Gail Collins sketches the worst of the mass shootings just this year:
…a gunman takes out kindergartners in a bucolic Connecticut suburb, three days after a gunman shot up a mall in Oregon, in the same year as fatal mass shootings in Minneapolis, in Tulsa, in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, in a theater in Colorado, a coffee bar in Seattle and a college in California.
Meanwhile, across America, as the Children’s Defense Fund reports, nearly 3,000 children and teens are killed by gun violence annually.
I wonder, what would a real, sustained public health campaign (tied to real legislative action) against gun violence look like? I’m inspired by Illinois’ move to post on electronic highway signs the current number of state residents killed in road accidents (we’re now in the last month of the year and the number has ticked well past 800). Driving under that sign and seeing the number a couple deaths higher since just the day before makes a powerful impression.
What if, like highway accidents or hostage updates (remember the nightly news way back when?), we posted daily across America, for a year, the numbers of under-18s killed by gun violence, updated daily?
Or, thinking about a piece by Mark Oppenheimer in today’s TNR, “Don’t Tell the Kids a Damn Thing About Newtown,” would such a public campaign simply further terrorize children and a nation already besieged by reports about cancer, terrorism, hunger, and more?
Maybe we need to do less and do it more calmly, rather than do more, frantically.