hit counter

Americans are dying because too many officers dismiss gun violence

Four people were killed in a mass shooting in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma on Sunday. Have you heard about it? Maybe not.

You may have heard of Saturday’s mass shooting in Yazoo County, Mississippi, which left one dead and six injured at a game of dice. Or the shooting that killed four people in Chester, Virginia on Friday. Or maybe not.

You may have heard about each of the 609 mass shootings across the country this year recorded by the Gun Violence Archive on Thursday. Perhaps you know the circumstances of each of the 39,708 deaths caused by gun violence this year. But it seems unlikely. We only hear about the greatest, most tragic, most egregious deaths.

Shoot after shoot. deaths upon deaths. Endless injuries. Why isn’t every single congressman outraged? Why don’t judges do everything to make us safer? Why isn’t every local official standing up for the lives of the voters?

How did we get to the point as a nation where only the most serious mass shootings attract much attention? Maybe it’s because mass shootings are becoming so commonplace.

At least six people were killed and four hospitalized at a Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia on Tuesday night.

On Saturday, a gunman killed five people and injured 18 others at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

On November 13, a gunman killed three University of Virginia football players and injured two others. The shooting was so tragic that there wasn’t much room to report that on the same day in Omaha, a suspect fatally shot one person and injured seven others. Or that four people were injured in a shooting in Philadelphia.

Perhaps Americans have gone deaf. There was little time to recover from the horrific mass shootings in Highland Park on July 4 and in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, that spring.

Meanwhile, three people were killed and 17 injured in gunfire in Chicago just last weekend.

Are our officials jumping into action? Let’s take a look.

In Colorado Springs, officials failed to use the state’s “red flag” law to remove the gunman’s guns, even though he was arrested last year after reportedly violently assaulting him with a bomb, “multiple guns” and ammunition had threatened. Could this inaction have been influenced by a district commission’s declaration that the district is a Second Amendment sanctuary?

In Virginia, the site of three of the most recent mass shootings, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he will not sign legislation restricting the Second Amendment and is considering reversing existing gun laws.

In Texas, a judge earlier this month ruled that people under a protective order have a right to guns.

In New York last month, a federal judge blocked much of the state’s new gun safety law.

In Oregon, a county sheriff and gun rights group filed a federal lawsuit to block a voter-approved ballot measure to limit gun violence.

Earlier this year, just two Republicans in the US House of Representatives voted to ban assault weapons.

As for the US Supreme Court, it has happily tossed out years of established legislation, making it easier for criminals and would-be mass shooters to get their hands on powerful weapons.

Perhaps none of these officials realized that America suffered from 17 mass shootings across America in the two weeks of November 11-23. That’s more than one a day.

Or perhaps reports of the slaughter are buried under the large campaign donations pouring in from gun manufacturers looking to sell as many guns as possible.

Yes, Congress passed legislation in June to, among other things, improve background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21, provide states with money to implement warning signal laws, and strengthen laws against buying straws and selling guns. But it’s not enough.

Most Americans want stricter gun laws. The only way to get them is to require every official at every level to work to make the nation safer.

The Sun-Times welcomes letters and comments to the editor. See our policies.

Leave a Comment