mass shooting differs, one count puts the number of mass shootings at 248 through July 31 of this year. Reportedly, 979 people were shot and 246 have died.

These numbers make mass shootings more than daily occurrences.

They are so regular as to be just another part of daily life. Sadly, so is the reaction.

Horror is replaced by sadness and grief. Memorials grow. Those who lost loved ones are interviewed. Services are scheduled.

Then, politicians decry the bloodshed and pray for the victims.

For many, these are cathartic and vitally important to carrying on.

What is not helpful is the endless palaver about the situation in which this country finds itself.

It generally involves finger pointing and politicizing.

The cause of the carnage is variously attributed to violent video games, lack of mental health resources, rabid hate speech, the President, hopeless young men and, of course, the availability of firearms and uneven gun control laws.

Despite the range of theories, there is no one reason. All the theories contribute to the problem.

Still, something can be done. As former president Barack Obama recently said, “We are not helpless.”

But, we have tied our own hands.

Mass murder cannot be accepted as a political issue. Cause of death should not be tagged as conservative or liberal.

America must not allow responses to these events to be lost in partisanship and narrow thinking.

The problem is real. It is affecting real people, and it will require real people to attack the problem objectively.

Above all, the general public needs to demand comprehensive and aggressive action against this growing threat. A first step would be to tell politicians to shut up and get to work.

We cannot accept this violence as the new normal anymore than we can accept political inaction as acceptable.

Gordon Forgey

Publisher


 

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