HealthCommentary

Exploring Human Potential

Posted on | December 31, 2019 | No Comments

Mike Magee

December 14, 2012 seems a long time ago – 7 years and 17 days. That is when 20 young souls, age 6 and 7, were shot down in Newton, CT, a few miles from our home. Two days after the tragedy, I wrote:

“Did we as a nation do all that was possible to avoid the disaster in Newtown, CT? Clearly no. Do the issues of what we didn’t do – manage our guns, manage our mentally ill, manage our violent culture – require elaborate study? Not really. What we require is thoughtful and deliberate action. Policy defines action. Actions seek to alter or curtail human behavior – move us forward toward our finer selves in the interest of the collective good.”

Has our nation been able to overcome the destructive impulses of the NRA and pass meaningful laws to help ensure that these youngsters have not died in vain? No.

And yet, in the actions of our citizens, there is cause for hope. Since the tragedy, a group of Moms, Mayors, and Gun Survivors have coalesced. Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and Washington, D.C. and, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Students Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network, it is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly 6 million supporters and more than 350,000 donors. You can join the campaign here.

An investigative report in The Guardian last month revealed that “A gun is fired on a school campus in America nearly twice a week. Suicide, homicides, a police shooting, attacks on students by other students: more than once a month this past year, gunfire on American school and university campuses has turned deadly, according to a database of school gunfire incidents compiled by advocates…Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, at least 233,000 kids across 243 schools have been exposed to gun violence during school hours, a Washington Post investigation found…Experts are quick to put that number in context. Researchers found that nearly 1,300 American children aged 17 and younger die from gunshot wounds each year, and they are more likely to be killed in homes or neighborhoods than at school.”

Since Newtown, “Everytown For Gun Safety” has been tracking the shootings of youngsters in schools across America, and analyzing and mapping the events. The entire report is HERE .

I don’t believe that our legislators will have the courage to face off the NRA, and do what is right, without a countervailing political force. But with the revelation that the Russians were washing money through their organization to support conservative candidates in the U.S.; the conviction of Maria Butina (a Russian spy embedded in the NRA), and massive executive corruption with diversion of donor funds within the NRA, the organization is finally fraying at its edges.

So this first day of 2020, I encourage you to donate to Everytown, and make your town part of the movement. Begin the year right – be useful, honorable, compassionate. Live well so that you might share the wellness with others.

For Health Commentary, I’m Mike Magee

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