It’s happened again. News programs were interrupted with news of a mass workplace shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Cries for doing something.
Statements from gun violence prevention groups and elected leaders who care about lives of innocent people taken in a matter of second.
Statements about the incident- a gunfight. A silencer used. People couldn’t tell how close the shooter was thanks to the silencer. The NRA and its’ lapdog politicians floated a bill to make silencers easier to obtain. But then the Las Vegas shooting happened. And now this.
Extended magazines. More weapons found at the shooter’s home.
Why do we allow extended magazines again? For what are they useful other than shooting as many people as possible in a very short time?
Workplace shootings are becoming more common. What should businesses do? Read this:
There were 1553 firearm workplace homicides during the study period. Robbery crime trended downward from 2011 to 2015. In contrast, non-robbery crimes constituted almost 50% of the homicides and trended upward in recent years. Customers and co-workers were the most frequent perpetrators of non-robbery crimes, most after an argument. While customers and co-workers who commit these crimes were often armed at the time of the argument, some were not and retrieved a firearm from an unspecified location before committing a homicide. Thus, immediate and ready firearm access was commonly observed in argumentative workplace deaths.
Limiting firearm access in the workplace is a possible measure for preventing deadly workplace violence and should be considered as part of a comprehensive strategy for addressing this reemerging public health concern.
Where is common sense?
As the shooting was happening, our local Northland Brady/Protect Minnesota chapter, together with Moms Demand Action and the Duluth Federation of Teachers was holding a Wear Orange kick-off for June as gun violence prevention awareness month.
Speakers were amazing. Two students stepped to the microphone to talk about how it is for students in these days of mass school shootings. A 7th grade girl read a poem she had written after the Parkland shooting. A high school junior spoke of student lockdowns and how frightening they are. He asked where the elected leaders were and cited the large contribution given by the NRA to our newly elected Republican Congressman who voted against the House passed background check and Charleston loophole bills.
Powerful statements from our kids. And adults have failed them.
The Mayor read a proclamation making June 7th gun violence prevention awareness day in Duluth. The city of Duluth posted this on their Facebook page and what were the comments by the insensitive gun rights extremists? She’s taking away guns and rights.
Be quiet. Stop it. No one’s guns will be taken away. Stop trying to scare and intimidate. We are not listening any more. They are a very distinct minority.
The School Superintendent spoke of a near tragedy in one of the Duluth schools when a credible threat occurred and a man was arrested inside of the school. Authorities found guns in his car in the school parking lot.
Shame on those who refuse to move- who refuse to acknowledge our public health epidemic because they are beholden to a failed and corrupt gun rights organization. They are listening to an ever decreasing minority of gun rights extremists.
Former Republican Congressman David Jolly got it right. Our gun laws are broken. If we care about innocent lives and all lives, we will fix our broken system like other democratized countries have done.
President Trump responds to the shooting?
So are we all. The majority of us know that passing stronger gun laws and changing our gun culture will not take away rights to own guns. The insistence that the second amendment means no gun laws allows daily carnage.
A writer for CNN says that we have a cult of guns in America. He is so right:
None of this will stop unless the cult of guns is curbed.
This won’t be easy; the cult has a lot of money behind it. The money pours in from the “devout”: small-time contributions to the NRA that amount to hundreds of millions of dollars each year. This money is used, in our skewed version of democracy, to influence politicians, who are only too happy to be bought.
Our Congress is swamped with men and women, our so-called representatives, who do not represent the majority view, which is that guns must be curtailed.
According to Gun Violence Archive this is the 150th mass shooting of the year. That happened before half of 2019 is over. We still have 7 months for the bodies to add up.
This is NOT NORMAL.
After posting this post I found another post by Shaun King who wrote about how we handle mass shootings in America:
That’s the game we play. To get through dinner, to get through a movie or a game, to get through quality time with our loved ones, we must temporarily suspend our knowledge that people are being slaughtered all around us. We speak of the Wild Wild West as some nostalgic era of the past, but we’re living it. The United States is the only nation in the world that has more guns than people. And it shows. Americans are shooting and killing themselves and killing others with guns at a pace that should be treated as a dire National Emergency. If we just enacted a fraction of the basic standards and norms held by the rest of the world, our nation would be so much safer.
Who have we become as a nation, as people with moral compasses, as people of compassion for others, as people who espouse non-violence?
Who do we want to be? Is this it? Reading names of victims after every mass shooting? Posting photos of those who lost their lives yesterday in “everyday shootings”?
I think not. We are better than this.
At this morning’s press conference in Virginia Beach, the names and photos of the victims were released by the City Manager of the city who said their names in with an emotional voice:
“They leave a void that will never be filled,” Hansen said.
Too many voids.
Wear Orange on June 7th for gun violence prevention awareness. Wear it for the victims. Wear it for Hadiye Pendleton whose family started the observance of the day. Do your part. Get activated, Make noise and most of all, hold elected officials accountable for their inaction.