307

I grew up in the sixties. When I was old enough to pay attention to the nightly news on TV our country was in the midst of the war in Vietnam. The news always started the same way, with a reporting of the number of soldiers killed that day. As a young person I thought the news was a report of how many people died in America day. Having no comprehension of how many people there were in America, I did not understand it was just the soldiers they were talking about. Night after night Walter Cronkite would open the news, “17 killed today,” “9 killed today,” “31 killed today.”

Then the war was over and the thankfully the news no longer opened up with those horrible words about the numbers killed that day. I remember people protesting the Vietnam war. When I was in about six or seventh grade I had a poster that was of a scarecrow made up of a machine gun body, and a soldier’s metal helmet on top as the head in the middle of a beautiful field of flowers. The caption read, “What if they held a war and no one came?”

At that young age I got the idea that regular citizens could make an impact on things the government was doing that they disagreed with. It also helped that the women’s movement was in full blown bra burning at the time.

For most of my years since junior high school the news did not open with a report of the number of people killed that day. It made watching the news a lot easier. Once in a while there would be some horrible mass shooting, often in a US Post office. It got a nickname, “going postal.” It was bad, but those shooting were few and far between.

But over the last two years it seems like the news opens with a report of the number of people killed that day in a mass shooting, like when I was a kid. The difference is the numbers killed are not in a war, but are usually innocent people senselessly killed by someone who usually doesn’t even know them.

Many citizens have cried out for smart gun control, like they did to end the Vietnam war, but ending a war on foreign soil seems to be easier than coming to grips with what is happening in America. I am tired of the news opening up with the numbers killed in mass shootings. Just in the first seven days in November there were six “mass” shootings with 18 people killed and 31 injured. There is no report on the number of people who witnessed these events and will forever be scarred, let alone the countless friends and family members of victims.

The election is over, but the war is not. So far, in 2018, there have been 307 different mass shooting incidents in America. That is about one per day. How is this acceptable? It is going to take everyone who cares to keep pressure on our elected officials to do everything to change this. Let’s end the need to open the news with reports of how many of our fellow Americans who are gunned down just living their lives. We can’t continue on the trajectory we are on. 307 incidents, think about it.


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