Just Another Day in America
by Robyn Short
This morning The Huffington Post shared this story on Facebook with the status update, “Just another day in America.” The headline: “Tom River, New Jersey Boy, 4 Accidentally Shot 6-Year-Old Neighbor In Head.” CNN reported on a similar story, “4-year old fatally shoots wife of Tenn. Sheriff’s deputy accidentally.” Where were their parents? At home with their children — and their guns.
As shocking and horrific as these two headlines are, what I found equally shocking was the dead silence on social media about these two stories. Instead of people being up in arms and in a rage that our children are so unsafe in their own homes and that babies are literally killing babies, it was life as usual. The Huffington Posts’ Facebook status update got it right: “Just another day in America.”
What was missing in the headlines on this day, and on most day’s in America, is a story reporting about how a homeowner stood his or her ground with a legally-owned and licensed gun in an act of protection against an intruder. And yet, when you ask most Americans why they belief it is so important to own a gun, the response is “to protect my family, myself and my home against intruders.” I find this to be an astonishing departure from reality given that in 2010, 11,078 Americans were murdered with guns and less than three percent of those homicides were deemed self-defense by law enforcement officials.
Gun Violence Stats
While 11,078 Americans were victims of homicide in 2010, the National Crime Victimization Survey estimated 50,000 people are victims of gun violence each year. The Center for Disease Control estimated that in 2011 73,883 individuals living in the United States were victims of gun violence. Considering there are now 89 guns per every 100 Americans circulating in our society, I suppose no one should be shocked by those numbers. Which begs the question …
Why in the world does anyone need a hand gun?
Guns are making our society more dangerous, not less. The gun industry is a $4.1 billion industry, and congress will continue listening to gun manufacturing lobbyists and the NRA until we the people start speaking louder than the gunmakers. It is time for a new bottom line. Tell congress you care more about each and every one of the 73,883 people — or constituents as politicians like to call us — whose lives were altered or ended as a result of gun violence. Tell congress you care more about the babies who had access to guns and ended one woman’s life this week and critically injured another child. Tell congress who they really work for … We the people.
Call or write your congress person today and tell him or her that you support gun reform. And for heaven’s sake, start having a solution-oriented conversation about this on Facebook and Twitter. Lets stop looking away from the suffering caused by hand guns and assault weapons in America every single day.
Learn more about gun violence in America here.
Robyn Short has ghostwritten numerous books and is the founder of goodmedia press and goodmedia communications. She is a student of A Course in Miracles, a self-study system of spiritual psychotherapy. Robyn is a passionate believer in peace and social justice. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Auburn University, a Masters of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University and will graduate with a Masters in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution from Southern Methodist University in 2014. Robyn is the author of Prayers for Peace, and the forthcoming children’s book Peace People, co-authored with Nanon Williams. Robyn is available for book signings and to speak on topics of peacebuilding and nonviolence, especially as it relates to these core issues. Contact Robyn by email.