"Oh, come on, we have crazies and guns in New Zealand, too," said a lady from that country with whom I was walking one day and discussing the problem, "and we don't have all these mass murders!"
I was stumped to answer her, other than to suggest that maybe in the U.S. we have more guns and more crazies.
"No, I'll tell you what your problem is," she said, then proceeded to tell me about her son, who happened to be visiting Alaska at the time of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
"My son was horrified, beyond outraged, really so upset over all those children and teachers killed. But the Americans he talked to about it just kind of sighed and said, 'yes, wasn't it terrible, wasn't it awful, wasn't it such a tragedy.' 'But what are you going to do about all these shootings?', my son asked one American, but the man's attitude seemed to be 'Oh, well, it's sad, but these things happen.'
And that's your problem," the lady from New Zealand snapped, "in your country people only talk about gun violence and don't do anything about it!"
I had to concede that perhaps she had a point.
According to today's New York Times there is in the United States an average of more than one mass shooting - described as a shooting in which four or more people are injured or killed - a day. So far this year 462 people have been killed and another 1,314 injured in mass shootings in our country. And that's not even counting the over 100 people who die every day from gun violence outside the mass shootings.
This is this morning's front page of the New York Daily News:
But I don't know what to do.
Anybody have any ideas on how to turn our country from the NRA back to the USA?
1. "How Often Do Shootings Occur? On Average, Every Day, Records Show", Sharon LaFraniere, Sarah Cohen, and Richard J. Opel, Jr., "The New York Times", page 1A, December 3, 2015.