As an American citizens we can only wonder how many of our children have to be killed by guns before our legislators and fellow citizens put an end to it.
A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation said that gun violence is the major cause of death of American children and teenagers. The United States accounts for 97% of gun-related child deaths among similar large and wealthy countries, Kaiser reported, even though we make up only 46% of this group’s population. Child gun deaths in the U.S. total 56.2 per 1 million people ages 1–19. That compares to our neighbor to the north with only 6.2 per million deaths, even though they share an undefended border with our nation where weapons are easy to buy and Americans own some 400 million guns.
Child gun deaths in Australia total 1.6 per million children and teens, and an embarrassingly low of 0.5 in the United Kingdom. Mass shootings in this country totaled 240 in 2021 and is set to break that record in 2022. All of us know what is needed for mass murders — semi-automatic weapons. These weapons were once banned in the United States, but now an 18-year-old boy can and has legally purchased an assault rifle, then used it for mass murder.
No other advanced democracy tolerates gun killings like we do. We are the undisputed number-one nation in murders. No other country is even close. The question is, how many more children, teenagers and adults have to die before loving, compassionate and responsible citizens and legislators end this bloody plague on our society?
Keith Evans, St. Joseph
We have a choice to ‘do the right thing’
Each of us has a conscience; an innate understanding of right and wrong, of good and evil.
In today’s society, we witness senseless violence, murders, theft, looting and self-destruction through illicit drugs. One can only ask, “where is their conscience?” Ignoring our conscience normally results in unpleasant, if not catastrophic consequences.
Many laws would not exist if people simply followed their conscience, and jails would have fewer inmates. Yet many choose to ignore this gift. It is generally not a good choice.
In parochial school we were taught to do a frequent “Examination of Conscience” whereby we reviewed out thoughts, words and actions and consider how they aligned with our self-knowledge of right and wrong. It makes a good life-long practice. Most fail to some degree on a regular basis, but a simple review allows us to make important changes.
Our conscience helps us to “do the right thing” in most circumstances. It becomes a choice to follow our conscience or our selfish desires.
We ignore our conscience at great peril to our soul.