So on Sunday, Jan. 8th, one year from the horrendous and brutal shooting of innocent people gathered at a Tucson shopping mall, there will be candlelight vigils all over the country. In addition to the organized vigils, many will light their own candles, or mention the victims at a church service or talk to a neighbor about the issue of too many victims. We shouldn't have to have tributes to gunshot victims. We shouldn't have to light candles and ring bells. People die every day of natural causes, of accidents, suicides and homicides. It just happens that guns are the weapon of choice for both homicides and suicides. They are the weapon of choice in domestic violence cases. They are the weapon of choice for gangs and for felons. They seem to be the weapon of choice for dangerously mentally ill people as well. Jared Loughner should not have had a gun. Cho should not have had a gun. Guns are the weapon of choice for deranged people who wish to wreak havoc and cause death and injury. We won't forget that a sitting U.S. Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords was seriously injured that day one year ago. She will be attending a vigil in Tucson. Who can ever forget this brave woman?
And, as an aside, what is the NRA going to do to remember the Tucson victims on Jan. 8th? Having a gun show in Tucson sponsored by Crossroads Gun Shows, of course. Is it just a coincidence or are gun shows scheduled on purpose to be close to venues of a mass shooting close to an important date? Crossroads held their gun show in Tucson last year right after the mass shooting. Remember when the NRA had their meeting in Denver, Colorado right after the Columbine shootings? They were asked to cancel it, but didn't. In a question asked on the website about whether a concealed gun can be carried inside of one of the Crossroads gun shows, the answer is NO. I wonder why the folks who love guns and love to carry don't want loaded guns in their own guns shows?
Tomorrow- light a candle for anyone you know who has died in a gun homicide- or a gun suicide or an accidental shooting. Attend a vigil if there is one in your area. Say the name of one of the victims and remember his or her life, now lost to a bullet. Remember their families, now grieving. Remember that we can do better in America and we must. I will light a candle for my sister at both of my church services and later at a vigil. The problem of gun violence is unique to America. 32 were shot to death since yesterday. 231 were shot to death since last week. 12, 179 were shot to death since the Tucson shooting last Jan. 8th. 579, 411 were shot to death since the 1968 shootings of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy. This is unacceptable. Common sense tells us that we need to work hard to prevent more senseless shootings. One victim is one too many.
Below are the names of the Tucson victims who died one year ago.
Christina Taylor Greene- 9- shot at the Tucson shopping mall
Gabe Zimmerman- shot at the Tucson shopping mall
Judge John Roll- shot at the Tucson shopping mall
Dorothy Morris- shot at Tucson shopping mall
Phyllis Schneck- shot at Tucson shopping mall
Dorwan Stoddard- shot at Tucson shopping mall
Here is a video with words from survivors of the Tucson shooting. It speaks for itself.
And here are just a few more names of people who will be remembered tomorrow.
Terrell Mayes- 3 year old Minneapolis boy trying to get away from stray bullets fired from a block away on a neighborhood street and took a bullet in the head
Officer Shawn Schneider, Minnesota police officer who responded to a domestic abuse case and was shot in the head by a 25 year old army veteran
Barbara Lund- my sister who was shot to death by her estranged husband in Minnetonka, MN
Kay Marie Sisto- the sister of a friend who was shot to death by her estranged husband in Duluth, MN
Carin Streufert- the daughter of a friend who was kidnapped, raped and shot to death in Grand Rapids, MN by 2 young men who wanted to see what it was like to shoot someone
Caroline Seitz-the daughter of a friend who was shot to death by her estranged husband in Duluth, MN
Robert Powell - the brother of a friend who was shot in a domestic case involving a woman employee of Powell's in Alaska whose abusive husband came to the store and shot them both. He was a gun owner and gun dealer.
Laramiun Lamont Byrd, the son of a friend who was shot in Minneapolis
And then reflect on the moments it takes for a bullet to hit its' target and the moments when our country could have done more but didn't. These are precious moments that we can never get back. There are the moments when a decision is made to take a life. There are the moments when an argument can turn very quickly into a death. There are the moments when a child finds a loaded gun and shoots it at someone else or him/herself. There are the moments when a decision could be made not to shoot someone. There are the short moments it takes for a high capacity magazine to be emptied and kill many people at one time. It only takes moments. Please take a moment to light a candle and reflect on the carnage in America that is not seen in other industrialized countries. Moments:
In the video below, you can see tributes to other victims on the Brady Campaign's Too Many Victims website. You can see who is lighting a candle for victims. Common sense tells us that there are too many victims. It doesn't have to be this way. We can do better.