Thursday, November 09, 2017

Not Well

Hello, United States citizens. We have a problem. Americans are dying in numbers that are uncomfortable and unreasonable. It's not heart disease or AIDS. It's not polio or tuberculosis. They are dying because of lead poisoning. How is this lead being introduced into their systems? It is fired as a projectile into their bodies by machines designed expressly for that purpose. The tragedy of this current epidemic cannot be overstated. It only takes one of these pellets to stop the life of a human being, and that death creates a ripple that takes the life away from all of those in proximity. Walking dead. Zombies, if you will.
Okay. Enough pretense. I am talking about guns and the violence they emit on a daily basis. According to the Center for Disease Control, on an average day ninety-three Americans are killed by guns. It's that "average day" that haunts me. Sunday was not an "average day." Twenty-six Americans were killed as they went to church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The good news? There are those who will point to the "good guy" who chased down the gunman and shot him. Which brings our total to twenty-eight, just for that little corner of the Lone Star State. Another dead American. That doesn't subtract from the total, which is something that may be lost on our friends at the NRA.
Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor of California, suggested that instead of legislators sending their prayers to the victims of this day's mass shooting that they should send some common sense gun legislation. Common sense? Like prohibiting access to firearms for those who have been convicted of spousal abuse. In at least fifty-four percent of mass shootings, a partner or intimate was shot along with a number of other innocent victims. Domestic abuse runs like a bright red line through the rest of the statistics, not to mention the fact that ninety-eight percent of these shooters are male.
The killer in Texas was kicked out of the Air Force for (wait for it) for spousal and child abuse. At this point, I don't expect that it takes a Jonas Salk to come up with a vaccine. We need to be able to talk about this. We need to be able to control this. We are trying to control heart disease. We ask that people wear seat belts in their cars.
Maybe we can ask people not to shoot one another: This is your brain. This is your brain on guns. You supply the images. I don't feel well.

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