Bruce's Blog


Can We Stop Killing Each Other for a Minute?

June 1st, 2022

I am still shaking in the after quake of two massacres in the United States in nine days in May 2022.

Jose Manuel Flores Jr., 10 years old, was one of the many victims in Uvalde, Texas, who had celebrated being named to the honor roll just that morning. In all nineteen fourth-graders and two teachers were killed, many of them mutilated to the point that they were unidentifiable visually. Just a few days earlier 86 year old Ruth Whitfield had stopped at Top’s Market in Buffalo, NY, for groceries. She was headed home after her daily visit with her husband whom she had seen every day for eight years in the nursing home where he stayed. She and nine other mostly black elders were murdered by an 18-year-old white supremacist. 
All of these victims cry out for justice, for something to be done. “Thoughts and prayers” are empty promises to families and friends left behind. The US is a more dismal place without these complex lives, without the potential and current gifts these people were bringing to their communities every day.

Since Sandy Hook in 2012, there have been 540 school shootings in the United States— and Congress has done absolutely nothing to rein in the weapons these shooters have used.

The choruses of mental illness, one bad apple, and “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people” are not aging well. Misapplication of the 2nd amendment is equally trite and woefully inadequate in the face of these horrors.

The good thing about making and enforcing some basic common sense gun control legislation is that 90% of Americans agree that it is needed. What other issues have such widespread bipartisan support?

The US House of Representatives has already passed critical gun safety bills. It is time to apply needed pressure to senators elected to represent us to fulfill their responsibility, putting action behind their thoughts and prayers.

In 1996 Australia reacted to one mass shooting that took 35 precious lives. Just 12 days later sweeping gun control legislation was passed. It included a massive gun buy-back that destroyed nearly 700,000 guns.

In 26 years since then there has been only one shooting that killed more than four people. Gun-related homicides decreased by 60%. The number of suicides plummeted.

It is time the 90% make our voices heard. We must insist loud and long that “our” elected officials put in place gun controls that reduce the number and the power of guns in this country—not later or someday—but NOW. Those who say after each public mass shooting, “Now is not the time to talk about gun control,” must be shouted down by the collective voices of reason and empathy. We must turn this epidemic of gun violence and destruction around NOW.


#1 Karrie Brown said:

You always have a way of verbalizing what I am thinking, Bruce. Spot on. How can we love our neighbors as ourselves and continue to do nothing to stop this senseless death of innocent people?

#2 Jeffrey Dick said:

Excellent post.
I was just in Buffalo NY visiting family. Went down to Jefferson Street to help hand out food to residents in that area. People are really hurting.
We need actions along with our prayers.
Thank you

#3 Bruce Roller said:

“I am angry as a Mom. I am angry as a mayor of a community that has four elementary schools, two middle schools, a high school, churches, community centers, libraries,” said Styron, who has three children. “And I work in a public building, and I just don’t understand why we can’t elect policymakers who are going to introduce and pass meaningful, responsible safety measures for gun ownership.”
“Why aren’t we all screaming mad about it?” Styron said. “Why aren’t we all so frustrated and so angry that we want to see change?”—Emily Styron, mayor if an Indianapolis suburb

#4 Bruce Roller said:

Shari Camhi, the superintendent of schools for Baldwin Union Free School District on Long Island, said the threat of gun violence increasingly centers on “things that are outside of our control.”
“If we really want to solve a problem, you need to get to the root of the problem,” Camhi said. “Schools are not at the root of the problem. The guns are the problem.”

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