Davis: Blowing in the wind

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The song "Blowin' In the Wind" says it best. "How many deaths will it take till he knows, That too many people have died?"

Last year in this country too many people died because our politicians and our people could not muster the will to try to take meaningful steps, on an as yet uncreated path, leading to a world where there is at least some degree of decreased gun violence.

Perhaps if more people took a look at the numbers and then realized that friends, relatives and families are grieving, we all might find a way to do something instead of hiding behind the second amendment and allowing money and influence pedaling to control too many legislative outcomes. Freedom is about living a long and productive life, not dying violently in order to be a martyr for a worthless principle.

Here are the numbers in 2015 for states that had, what are considered mass murder and maiming, due to gun violence. Alabama, four dead, nine injured; Arizona, 15 dead, 14 injured; Arkansas, two dead, 14 injured; California, 31 dead, 110 injured; Colorado, four dead, 16 injured; Connecticut, one dead, 13 injured; Delaware, six injured; D.C. one dead, three injured; Florida, 16 dead, 78 injured; Georgia, 21 dead, 64 injured; Illinois, 14 dead, 99 injured; Indiana, 10 dead, 39 injured; Iowa, one dead, eight injured; Kentucky, two dead, 18 injured; Louisiana, 11 dead, 67 injured; Maryland, eight dead, 50 injured; Massachusetts, two dead, 12 injured; Michigan, four dead, 54 injured; Minnesota, six dead, 20 injured; Mississippi, three dead, six injured; Missouri, 12 dead, 39 injured; Montana, five dead; Nebraska, two dead, seven injured; Nevada, one dead, three injured; New Jersey, five dead, 31 injured; New Mexico, four dead,seven injured; New York, 14 dead, 78 injured; North Carolina, five dead, 47 injured; Ohio, 16 dead, 45 injured; Oklahoma, one dead, 18 injured; Oregon, 11 dead, 13 injured; Pennsylvania, seven dead, 62 injured; Rhode Island, four injured; South Carolina, 20 dead, 31 injured; South Dakota, six dead; Tennessee, 12 dead, 16 injured; Texas, 36 dead, 72 injured; Vermont, four dead; Virginia, 12 injured; Washington, four injured; Wisconsin, six dead, nine injured.

I am not going to add up the numbers because it is my hope that if one person reading this sheds at least one tear looking at these numbers and makes an effort to add up the numbers then they may have some energy left to do something about all of this gun violence that has become the great American plague.

If those numbers are not enough to move you, how about some statistics from the Brady Campaign web site? "One in three people in the U.S. know someone who has been shot. On average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room. Every day on average, 55 people kill themselves with a firearm, and 46 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun. The U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population. A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used to kill or injure in a domestic homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used in self-defense."

"More than one in five U.S. teenagers (ages 14 to 17) report having witnessed a shooting.

"An average of seven children and teens under the age of 20 are killed by guns every day.

"American children die by guns 11 times as often as children in other high-income countries.

"Youth (ages 0 to 19) in the most rural U.S. counties are as likely to die from a gunshot as those living in the most urban counties. Rural children die of more gun suicides and unintentional shooting deaths. Urban children die more often of gun homicides. Firearm homicide is the second-leading cause of death (after motor vehicle crashes) for young people ages 1 to 19 in the U.S. In 2007, more pre-school-aged children (85) were killed by guns than police officers were killed in the line of duty."

"How many times must the cannonballs fly, before they are forever banned?" So far in this country, the answer is blowin' in the wind. We can do better than that.

Richard Davis is a registered nurse. He writes from Guilford and welcomes comments at rbdav@comcast.net.


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