EDITORIAL: Week of multiple shootings shows danger of ignoring gun violence

SHARE EDITORIAL: Week of multiple shootings shows danger of ignoring gun violence
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A woman is escorted from the scene of a shooting at a software company in Middleton, Wis., Wednesday. Four people were shot and wounded during the shooting in the suburb of Madison, according to a city administrator. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

The string of mass shootings across America this past week should cause all of us to demand new laws to reduce gun violence.

There are sensible ways to do that; we’ve written about many of them in our recently published 31 bullets campaign.

But too few people are raising their voices. Perhaps they think they can find safety simply by avoiding places where numerous people are likely to be shot.

To people who think it’s that simple, we suggest:

Don’t go to big cities. In Chicago, a series of shootings over 24 hours on Thursday wounded seven people and killed one man. Nineteen people were shot — two fatally — last weekend.

Don’t go to the suburbs. Three men were wounded in a drive-by shooting Thursday afternoon in north suburban Evanston. On Wednesday night, a man was found shot to death outside his Waukegan home.

EDITORIAL

Don’t go to small towns. Three people died during a gunman’s seven-hour rampage from Wednesday through early Thursday in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Don’t go to work. A woman with a 9mm Glock handgun on Thursday shot and killed three people at a Rite Aid distribution center in Maryland and left three others wounded before turning the gun on herself. In Middleton, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, a gunman with a revoked concealed-carry gun permit shot four people where he worked at a software company. The gunman also died.

Don’t stay home. A man shot and killed two people in a New York City home Friday before turning the gun on himself.

Don’t go to school. A high school student and an employee were wounded in a shooting near a Los Angeles charter school on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Don’t go to the courthouse. A 61-year-old man shot four people on Wednesday at the Magistrate Court in Masontown, Pennsylvania, where he was scheduled for a hearing on assault charges.

Don’t drive a car. Four people were shot in a car driving west through the intersection of West Cermak Road and South State Street on Wednesday.

Don’t walk down the street. Two teenage boys were shot early Thursday on the sidewalk in the Rosemoor neighborhood on the Far South Side.

Don’t go to a restaurant. Two men were shot at a Fort Wayne, Indiana, restaurant Friday morning.

Don’t go to an airport. On Thursday, dozens of gunshots could be heard blasting away in a shootout with police near Miami International Airport before police killed the shooter, who had an AK-47 rifle.

Don’t go to a memorial service. In Syracuse, New York, on Thursday, five people, including an 8-year-old girl, were injured in a shooting at a memorial service outside a home.

Will following these rules make any of us secure?

No.

The lesson here is obvious. No place is safe unless we do more as a nation to reduce gun violence everywhere.

As of Friday, the Gun Violence Archive listed 263 mass shootings so far this year in America, one more than the number of days so far in 2018. The archive defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot, not including the shooter, in a single incident. The archive also lists 10,573 gun deaths, 20,694 gun injuries and 41,909 gun violence incidents.

The shootings listed here demonstrate just how commonplace gun violence has become. These shootings also show how none of us, no matter where we live or where we go, can be free of the worry that gunshots might begin around us at any moment.

We must keep pursuing ways to reduce gun violence. We can never harden our hearts to it. No matter how often it happens, we can’t get used to it.

Our lives, and the lives of those around us, depend on it.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

To take action against gun violence, go to 31bullets.suntimes.com.

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