stop gun violence

I’m guessing it was nice. Maybe it was crappy. As bad as it might have been, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the weekend folks had in Austin, Cleveland, Chicago or Savannah.

The headline from ABC News: “4 Mass Shootings in 6 Hours leave 39 Wounded, 5 Dead.”

Here’s the thing… as awful as it is—and it is awful—we don’t really react to mass shootings anymore. Mass shootings are a part of our everyday lives now.

I looked it up. Just what constitutes a mass shooting? The Violent Crimes Act of 2012 defines mass shootings as events in which three or more people are shot – generally in a public place such as a school or workplace.

So, that’s what it is. Three or more.

In Austin, 14 people shot. In Cleveland, 6 shot, 3 dead. In Chicago, 9 shot, 1 dead. In Savannah, 8 shot, 1 dead. By the way, those injured include two teenagers and one 18-month old baby.

I have no idea what types of weapons were used in these shootings. 60 Minutes re-ran a Scott Pelley piece on the damage an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle can cause. They equate it to a bomb going off inside the human body.

If you are lucky enough to survive a shot from one, the recovery is long and painful.

Pelley gives two examples in the story. A young boy from a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and a teenaged girl from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. Both required multiple surgeries to their injuries. Somehow, both are doing okay… Physically.

These things have become so commonplace that on-call paramedics are now carrying with them things only previously used on the battlefield. Things like active killer kits. What’s that, you say? Tourniquets. Decompression needles. Trauma dressings… Serious stuff.

“60 Minutes” reported how the medical director in Broward County is recommending that everyone learn how to help a person stop bleeding. That includes a learning to use a bleeding kit, which helps a person stop bleeding across various parts of the body.

Dr. Peter Antevy gave his son one of these bleeding kits and has taught him how to use it.

I’m done talking about gun control. We are beyond that argument. The guns are out there. In the hands of good people. In the hands of bad people. We can’t change that.

What can we do to stop these bad weekends? I don’t know. My good friend Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said after another particularly bad week of shootings that he believes our community is on edge and has become too violent.

“I don’t know what it’s going to take, who it’s going to take being killed for us to finally say enough is enough, and [that], as a society and a community, we’re not going to tolerate any additional violence. Because I tell you what, I’m tired of notifying individuals that their family member is deceased.”

It’s everywhere. Violence is everywhere. Is it a post pandemic surge? I don’t know. I just know we have to find a way to get a handle on it.

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