Guns are killing tens of thousands and it ain’t just the law of averages. It’s the less than average talent and commitment of our lawmakers.
They’re not listening. And we’ve stopped talking to each other: so we aren’t listening either. We’ll never find a solution to the slaughter unless we talk to each other – and hear each other.
Ten authors who feel this way came together to write a novel about gun violence. One they hoped would inspire dialogue. They each developed a character, wrote secondary characters and put them on a timeline – then marched them all toward a common destiny. An all-too-common destiny in these bloody United States.
Of the ten authors… eight live in Pennsylvania. One of them comes from Maine. Her kids were born in Lewiston, Maine. A town that, just weeks ago, had the largest mass shooting of the year.
Another of the authors is from Washington state. You’re reading this because you’re engaged, so you really don’t need me to tell you what happened in Washington this week, do you? This isn’t bad luck. No, like we said, it’s the law of averages.
We’re on track to lose 50,000 Americans to gun violence this year. James Dodds, one of the ten authors recently made a social media post pointing out that this is only 8000 fewer than died in Vietnam over the course of a decade-plus. Not to diminish how tragic Vietnam was – but at least those soldiers knew people would be shooting at them. The people in Vancouver this week, did not! (And the soldiers in Vietnam were armed. For the most part, the Americans dying in public places across this country are not. And even if some are – it makes zero difference in the kill count. Good guys with a gun add up to a statistical zero amount of difference).
So when will we have a real conversation about this American game of random slaughter – this Amercian Roulette? The authors of the book by that title would like to suggest that while the time had come, long ago – they’ll settle for “I’m listening because you’re listening” right about NOW.
Learn more about the book at www.americanroulette.wtf – gun violence’s most appropriate url. Listen to an interview with two of the authors at NPR affiliate, WITF. Reach out to your friends, neighbors and elected officials. And do it now.