Don't Wait 'Til the Blood Spills on Your Street
Another bloody weekend. I need your ideas. Now. We gotta stop this.
Had a "first time in my life experience" Sunday morning. I'm serious. Generally I read the papers and we plan our day. Church.... brunch... maybe some back to school shopping.
Turns out all three of those planned stops could be shooting galleries.
So... for the first time in my life the thought crossed my mind. My family could get killed today by a man with a gun. Can you imagine?
Before you dismiss me as overreacting, think about it. Two mass shootings over the weekend... three in the last week. At least 34 dead... more than 50 wounded. Two WalMarts... a California outdoor festival... a downtown entertainment district in Dayton Ohio.
Let's talk about my day planner... first stop church. More church, synagogue and mosque shootings than any period in modern history. In my home town, Pittsburgh, three mass shootings since I returned here to raise my family a decade ago. The latest... the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting left 11 dead.
The memorial to the dead at Tree of Life Synagogue.
From church, we proceed to brunch. No safe haven there. Nine killed at a downtown Dayton, Ohio restaurant early Sunday morning.
Next stop... the mall and some back to school shopping. At least 20 dead in Saturday's El Paso Texas mall mass shooting. My crime stats search shows an explosion in mall shootings in last ten years. Don't even get me started on school shootings... movie theatre shootings... amusement park shootings.
It was writer Ariel Durant who said "a great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."
Why don't we all tire of the bloodbath? Help me here. I really want to know. Shoot. Reload. Repeat. Shoot. Reload. Repeat. The idiom rings in my ears day after day. The template is replete with redundancy.
Fox News will cry out MORE GUNS. CNN will say NO GUNS. The NRA will have an assault rifle BOGO sale. Lawmakers will argue and point fingers.
Somewhere in the middle... folks like me. A no gun man who grew up a marksman. A journalist who has seen the carnage of eight mass shootings first hand. I've literally seen "blood in the streets."
Where are you headed next with your family or friends?
- Maybe a hotel? 58 killed 700 injured. Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.
- Stop at a club to dance? 48 killed. Pulse nightclub, Florida.
- Sending your kid off to college? 32 killed. Virginia Tech.
- Dropping off your little one at elementary school? 27 slaughtered. Newtown, Connecticut.
- Headed to say a prayer after all of the bloodshed? 26 slaughtered at a Texas church.
I've personally seen 23 killed at a Texas cafeteria (1991) ...14 murdered at an Oklahoma post office (1986)...168, including 19 children massacred at the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. I cried in the streets that year (1995).
For me..there are no prayers left... no answers from any God... any higher or lower power. All that left is fear... and pain... and a ponderous thought. Is this the best we can do? We will die alone or succeed together?
I need your help on this one. I'm out of ideas. Send me yours. Send me your ideas on video. Send me your ideas in a text.
I bet you read this. I bet you nothing. Prove me wrong, just once..prove me wrong! Please! Before you see blood in the streets...maybe your street.
I'll be waiting to hear from you... betcha I don't.