This morning, I heard the first part of President Obama’s speech on gun violence and action against it. Near the beginning, he listed the major mass shootings that had happened during his presidency so far.
One of the sad realities of living in the United States is that there is a long list of mass shootings, so many that only certain of them are synonymous with the place in which they occurred. Aurora, Fort Hood, and Newtown are among these during the Obama presidency.
But this morning, the President listed all the high-toll mass shootings. (In 2015 alone, there were over 350 mass shootings in the United Sates, using the definition of mass shooting as one with four or more victims, so the president was listing only those with the highest number of victims.)
Although the list was not chronological, one of the first cities he mentioned was Binghamton. (Binghamton is in New York State, near the Pennsylvania border about halfway across the state. The town where I have lived for over twenty-five years borders Binghamton.)
While I am grateful that Binghamton hasn’t been reduced to being shorthand for mass murder, I am sad that the shooting at the American Civic Association and its aftermath have been largely forgotten, its lessons about mental illness and access to guns, about discrimination and social acceptance, about civic pride, education, altruism, and the ideals of America as a welcoming community unheeded.
I am grateful that President Obama is taking further common-sense steps to ensure that more background checks take place. I call on Congress – again – to take action to change the laws to protect people from gun violence.
The United States loses over 30,000 people every year to gunshots. If we were losing 30,000 people to plane crashes, it would be considered a calamity of the highest order and there would be swift action to rectify the situation.
The people of the United Sates deserve action – now.
This post is part of Linda’s Just Jot It January. Join us! Find out how here: http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/05/just-jot-it-january-5th-2016-my-bucket-list/