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Tag: Gun Violence

9/11 Recurs Every 3 1/2 Months

911 Memorial

Early Thursday morning, April 11, gun violence survivors and families of victims finished reading the names of all the people who have been killed by guns since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting less than four months prior. The list of over 3300 people took 12 hours to read.

The total number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks was 2977. With the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government responded within a blink of an eye. They made plans for the War on Terrorism, thus began the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Many lives were lost and destroyed. However, if you were to ask any government official who gave their consent to the wars, they’d likely say, “We think the price was worth it” – the exact answer that their colleague Madeline Albright had given decades ago when she was asked if the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to the UN imposed sanctions on Iraq was worth it.

Over 1,057,000 have been killed in the United States by gun violence since John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980. That’s 1,054,000 more people than those who died in 9/11, and that’s only counting the last 22 years. Yet a few days ago, something as simple as President Obama’s background check reform plan failed to win enough votes by the senate.

My question is this: are not your average everyday victims of gun violence, who outnumber the victims of 9/11 by more than a million, worthy of consideration when making the slightest changes regarding the very thing that took their lives? And, why is it always so much easier to pass laws that destroy people (war) rather than laws that help save people (health and gun reform)?

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Coffee vs. Guns

Coffee

 

In 1992, 79-year-old Stella Liebeck bought a cup of takeout coffee at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Albuquerque and spilled it on her lap. She sued McDonald’s and two years later, a jury awarded her nearly $3 million in punitive damages for the burns she suffered.

One of the jurors said over the course of the trial he came to realize the case was about “callous disregard for the safety of the people.”Another juror said “the facts were so overwhelmingly against the company.”

Since the lawsuit, McDonald’s – and most other places – no longer serve coffee very hot.

In September 2012, the school system in Cranston, R.I., announced it is banning traditional father-daughter and mother-son activities, saying they are a violation of the state’s gender discrimination law. It decision was in response to a complaint from the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) on behalf of a single mother who said her daughter was not able to attend a father-daughter-dance.

The Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence reports that an average of 268 people are shot every day in America. That’s 97,820 per year. Yet despite decades of efforts, no one can make the NRA budge a little to help protect Americans let alone sue it the way the coffee drinker did with McDonald’s.

I guess third degree burns on one’s inner thighs and a single woman’s anger over her daughter not going to the daddy-daughter dance are worthy of more instantaneous legal response.