It was a devastating weekend for America, as two mass shootings occurred within 24 hours. Shootings in Texas and Ohio left at least 31 people dead, dozens injured and even more lives shattered as …
It was a devastating weekend for America, as two mass shootings occurred within 24 hours. Shootings in Texas and Ohio left at least 31 people dead, dozens injured and even more lives shattered as loved ones grieve for their daughters, sons, spouses, siblings, parents and friends.
These senseless acts of violence came less than a week after three victims were killed at a festival in California.
As we see headlines of shooting after shooting, Americans are becoming desensitized to mass gun violence. We can forget that these people were much more than victims of a crime.
Here are some of those who were senselessly murdered last week:
• Six-year-old Stephen Romero was shot to death while attending a garlic festival with his family in California on July 28; his mom and grandmother were among those injured. The young boy had recently celebrated his birthday at Legoland. “My son had his whole life to live, and he was only 6. That’s all I can say,” Alberto Romero, Stephen’s dad, told NBC News.
• Jordan and Andre Anchondo were shopping for school supplies at Walmart in El Paso on Saturday when a gunman opened fire. Andre, 24, reportedly jumped in front of his wife and infant son before he was fatally shot. The 25-year-old mother died while protecting the couple’s 2-month-old baby, according to news reports. “From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” said Leta Jamrowski, Jordan’s sister, in an Associated Press interview. “So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones. So he pretty much lived because she gave her life.”
• A graduate student in a cancer care program, Nicholas Cumer was in Dayton, Ohio, for an internship. The 25-year-old was killed early Sunday morning while celebrating the end of the summer with three fellow interns. “He was intelligent, he was extremely caring and kind. He loved his patients, and he always went above and beyond for them,” his friend Tyler Erwin told The Washington Post.
In hearing the tallies of victims, we must remember that each one was a real person, with real families left behind, heartbroken and forever changed.
It’s a tragic storyline that’s all too common in this country.
“As a mayor, this is a day that we all dread happening,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley at a Sunday morning news conference. “And certainly what’s very sad as I’ve gotten messages from cities across the country is that so many of us have gone through it.”
We echo Mayor Whaley in asking: When is enough going to be enough?
America must address the culture of hate that seems to be growing in our country. We’re thankful to live in a place like Powell, where people still generally care for one another and respect each other. We know that’s not true in many places. But we’re often disappointed by the online vitriol posted on local pages. While no country can entirely rid itself of evil, we can seek to improve our culture, starting with loving your neighbor.
In our Second Amendment-loving state, we respect firearms, but also recognize this right comes with tremendous responsibilities. America should take more steps to ensure guns — especially assault rifles — don’t end up in the wrong hands.
In Sunday’s shooting, the gunman killed nine people and injured 27 in less than a minute, according to news reports. Police should be commended for their incredible and quick response, but it’s terrifying to think how many more could have died if police hadn’t killed the shooter within a minute.
It also brings up the question: Why wouldn’t we want to take precautions when it comes to selling a weapon that can kill so many people so quickly?
In remarks on the shootings that he delivered Monday, President Donald Trump suggested developing better ways to detect early warning signs of would-be shooters, taking steps to build a culture that “celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life,” and making sure “those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms.” We hope to see our country explore and take action on those and other ideas.
Americans shouldn’t be afraid to go shopping or worry about an emergency exit route when at a restaurant. We should feel safe going to schools, churches, stores, concerts and other public places, without fearing that a gunman could open fire.
Of course, there is no way to guarantee safety or prevent all crimes, but that doesn’t mean we should just throw up our hands and do nothing.
America must address the mass shootings plaguing this country before it happens again. Real lives are at stake.