Season of Peace
5 months ago
Remembering those who've lost loved ones due to America's gun violence epidemic
It’s official: the holidays are here. People are busying themselves with the last few days of Christmas shopping, maybe picking out gifts for Kwanzaa, making plans for the New Year and most importantly getting ready to celebrate life with family, friends and loved ones. But as many in the nation are preparing for this joyous time of celebration, there are people who are grieving the absence of loved ones who should be celebrating with them. The sad reality is that while many will immediately read that and think about the victims and families in the shooting in Newtown, Conn., there have been far too many other lives lost across this country due to gun violence. Not only will the families of Ana Marquez-Green, Noah Pozner, or Victoria Soto of the Sandy Hook shooting be left to fill the void, but so will the families of Heaven Sutton, Lloyd Morgan Jr., Trayvon Martin and many others.
There are some who feel this latest tragedy was somehow different, and while the circumstances in shootings are rarely alike, the truth is the deaths of all those victims are the same. Each one of them shot and killed when they shouldn’t have been. Whether accidental or intentional, the pain and suffering their families feel is the same, and likely to a greater degree during this holiday season. There will be no request of toys or electronics, no unwrapping of gifts with elation; there will be no ringing in of the New Year for any of them. Yes, the details may be different, but the resulting absence is the same.
When people hear stories of a child like Heaven Sutton or Lloyd Morgan Jr. being killed, there’s sadness, but for some, it wasn’t motivation to act. It is almost as if people see gun violence as an unfortunate part of life that working-class urbanites have to contend with. What people are coming to learn is that gun violence isn’t a black or Latino problem, it isn’t an urban problem, and it isn’t a mental health problem.
Gun violence is an American problem.