Monday, February 11, 2013

Death takes no holiday

Here's a rather depressing article from NBC which tracks gun violence in America over just one weekend:
It was after midnight, early on a Saturday in the college town of Moscow, Idaho, and student Jason "Cowboy" Monson was at the police station to get back his Desert Eagle .45-caliber handgun.

In McDonough, Ga., about the same time, two teenage brothers were still awake. A friend was sleeping over, and their mother had let the boys handle her .38-caliber revolver, which was unloaded. She'd gone to bed.

In South Valley, N.M., it was quiet at the Griego household as 15-year-old Nehemiah waited for his father to come home from the night shift at a homeless shelter. The son was holding his father's AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

In the next few hours, the freshman in Idaho, one of the brothers in Georgia, and most of the Griego family would be dead, victims of three forms of gun violence — suicide, accident and murder — that are everyday occurrences in the United States.

More than 91 Americans were killed by guns over that three-day weekend - far more, most likely, because the average is about 86 people every day. Unfortunately, gun violence is so common in our country that most of it doesn't get much press (especially the suicides).

But the point of this article is to put a face on these anonymous victims, at least these particular victims. And they're a diverse bunch:
You can get killed throwing your daughter a 17th birthday party, if your angry estranged husband shows up. Without a gun, you might have an angry confrontation and maybe some tears. With a handgun, the birthday girl in Grapevine, Texas, lost her mother and father in a murder-suicide, police said.

Or you can get killed buying a taco from a vendor on the street in Los Angeles, if you get into an argument with the wrong person, and that person has a gun.

Or catching a train: A bystander was killed at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in San Leandro, Calif., when a couple of gangs started trading shots.

You can get killed spending an afternoon with grandma. Just as the president was beginning his inaugural address and talking about making children safe, a gunman in Cocoa, Fla., burst into a home before a children's birthday party, shooting to death the mother of several of the children and seriously wounding their grandmother.

The article is just the first in a week-long series on Guns in America. But as it points out how common gun violence is here, and how diverse, it's clear that no one proposal will solve the whole problem.

No, this will be about chipping away at the problem, bit by bit - as we've done with drunk driving, for example. People still drive drunk, but we've attacked that problem from many different angles and successfully reduced their numbers.

Of course, few people are big fans of drunk drivers. Before we can do anything, we need the will to do something.

1 comment:

Jim Harris said...

I think if the public saw these kinds of stories, day in and day out, we'd have a different view on gun safety and gun control.