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School Shootings Reach Historic Proportions as Politicians Remain Virtually Silent

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As I write this Wednesday, January 24, law enforcement officials and the media have already recorded 11 shooting incidents in 2018 at schools in the United States. A cynical and irresponsible virtual silence has emanated from the White House and halls of Congress where placing blame for a government shut down and tweeting insulting comments holds more interest and importance than words of compassion and action plans to address the blight of gun violence that plagues our country.

Jan. 23: Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky

A 15-year-old boy opened fire inside the school, killing two and injuring 16.

Jan. 22: NET Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

One boy was injured when someone driving by the school fired on a group of students.

Jan. 22: Italy High School in Italy, Texas

A 16-year-old boy shot a 15-year-old girl in the school cafeteria.

Jan. 20: Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

A 21-year-old Winston-Salem University student was shot and killed at a sorority event at Wake Forest University.

Jan. 15: Wiley College in Marshall, Texas

Two people in a car exchanged gunfire with a person in a dormitory parking lot.

Jan. 10: Coronado Elementary School in Sierra Vista, Arizona

A 14-year-old shot and killed himself in a school bathroom from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Jan. 10: Grayson College in Denison, Texas

A student who mistook a training weapon for a real one fired a bullet through a classroom wall.

Jan. 10: California State University in San Bernardino, California

At least one shot rang out from outside the school, shattering a classroom window.

Jan. 6: School bus in Forest City, Iowa

A 32-year-old man shot a pellet gun shattering a window on a school bus.

Jan. 4: New Start High School in Seattle, Washington

Two shots were fired at the school.

Jan. 3: East Olive Elementary School in St. John, Michigan

A man shot himself and died in the school parking lot.

The organization Everytown for Gun Safety counted nearly 300 school shooting in the United States since 2013, which averages one shooting per week. In the U.S., gun-related violence has reached epidemic proportions snuffing out the lives of upwards of 30,000+ people and wounding many more annually.

On average, guns end the lives of more than 80 people in the United States every day.  Each year, gun violence affects over 100,000 people in some way. Many of the guns used in these killings reach military grade weapons power, guns which currently remain legal.

Rather than reducing the supply of firearms on our streets and in our homes, gun sales and ownership steadily increases. The United States ranks number 1 of 175 countries with the highest rate of firearms at 101 per 100 residents, with Serbia coming in a distant second at 58.2, Yemen third at 54.8, and Cyprus fourth at 36.4. Americans own nearly half of all civilian owned firearms in the world.

What will it take for us to reverse the unholy alliance between corporate America and powerful pressure groups controlling politicians in the service of firearms manufacturers? How many more injuries and deaths will it take for substantially more people to pressure legislators to enact comprehensive gun safety measures?

When is enough, enough?!

Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld is author of Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice (Purple Press); editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), and co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge) and Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense), and co-author of Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life (Beacon Press).

Written by Warren Blumenfeld

January 24th, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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