I’ve forgotten and it pains me. I can’t remember the dates, the cities, the numbers. I don’t understand how that can be. How do you forget the details of that many lives taken at one time?
We’ve had another mass killing in this country. I read about them. I follow them. I feel for the surviving family members. Then the memory begins to fade. Until there is another one. I begin to think.
When was Sandy Hook and how many were killed? (26). Pittsburgh? (11). Aurora, Annapolis, Parkland, Santa Fe, Texas, Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas. What year? How can I forget? How do you forget the numbers of the murdered: 12, 5, 17, 10, 27, 59?
Part of my job is to work with tragedy. I follow these cases more than most, I imagine. I write and talk to others about gun control. And then I write and talk again. Nothing changes. Then we have Thousand Oaks, Charlotte, Poway, Orlando, San Bernardino: 12, 2, 1, 49, 16.
City after city. Day after day.
Usually young men with high-powered rifles or handguns with expanded capacity are murdering people. We do nothing about it.
Charleston (9), Washington Navy Ship Yard (12), Scottsdale (7), Tucson (6) and now Virginia Beach (13). How long will it be before that number begins to fade from memory? These cities and numbers aren’t nearly all of them. And they are just from this decade.
The list goes on. And on.
I don’t know if those opposed to sensible gun laws count on our memories fading. Do they wait for us to forget? For the numbers to become fuzzy? But we can’t let that happen.
We’ve talked to legislators, we write and call and visit members of Congress. Mostly nothing happens and we move on. To bring about change in our laws, however, requires all of us to keep the memory of every one of these shootings alive.
We have to continue to tell elected officials that change must come. To do nothing is to simply wait for the next one to happen, then mourn the dead and move on again.
How long will we allow that to happen? Be active. Write, call or visit your elected representative. Tell them you’ve had enough.
And don’t forget.