Two Sad Degrees Of Separation

I believe it the six degrees of separation. Six is actually quite far and for most things that is fine. Today I discovered a sad two degree of separation from the hero student at UNCC who was shot yesterday trying to stop a gunman. Riley Howell, was my friend Morgan Howell Moylan’s nephew. We was a junior at UNCC and when the gunman burst into his classroom with thirty students in it and was firing at them, the witnesses say, Riley ran towards him and gave his life to save many others.

As this happened while I was traveling I did not pay as close attention to this continuing senseless gun crime. I must admit I have become somewhat numb to these shootings after all the calls for smart gun legislation falls on deaf ears of our spineless politicians. Sadly now this is closer to home than it has been in the past.

It is not enough to send “thoughts and prayers” to the Howells and Moylans and all the friends of Riley. Of course we do that, but we can’t stop there. These shootings are too common and deserve attention to figure out the complicated reasons they happen.

Two young people died and four were injured in Charlotte yesterday. Probably a lot fewer than could have, according to the police who called Howell a “Hero.” But Riley Howell should not have had to give his life while sitting in a college classroom.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many people are killed in each episode, 26 at Sandy Hook, 17 at Parkland, 12 at Columbine, 32 at Virginia Tech, 58 at Las Vegas, we do nothing. Just two were killed in Charlotte, but one was the loved one of someone I know. Two too many.

If you do the degree of separation eventually you will figure out that you know someone, who knows someone, who knew someone who was senselessly killed by a deranged person with a gun. How many degrees of separation does it have to get to you to want to do something about guns in America? Is two degrees too close? What about one? What if it was your child? We can’t stay silent. It is our children.


2 Comments on “Two Sad Degrees Of Separation”

  1. Well said Dana. It is so very sad. I thought the same thing yesterday when I heard about the shooting. It came in muffled tones, as the sad song I had heard over and over again. This time with a deadening response. Puzzled, yes. But let’s face it, we hear it far to often, and society’s conscience has somehow become seared. Seared until it is close to home, or as you say two degrees of separation.

  2. ellenpunderwood says:

    Well said. We have had quite a few tragedies in Florida, I believe, beyond Parkland. I know that 53 people were killed, and numerous others injured, at the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016. Not too far from me. We do have a way to effect change, and that is through the 2020 presidential election. I hope gun control is one of the top items in the upcoming election.


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