Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, recently stated that the media is "ignoring many other violent crimes that happen in the United States every day," instead choosing to sensationalize coverage of the Trayvon Martin killing.
He also said, "Everyday victims aren't celebrities... Where's your outrage? Where's your outrage about Willie Brewer III from Akron, Ohio? Or Derrick Linkhorn from Decatur, Georgia? Or Daryl Adams from New York City? Or what about Antonio Duff? Just this past Monday afternoon, about the same time I got here into town, he was killed and murdered."
Of course, that overlooks the simple fact that when the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence joined the American Academy of Pediatrics to fight another Florida gun law that was pushed by the NRA, this one to limit how pediatricians could talk to parents about gun safety, they did indeed share their outrage over these types of cases. In addition to mentioning how children in the United States are 11 times more likely to be killed accidentally with a gun than children in other developed countries, they highlighted the fact that, on average, 38 children and teens are shot and eight of them are killed every day in the United States from gun violence.
Many of us are indeed outraged that almost 20,000 children and teens are shot each year and that almost 3,000 die from gun violence, including murders, suicides, and accidents.
Do we not talk about shootings enough to help demonstrate our outrage? I write about the accidental shootings each week in the Saturday Safety Roundup (there were three this week, including two kids who died) to promote gun safety, but maybe that isn't enough. Writing about more of the kids who are shot and killed each day may help raise awareness about this gun violence. And maybe their awareness and outrage will motivate us all to do something about it.
Here is just some of the gun violence from the past week that you should be aware of (and which will likely outrage you):
- a 9-year-old in Hollis, New Hampshire who died of a gun shoot wound to his head
- a 7-year-old in Chicago who was struck by a stray bullet as two men argued after a basketball game
- a 5-year-old in Augusta, South Carolina who was shot when a bullet came though the wall of her home and struck her near her ankle
- a 16-year-old in Salinas, California who was shot multiple times as he was walking home from school
- an 11-year-old in Winston-Salem, North Carolina who was shot in the back in her family's car as another car pulled up next to them on the highway and started shooting at them
- two teens in Santa Maria, California who were shot in the face and neck as an adult with the teens was showing off a handgun and accidentally fired at them at close range
- a 13-year-old in Chicago who was shot and killed as he sat with friends on the front steps of his home. Two other teens were wounded by the gun fire.
- a 15-year-old in Miami who was shot multiple times while sleeping in her bed as 15 bullets were fired into her home
- a 7-year-old in Philadelphia was shot in the leg while he was sleeping as a bullet when through the ceiling from the 3rd floor of the house
- a family, with their toddler, who escaped injury as they were shot at while waiting for a friend at an apartment complex in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Of course I am outraged about all of this gun violence. I am also outraged that any talk about gun violence or gun safety seems to be limited because people are afraid that it will make it seem like that they are attacking the Second Amendment.
Unfortunately, outrage isn't enough. What are we going to do about these "everyday victims" who aren't celebrities? What are you going to do?
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Living For 32
Gun Violence Prevention
Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere
Gun Violence Victims Challenge Congress to Keep Guns from Dangerous People, on April 16