Again? Really?

When sorrows come, they come not as single spies, but in battalions.

I just watched the nine-year-old boy who lives opposite me walk down the road on his way to school. Nine years old. The same age as the three primary school children who were gunned down at a school in Nashville, along with two teachers, the day before yesterday. It was only a week since a shooting at another school,  in Texas. I simply don’t have the words to properly express how I feel about this. We are not even at the end of the third month in 2023, and yet in that time nearly 10,000 people in America have been shot and killed.

There have been 133 mass shootings – shootings which involve four or more people – since January 1st. When will this end? How is it possible for the the most advanced nation on the planet to be so blinkered about this? US President Joe Biden signed a sort-of gun control bill last year, but it still hasn’t stopped the violence.

I can’t believe that I am writing this sort of thing yet again. I did so after Sandy Hook, after Las Vegas, after Uvalde. And now Nashville.  But of course I am. Because this is the country where a politician, a Congressman for part of Nashville, sends a Christmas card with a photograph of him and his family all brandishing rifles.  Because  Audrey Hale was able to buy those weapons legally and store them at her parents’ home. Legally.

The gun lobby will bleat about their right to bear arms, their human right to buy, own, carry and discharge a weapon. To them I say what about the right of those children, those teachers to grow up, to grow old, to bear their own children? Their right to live? What about their human rights?

RIP: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, Cynthia Peak, Katherine Koonce, Mike Hill.

America – Wake Up. Do something about this.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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