Publicized school shootings are not the only ones creating holes in families and communities. Every 30 minutes, a child or teen is shot and over eighteen children and young adults die each day in the U.S. from a gunshot wound.
One of the major reasons for the polarization between the two sides in the gun violence debate is that one side, the NRA side, refuses to admit that suicide has anything to do with gun violence at all.
How can we believe the National Rifle Association opposes gun violence when every mass murder committed with guns is answered by the NRA's call to buy more weapons, which increases their profits?
While gun violence can happen anywhere, as Ottawa shows, it happens much more in the United States than any other developed country. Why the discrepancy? The full answer is complicated, but one of the driving factors is not.
The malignant only threaten those who make inroads, who carve out spaces where they can be heard and can affect change, who realize their independent and collective power and wield it, from every dark corner into every dark corner.
More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In Washington State, studies show that death by gun violence has consistently exceeded motor vehicle crash deaths.
This "perfect storm" of guns and cyber-stalking of women is an example of how Western culture, through both philosophy and Christian theology, works to normalize violence against women, and violence in the general culture.
So long as we have a free media, hate and fear will be sold in prime time. But why does the fear sell so well in some areas -- climate change and guns, for example -- and why does common sense and freedom prevail in other areas, like gay marriage?
The NRA fully understands the racial dynamic at play here. As long as we can blame something other than guns, America will not have to come to terms with the truth that violence is a complicated phenomenon that is made far more lethal by the easy availability and killing power of firearms.
Jumping at one's own shadow is a perfect metaphor for living with post-traumatic stress disorder. A darkness that sets up permanent camp in your peripheral vision and won't go away, no matter how much sage you burn, or how many gods you pray to.
As ISIS raced through Western Iraq, cutting through Kurdish villages and Sunni enclaves with rapid speed, the United States reacted with shock. How could the Iraqi Army give up resistance so rapidly? Why weren't locals fighting back?
It is our responsibility as parents to create and follow guidelines that will teach our children and make a safer world for them to live in. Ultimately it is we the parents that are responsible for our children, not our government.
And every time the NRA has a week as bad as this one, the American public wins.
The FBI report not only debunks the "good guy stops the bad guy" nonsense, but also gives us some important data to judge the validity of another NRA mantra, namely, whether "bad guys" are drawn to commit shootings in gun-free zones.
The fact that America leads the developed world in guns and gun-related deaths doesn't faze gun advocates. Like tax cuts, guns are considered a cure-all. Unfortunately, the same appears true of munitions in American foreign policy.
Know what you get by requiring long gun transfers through NICS?