Too Many Hash Marks

flynn_1 still counting 50

The second weekend in June 2016 was horrible. It was horrible because on June 10, 2016, Christina Grimmie was shot to death. It was horrible because on June 11, 2016, 49 people at the Pulse Club were shot to death. Now the number of victims from gun violence will include these deaths. The new total will include the death of these 50 people. These people who died will become hash marks in the never ending death count from gun violence. But these people are not hash marks they were sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. Some were short, some were tall, some were serious some were carefree, some were men some were women. We the people of America must see each death from gun violence as individuals, as our brothers and our sisters. Only then can we see that we the people of America must make changes in our gun laws. We the people must have the courage to do the right thing. Change is slow but change only happens when there is a start. The start must happen. These victims are not hash marks, they were members of our community.

Chicago

Summer is a wonderful time of the year. The sun shines, children are out of school and families spend time together. Even in a hot city summer can be joyous. Children play on the sidewalks and parents sit on the stoops talking.

But it is summer 2016 and in Chicago parents will keep children inside. In Chicago communities are filled with fear. In Chicago gun violence is up 50%.

In Chicago on May 27, 2016 the residents and community leaders rallied together to take back the streets, to make their communities safe. On May 28, 2016, the police reported, 19 people had been shot, four shot dead, including a 15-year-old girl.

The people who make up the city of Chicago are scared of summer. They are scared to walk on the sidewalks; they are scared to let their children play in the sunshine.

Does the sun shine is Chicago or only produce a glare that shields the violence?

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Tally-keeping count

 

Again and Again and Again

Bang, Bang #2

Again

Again

Again

Again a morning shattered by gun violence.

Again a lone shooter killing innocent citizens.

September 16, 2013, twelve people shot and killed in the DC Navy Yard.

Twelve people who will not go home to loved ones.

Again we mourn the loss.

Dichotomy

Dichotomy

Guns and human life are mutually exclusive. Guns and human life are contradictory. Guns are weapons made to cause harm. Flowers are left on the site of gun violence. The dichotomy is restated.

When Recreation and Gun Violence Collide

A park is a public area in a town that is used for recreation.  Recreation is an activity done for enjoyment when one is not working. On January 29, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton went to a Chicago park  with her friends. They were using the public area as a place of recreation. Hadiya was shot to death in  the park.  Hadiya Pendleton was 15 and was a hard working student. Hadiya Pendleton performed at the 2013 presidential inaugural events. Hadiya is dead because in Chicago gun violence seems to have become a way of life that could be said to border on recreation for some members of the Chicago community.

unspeakable fear

Bang, Bang, Bang

In a one hour span of time there were three deadly shootings on Sunday, December 2, 2012, on the streets of Philadelphia. Three lives reduced to three new hash marks to add to the tally.

tally 1

Life and Innocence Lost

On Saturday, September 1, 2012 in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, the fun at a block birthday party for a neighborhood child was shattered by the random shooting of a 21 year old man. The man died of a gunshot wound to the head. The innocence of the children at the party was lost as they watched the violence unfold.

Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect