We leap up in response to dangers -- except for guns.
From left, Ashley Deuell, 18, Samantha Winslow, 18, and Michael Espinosa, 20, cry as they view crosses dedicated to Gordon Cowden, at left, and Alex "AJ" Boik, right), Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at a growing memorial to the victims of last Friday's mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. 12 people were killed, and dozens were injured in the shooting. Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24.
Recent articles have illustrated how gun violence is treated entirely differently than other risks in the United States. The first was about the tragic death of a child who was run over because her mother couldn't see her in the blind spot of an SUV. The mother is pushing for backing-up cameras on all SUVs to prevent such deaths. Total child deaths from being run over by SUVs? About 230.
The next day there was an article about baby recliners and the huge recall to get these dangerous items out of stores. Total baby deaths? Five -- possibly because safety instructions were ignored. Remember the poisoned Tylenol and what happened? (Hint: It's why you need a crowbar to get into your over-the-counter drugs now.)
How about the shoe bomber? How about lawn "Jarts?" Now, how about gun deaths? Around 32,000 per year in this country (half suicides). What can we do about that? Apparently nothing, not a thing, nada. I don't believe this at all.
It takes a strong movement and strong personalities, but culture can change. Think of drunken driving, smoking, seat belts -- ideas and behaviors changed over time for all of these.
I believe we can have change, but it will require matching dollars and willpower with the big bucks that gun manufacturers use to control our elected officials. The Constitution does say "well-regulated."
CINDY EARNEST, BLOOMINGTON
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