Yesterday another mass shooting happened in America. It is probably not a surprise that it happened again in Florida. The gun laws in Florida are particularly loose ones and Florida has become the laboratory of the NRA’s agenda, thanks to NRA Board member Marion Hammer.
But things are changing even in Florida after the Parkland students and the country stood up and said “no more”in marches and student walkouts all over America that came from the March For Our Lives movement.
A shooter decided to direct his anger or frustration or whatever the heck he was thinking at innocent other people who were just hanging out at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. And so now we have to think twice about going to gaming events as well as schools, shopping malls, churches, parks, stores, being in homes, workplaces, colleges, preschools, and other places where American citizens go everyday.
It is unquestionable that too many guns and too easy access to guns by just about everyone is leading to an unsafe society. It is also an impolite and violent society. The culture of the corporate gun lobby is what the problem actually is. When so many people can buy so many guns of most any type so easily, we can expect to see just about every corner of our country experiencing gun deaths and injuries.
In Jacksonville, Florida yesterday, 2 were shot dead by the shooter who shot himself and 11 were injured, 9 by gunfire.
The 2 innocent people who died of their gunshot injuries were Taylor Robinson and Eli Clayton. Look at their faces and say their names.
In a live recording from the scene, gunshots can be heard and then screaming and the sound of people running. That is what the first reaction is- run for your life. If anyone had a gun there, they didn’t use it to stop the carnage. It would be rare if they did.
And the sound of bullets firing from a gun, screaming and running have become part of the American landscape.
The math is not good for shootings in Florida- or anywhere else for that matter. The Parkland shooting has changed the landscape about gun safety reform in our country. It’s only been 6 months since that heinous shooting. And it’s only been about a week since a shooting at a high school football game in Jacksonville left 1 shot dead and 2 injured in an apparent gang member shooting:
“It is shocking. I was actually here, at the game,” Superintendent Diana Greene told the Times Union. “It was a great game and for it to end in violence like this is just unfortunate, and quite frankly, we should all be saying unacceptable.”
The superintendent said everyone coming into the game had to undergo a magnetic detector wand search and that security inside the game area was tight.
“This is a community issue,” Greene said. “I need parents, students to stand up. If you see something, say something.”
Friday’s shooting followed by one week a shooting at a high school football game in Palm Beach County, Fla., where two adults were wounded.
Really? A shooting the week before at another Florida football game before the Jacksonville shooting?
I would say it’s an understatement that this is a community issue important enough for parents and students to stand up and say something.
Where is common sense?
And let’s ask the obvious question. Where are all of the guns coming from? Stolen? Trafficking? Straw purchasing? Private sale with not background check? Whatever the source, we can do something about all of it if we put our minds together and decide to stand up for common sense and right.
As kids go back to school, they will be facing another year where no parent knows whether their child will make it home after school. Children are fearful of being shot. In my last post, I discussed products sold to protect our children from harm. And I also discussed the ludicrous notion proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to spend federal funds to arm teachers.
How many kids are affected by gun violence every day? 8. Eight is 8 too many. The numbers are too high and shouldn’t add up to death or injury by bullets. How many kids have lost their lives so far this year to bullets? According to the Gun Violence Archive= 2236.
Until we decide that the best way forward is prevention rather than taking measures after the fact or measures that deal with a shooting in progress, we will not protect our children and our citizens from gun violence.
The Brady Campaign’s new campaign to talk about the risks of family fire- End Family Fire- is a way to look at gun violence from the prevention and public health aspect as it should be. Passing stronger laws can prevent shootings. All gun violence prevention organizations at the state and federal level are promoting prevention measures and proactive measures to save lives.
Speaking of the Brady Campaign, here is a statement about the Jacksonville shooting:
“Americans deserve to be safe, whether at school, a football game, a club, an airport, an art exhibition, a church, a workplace, a concert, or — as of today — a gaming tournament. We await the details of this shooter’s plans and how he got his gun, but we already know that far more gun deaths happen every day in America than among any other industrialized nation. We can stop the shootings if we enforce our existing gun laws, including the Brady background check system, and eliminate the gaps in our our nation’s laws that make it far too easy for dangerous people to get firearms to use as killing machines.”
Protect Minnesota is urging young people and students to get involved in a new text program. Check out the meme above for more information. The Brady Campaign also has a text for action program (877-877) as do most other groups. Brady’s #TeamEnough is a good way to get involved for young people.
Many good things are going on and I’m proud to be part of it all.
But where are Congress and our legislators?
We are better than this.