WTF Wednesday

I don’t understand this country. I don’t stand how someone’s right to shoot high-powered assault rifles at pumpkins in their backyard outweighs the need for public safety. Cigarettes kill people, and that industry has been regulated. A man tried to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb, and now shoes are part of airport security. You could make a bomb with liquids, so now we have rules on how much toothpaste we can carry on. Blue Bell Ice Cream led to the death of three people, and they got shut down. A single wreck in California led to a massive recall of Toyota vehicles and a loss of tens of millions of dollars. None of these changes involved “Well, we just need to hold people responsible. The car/bomb/cigarettes/liquids/ice cream weren’t to blame! No need for changes!”

Thousands of people die by firearm each year, and that seems to not be a problem for us. Or, as The Onion so eloquently stated, “At press time, Americans nationwide agreed that years of taking no measures whatsoever to prevent mass shootings may finally be paying off.” One person got killed by lawn darts, and now there are NO MORE LAWN DARTS.

I’m in a deep hole of rage and sadness about this country right now. I am so angry that people went to a concert and were murdered. Why are we not willing to demand something better than this? How can we just shrug and act like it’s okay that they went to enjoy music with loved ones and friends, then died there.

On a side note, it has been amazing watching Jimmy Kimmel over the past year. I have always enjoyed him, but he has brought a truly sharp commentary to many of the issues lately. He has expressed things in a way that are personal, emotional, and easy to understand. I frequently see people complain that “everything is political now,” but what do you expect when our Congress can’t seem to accomplish anything and the President is temperamental fascist asshat? Their shitty politics are actively ruining lives.

Back to guns. I am not here to tell people they shouldn’t have access to guns at all, but I absolutely believe that there are steps we can take to better regulate them. The second amendment describes firearms for the use of a militia. Our military seems to be doing just fine and we aren’t planning to mutiny against them, so why do people need guns again? Oh right, just because you can. I know people are sick of talking about it and don’t want hear anymore about gun control, but I don’t care. I can’t think about anything else. And don’t come at me with “If bad people want to kill, then they will use knives or other weapons.” I know that terrible people murder with other weapons frequently, but when they stab over 500 people in a very short time frame, then we can chat knife control.

I deeply believe that the only way to effectively argue is with reliable data and statistics. There are a lot of things I think are true, but I try only to make points that can be backed with information and examples. Several people I know have responded to that effort with “I don’t care about statistics” and “Your numbers don’t matter.” Well, they do. Information matters. You don’t get to decide that it’s safer in places where people have more guns because you feel like it should be. It’s not. So, if you’re interested in learning more or better equipping yourself with information on this topic, then here are some links about firearms and gun safety that inform my beliefs:

  • The American Journal of Public Health found in 2013 that for every percentage point increase in gun ownership in a state there was a .9% increase in the homicide rate.
  • There have been ZERO mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 33 years. ZERO.
  • For women, the American Journal of Public Health found that women are five times more likely to be shot by a former or current partner than a male stranger.
  • The Violence Policy center reported that a woman’s chances of being murdered by her abuser increases more than five times if he has access to a gun.

48 thoughts on “WTF Wednesday

  1. This whole thing makes me sad. I know someone that was killed in Vegas, another that was shot twice, and others that physically survived. I know someone that survived Sandy Hook but is still having a hard time dealing with it. I can’t stand guns but I respect the 2nd Amendment but there needs to be limits. There is no need for anyone to have a semiautomatic gun. There is no need for people with a history of mental illness to have access to guns. I don’t know what needs to happen to change things. I’m tired of crying about what is happening in our country. Google the clip from Ellen that showed all the good happening in our world, I needed that yesterday.

    • I’m am just so so sorry that this happened and has impacted people you know so terribly. I don’t know how anyone who was there is going to ever heal from this. We had several students in attendance and even more students who have a friend who was killed or injured. It is horrifying and the fact that we won’t do anything at all is shameful.

      And I will find that Ellen clip, thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Thank you for this. I’m bookmarking and saving this post…so much useful info. I’ve donated money, the first step I’ve ever taken to trying to actually do something, to Every time I hear someone say it’s too soon to talk about gun violence…let’s offer “hope and prayers” I want to scream. Maybe if we talked about our country’s gun problem sooner we could have prevented what happened in Las Vegas. I’m also tired of people saying to stop “politicizing the Las Vegas mass shooting” if the subject of gun control is even whispered. It’s ridiculous that we can’t even discuss this! I’m trying very hard to not feel defeated, but it’s so hard right now.

    • It is unbelievable to think that Sandy Hook didn’t inspire massive reforms. The majority of the country is in favor of better laws, but zip has happened. I don’t know when is the “right time” for us to talk about this, but I’m guessing never. It’s also never the right time to talk about racial injustice, inequality, or discrimination. Don’t inconvenience the conservatives with your problems, please! Immediately after 9/11 we couldn’t talk about preventing terrorism enough. Things changed IMMEDIATELY. There is no excuse to wait. Now is the time.

      • As a non-American looking in from the outside, part of me thinks that if there were no changes made after Sandy Hook, there never will be.

        I really, really hope I’m wrong about that though.

        • I agree. If people won’t change for murdered children, then nothing will ever be enough.

  3. Thank you for this post. You’re such a passionate and eloquent writer that you make it easy for others to read difficult topics and to see the facts clearly. This is real stuff that needs to be talked about and I applaud you for for bringing it to your platform and sharing the facts, along with your opinion. Information DOES matter and I sincerely hope more people will take the time to seek it out and respond to the shocking numbers. I live in the Bay Area, very close to Oakland, and absolutely believe gun control in this country needs to be talked about and changed. I have two 4.5 year old sons and want nothing more for them to grow up in a safer country!
    Thank you again for writing this – it’s concise and drives the point home in a way that can’t be argued with.

    • I hate that we live in the time when one group has so effectively convinced a large chunk of the nation to completely distrust mainstream media or information sources. They then fill in the gaps with their own nonsense and bullshit. It is insane. I’ve been reading about how the Russians fed misinformation through social media channels (targeted at this group) and it is terrifying.

  4. I love how passionate AND articulate you are. Most times I can only manage to be angry. Your blog is a constant source of how to be appropriately outraged. I’m serious. I agree with all that you’re saying, and you say it so much better than many others. I can only spend so much time on the internet or Twitter these days, because it fills me with so much rage.

    • It goes through about 15 drafts because I usually start with just typing FUCK 700 times in all caps. Facebook is probably going to be the end of me.

    • Thank you for sharing that, I have added it to the list. If that graphic doesn’t make you feel sick, then I don’t know what will.

  5. I wish I could channel your words and info straight into the brains of so many people right now. I am constantly flabbergasted at the willful ignorance and staunch resistance on the part of people of the “other side” of these issues. I just don’t know what to say or even how to start, and for the most part, it feels pointless, like we’re all screaming into a void that gets darker and deeper every day. Thank you for being so great at presenting things so succinctly and directly. It’s damn impressive, and reading your thoughts and information makes me feel like this is not all a lost cause, that I’m not crazy for thinking the way I do, and that hope still exists.

    • It’s because for they have been programmed to distrust media and ANYTHING that seems to come from the left (aka any opinion that differs from their own). Most of the people I know who voted for Trump ONLY watch Fox News. So, until people are willing to even listen to a different opinion, we are screwed.

      • “So, until people are willing to even listen to a different opinion, we are screwed” —

        The over-generalized sweeping statements of the Conservative right created here on your website are no better than declaring Republicans to be idiots who only watch Fox news. Are you willing to listen to an opinion that isn’t your own or the far-leaning left? The rhetoric on the blog fails to make me think that is the case. I’m sick and tired of hearing how “ALL” Trump supporters are bad people and each of us are evil and racist and should pray for forgiveness – I don’t believe that “ALL” Democrats are extremist, Antifa types. How does your statements make you any different then making it out to be that you are the only ones who are right… To have a dialogue that generates outcomes, we have to be open to hear each other out not put each other down. I believe this is how we have gotten to this place of hate – it comes from both sides without allowing people to be in the middle on topics. This new school of thought that we are all one way or another, liberals vs conservatives, the theorized hate vs. those who do not hate. It’s just not true, we as humans are more complex than that.

        You’re right, the way this works is when individuals are open to middle ground and you read and incorporate facts on from both sides. To do this – YOU have to be open to it as well.

        Assault weapons are banned in Connecticut, unfortunately that did not prevent Sandy Hook. Of the 18 mass shootings in the US since 2011, five have happened in states with A ratings with a 6th in DC. Seven more occurred in states with C ratings. Maryland has a homicide rate of 10.8 per 100,000 people despite getting an A rating from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, where as their neighbor Virginia, which has a D rating has a homicide rate of 11.8.

        You might find this infographic interesting from NPR:

        This shows how individualized the states actually are on gun regulation and gives you a better idea perhaps where we fail specifically.

        I agree with stricter regulations on guns. I agree that known terrorists should not be allowed to purchase guns. I agree that known offenders with a history of domestic violence should not be allowed to procure guns. I want safer schools for my children and safer venues for them to have fun and view entertainment however I also believe it is not as simple as taking the guns away or banning any and all guns. In my home we have guns, we also have education and safes.

        It’s a complex issue that I believe to be larger than mass shootings. These are an extremely sad and traumatic circumstance, equally sad to me are the day to day gun deaths and suicides that occur. As demonstrated above, the facts also show that more laws do not always equal a perfect situation – does it stop potential situations? I’d like to think so and that’s why I am in agreement with it but I also don’t think it is as cut and dry as you have made it out to be both with guns or who “we” are as people.

        • I never stated that “all” Trump supporters or Republicans are bad? I have never advocated for banning all guns. Not once. I know that there are plenty of people who would like that, but I respect that the constitution grants people the right to own firearms (just like they can kneel all day during the anthem). And I understand the reasons why people own them because I listen to what they are saying. Most of the people in my family are hunters and I eat the meat from the animals they kill. I had a pistol when I lived in Corpus Christi because there were a high number of home invasions and I was scared. I absolutely agree that it is a complex issue that will require more than regulations on firearms. We also have a human problem here. I also shared a link about gun laws by state. Some states have made significant progress with gun regulations, some states have not. I realize that no policy or law will ever completely prevent anything. I shared that information because it is what backs up my opinion. My opinion, not the be all end “this is the only option.” My cousin explained to me the other day why he wants silencers. He has a busted ear drum from his gun. While I wonder why you would spend hours firing something that could cause that kind of damage to your eardrum, I recognize why he supports that bill.

          Regarding suicide, studies show that households with guns have higher suicide rates. They also show that those who attempt suicide often do so out of impulse or panic. We regularly have students who are saved because they used pills or cut themselves. We don’t have any students who survive a gunshot to head. 90% of those who attempt suicide and survive do not go on to die by suicide. Unfortunately, the chances of surviving a shot to the head aren’t good, and there’s no second chance to come out of that despair.

          My disappointment is not that people want to own guns, but that we can’t even have a conversation about it. I just keep hearing that “now is not the time.” Why not? We talk about what went wrong in a plane crash as soon as it happens, then airlines are quickly trying to prevent it from happening again. Gun advocates like the NRA have done such a good idea embedding the idea that gun control = no guns at all, that we can’t even talk about small measures we can take just to make sure the FBI has time to run a background check. It takes a hell of lot more effort for me to get a passport or register my vehicle than buy a gun. And the guy in Vegas had no problem getting 42 of them.

          • I would agree that often times your blog does come off that ALL Trump supporters are bad. You and many of your commenters give the impression that because you think Trump is a racist, ‘we’ can’t be anything but a racist if we support him as well. I voted for Trump for many reasons to include wanting more conservative judges on the Supreme Court, wanting social security reformed, wanting healthcare reformed, wanting a smaller federal government, wanting taxes lowered and simplified, wanting to rein in government spending, I could go on, but this post isn’t about that. To answer the question about “now is not the time” I don’t want to come off that I don’t care for the victims. I think right now it is better to mourn as a nation, to support the victims loved ones and help get back to a new normal. Then I will talk about gun control. But since I know many disagree with me right now as a supporter of the 2nd amendment out of respect to the victims I don’t want to engage in a conversation that will just make others very mad, especially when I think many don’t want to hear my reasons they just want to call me an enabler. That is why the president is not talking about either side of gun control right now. It feels disrespectful and he would be pummeled for saying anything in support of the 2nd amendment. Obviously this is your blog and you can talk about whatever you want and I enjoy reading it to get a well thought out perspective from the other side of many social, political and economical issues. But I would agree with the other commenter, that the blog posts seldom seems to see both sides, and in fact the other side must just be dumb for thinking the way they do. although when responding to commenters you often admit to understanding why they think the way they do.

          • I don’t think all Trump supporters are bad (my own parents voted for him), but I do hold them responsible for him as the President. Just like I held myself responsible for Obama and the promises he didn’t keep. I wish healthcare was better. I wish it would be fully phased in so that people like me who get insurance through their employer are paying into the same pool as those who purchase ACA. I wish it was less expensive for people and that the benefits were better. I wanted universal healthcare. I voted for that. And it’s a nightmare for a lot of people which I am responsible for as the person who voted for that. I wanted it to be better. I hope that our Congress can work together to actually come up with ways to make it better instead of just dismantling it and ripping coverage from people.

            I do believe that Trump is a racist and it disturbs me that people put their faith in him. I know that is frustrating to hear, but it’s what I feel. He ran on a platform of us versus them and blamed all of our problems on other people. Every time he said something terrible I thought it would surely be the end, but he is made of teflon apparently. It’s disappointing. I have to work with students every day who are negatively impacted by the things he says, the actions his administration has taken, and the way that he has empowered many people who voted for him to shout truly vile and hateful things at undocumented people, people of color, and Muslims. There is no longer shame in being hateful. We have about 1,000 students who were brought here as children and there other students walking around yelling at them “build the wall” and “go back to where you came from” and “Mexicans are rapists.” They don’t deserve that.

            And, on the opposite end, I didn’t want more conservative judges on the supreme court. I want additional protections for vulnerable populations such as transgender people or undocumented people here because many states are not willing to put in policy to protect them (such as mandating ADA accommodations). I know a lot of people disagree with that and I accept that.

            I don’t know when we will talk about gun violence in this country if it isn’t now. The NRA’s own people have stated that they know to lay low for a couple of weeks while it blows over. We don’t wait to talk about what went wrong in natural disasters, we don’t wait to address terrorism, and we don’t wait to yank things of the market when they harm people. So, I don’t really understand why we would wait on gun violence. I support the second amendment and don’t generally care about people owning most types of guns. I understand why people want them, have them, and enjoy them for hunting. I also said that I recognize why my cousin supports the gun silencer bill, but that doesn’t mean I agree with him. This weekend Trump will say some idiotic thing or have some embarrassing gaffe, and everyone’s attention will turn that to that. Or, maybe, he will continue to undermine the negotiations of his own Secretary of State on Twitter while continuing to provoke North Korea which will mean that most of us will be dust soon.

            I don’t feel obligated to share or present both sides. I write about what is on my mind and what informs my own opinion. I’m clearly biased and I don’t pretend not to be. Most of my family and friends are conservative Republicans and we talk frequently about our differences and beliefs. We don’t agree, but I do respect that they have their right to them. There are plenty of places to get conservative viewpoints and opinions, but this is never going to be that place. I can understand why people think the way the do on many issues and what informs their beliefs. I get it, but I don’t have to agree with it.

  6. I just want to say thank you. Most days I struggle to actually put words to everything I’m thinking and feeling, and then I come to your blog and you have managed to express it all so eloquently and concisely. I appreciate how well informed your opinions are, and how you are able to put words to such a mess of feelings.

    • I hope you find some information here that helps you get your words out. Keep trying! It often takes a lot of drafts and edits to get to something that seems even readable.

  7. I’ve been a lurker for many months but this excellent post has spurred me to finally tell you, your blog is my favourite thing on the Internet, no word of a lie. Your courage in holding asshats on social media accountable for their idiotic non-arguments holds a particular thrill. You inspire me to try to use my platform and privilege to more effect. Keep doing what you do, badass lady!

  8. Thank you so much for this post, and really, all of your posts. Vegas is my home, and I was at the festival on Sunday night and was one of the lucky ones who was able to get out physically unharmed. Every time I hear someone say “there was nothing we could have done to prevent this,” I get so so so angry. One man should never have had the weaponry to mow down a crowd of 22,000 people killing 58 and injuring hundreds from 32 stories up half a mile away. We need to demand commen sense gun control, because we deserve better. How many more people need to be murdered from senseless gun violence? Please don’t stop writing, and please don’t stop being outraged by this nonsense until something changes. You are awesome-thank you!

    • I am so deeply sorry that you had to experience that. It never should have happened, but we haven’t done anything to prevent it. I don’t know how we live in a county where someone can purchase 42 guns and magazines with such high a high capacity number of rounds. No one needs that. If you need an assault rifle for hunting, then you suck at hunting. I’m glad you’re physically okay, but I know that mentally and emotionally this must be devastating to deal with. Take care of yourself!

  9. I would like to ask people advocating for these assault weapons: “If you knew for a fact that just ONE PERSON would die as a direct result of your right to own that gun, would you insist on your right to own it?”

    The problem is, I think for many people the answer is yes. What they are really saying is that they feel their freedom to shoot those pumpkins in their yard is more important than a person’s life. I wish they would just own up to it so we could get to the heart of the issue.

    The militia argument is absurd. These are the same people that profess deep and unconditional love for our troops. I hope they realize that if the government turns on the citizens, it will be the troops who are coming for them–with bombs and tanks to their machine guns. Good luck.

  10. Thank you for this post, especially the list of resources, because I too believe that arguments are pretty much null and void without facts backing them up. I don’t necessarily have these arguments in my everyday life (I live in Washington, DC, where ~95% of the voters in the city are Democrats and we have super strict gun laws. Plus I don’t work on the Hill), but I do have arguments with people back home in Michigan about this, despite a lot of those folks not even being gun owners or enthusiasts, but just people who won’t own up to the fact that their party is not looking out for the American people and that they made a mistake in who they voted for this time around (and I don’t just mean Trump).

    Gun violence is a huge public health issue in this country, and like a lot of issues that deal with prevention, we don’t address it. We mourn the tragedies that occur, but aren’t willing to own up to the fact that they could have been prevented or take steps to stop them from happening in the first place, and I just do not understand it. We just wait for bad things to happen and then say, “what could we have done?”

    Ditto to what a few comments above said – please keep writing and being outraged and speaking out and being political. Now IS the time for that, and your blog is one of things that has helped me stay mad and continue to speak out, even when people I know (back home, not in DC – that’s all we talk about here!) would rather I “didn’t talk politics” to keep the peace.

    • What a crazy time to be in DC! Wowza. I can’t help but laugh at how vocal the “don’t talk politics” is when someone is in disagreement with said politics. I realize it’s inconvenient for you to maybe have to wait a few extra days for a gun, but deal with it. It’s a bigger pain in the ass get my car registered. Keep fighting to good fight and giving people the inconvenience of valid data!

  11. Just want to echo the other commenters here and applaud your writing and your efforts. It’s a rare skill to be so eloquent in rage!

    I live in Massachusetts, so, yay for good gun laws and low gun deaths, and thankfully most of my Facebook friends are fairly sane. However, the rightiest right one of all of them today nearly made my head explode. They actually put together one of those fundraising things on Facebook for…wait for it…. the N. R. fucking A. Flames! Flames on the side of my face! Arrrrgh!

    • What really would solve this whole thing is if the gun lobbyists got more money, convinced Congress to require us all to carry firearms, and then one day we had a big misunderstanding and just ended civilization.

      • Right????

        And let’s not throw all our money at people who really need it in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico. No, screw those people, gun lobbyists should get all that “charity” money!!


        • Well, Puerto Rico CERTAINLY doesn’t deserve it. They’re in debt (unlike the rest of of the country)! *eye roll*

  12. Of course North Carolina took more money from the NRA than any other state. Like I needed another reason to hate Thom Tillis. argh! *screams randomly*

    • I saw you out there trying to fight that fight on Monday. Yeesh. And you’re totally spot on with your assessment. It’s so frustrating. Also, anytime I see “Tom” spelling like “Thom,” I like to pronounce it as “Thumb.” I hope this helps.

      • Totally. We have 70 people per year who die from gunshot wounds. Of course we too had mass shootings in the past but they occur much less than in the US.
        I totally support strong gun control. Why must it be so easy to get them in the US? You control so much in the US (as you so wonderfully listed in your post), why are guns not part of it? Stupid NRA and politicians (am I banned from entering the US now?).

        • Just delete all evidence of this website from your phone and you’ll probably be fine…

  13. I appreciate you, your thoughtful commentary and your righteous indignation. People like you make a difference and make it easier for tongue-tied people like me to share the facts. Thank you.

    • I think we are all in this together and the more information and resources we can share, then the better equipped we are for the fight.

  14. Preach! I love that you back up everything with data and statistics. Unfortunately, that cannot be said for our leaders!

  15. Another outstanding post – you always say what I am thinking or raging about so eloquently. You are spot on as always. I am passing along your brilliance to as many people as possible – amazingly there are a bunch of clods on my FB that need to read this because they WANT and NEED to shoot their pumpkins in their back yard. I’m pretty sure that our founding fathers didn’t have that in mind when they wrote the Constitution. Something has to change!!!

  16. Wow, this is sad. You actually believe all those ‘facts’ you listed. Oh man. Where to start? ZERO mass shootings have been stopped by armed citizens? That’s because the ones that were stopped didn’t become mass shootings! Look up the Pearl High shooting. You’ve probably never heard of it, because ‘only’ two people died, and in order to qualify as a ‘mass shooting’ at least four have to die. So this and the dozens of other potential mass shootings are ignored and you get to pretend that good guys with guns never stop bad guys with guns.
    OK, the ‘mental illness’ thing? Did you know that the ACLU, along with some 30 other groups, supported that legislation? It wasn’t about mental illness, it was about senior citizens who need a third party to help them with their finances. Not mental illness.
    And people on the terrorist watch list can NOT buy guns. People on the no-fly list can buy guns. The no-fly list is just a random list with no oversight and no due process. Dozens of people have been put on that list by mistake, normal people who who have done nothing and just ended up on this list for no reason because it’s a beurocratic mess. It’s not a terrorist list.
    Gun deaths are the 3rd highest cause of death for children. Well…they are if you count 17-20 year olds as children. Prime age for gangs, which is where the majority of gun deaths occur. (Outside of the five cities in America with the strictest gun laws, your chances of being shot drop to close to zero.) If you look at gun deaths for kids <16 then it's actually negligible. And what are the first two? I'm pretty sure one of them is drowning, so if you really think that their lives need to be protected at all costs then your next post should be about outlawing pools.
    And Australia had a confiscation program. If that's what you want, come out and say it. But most people support the second amendment that says the right of the people (not the militia) to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. You want to overturn the second amendment, you start a petition and get 2/3 of the states to agree to a constitutional amendment. If that's not what you want, then this entire article is moot. You can't say in one breath that you think people should be allowed to have guns, then say you think that the govt needs to make sure people don't have guns.

    • I have read about Pearl High actually because it was covered by the national media. That shooting got plenty of attention. The shooter was stopped as he ran away from the scene. Myrick did apprehend him, and if he hadn’t then maybe Woodham would have shot more people, but there is no way to know because he was FLEEING.

      I know the ACLU supported the bill, but I don’t always agree with their stances on things. That is my right as an independent person.

      That was my mistake in typing “terrorist watch list” instead of “no fly list.” I have corrected it.

      The data on the third leading cause of death for children is from the journal Pediatrics using 0-17 year olds. And you know what I wish was a damn law? That people with backyard pools had to have fences around them. Period. The end. I know it’s ugly and inconvenient, but there is no reason a toddler should drown in their own yard (I am not blaming parents). I also wish young children had to wear those life jackets swimsuits. I’ve given CPR to a kid who went under and I would vote for anything that would help keep them safer around water.

      I also know that Australia has a confiscation program because I read things before sharing them. Confiscation is not the only option and I never stated that we should be a gun-free society. Plenty of other countries have enacted measures that have decreased gun violence and suicide in their country. I provided Australia as an example of a country that took measures to decrease gun violence and has had success. Is that the right model for us? Probably not, but that doesn’t it’s invalid information.

      • If we want to talk about facts, drowning is not a leading cause of death, except children 1-4. I wish people would look at the facts before making sweeping generalizations on your blog. Please also remember children can drown in a bathtub. It is crazy that homicide is #3 leading cause of death for 1-4 yo. Motor vehicle injuries are #1 cause of death age 5-19. In other age groups, homicide is #4 for 5-14 and #3 for 15-24. Suicide is #3 in 10-14 and #2 in 15-34. These numbers are for 2015 and come from the CDC. This is the most current data. I wish people would also remember that gangs are not only in big cities and are quite active in rural America. Life is not always like it is in the movies!

        • Talking about gangs in rural areas is inconvenient because you can’t just blame it on the brown kids in the city. Thanks for sharing that data – even if it’s completely horrifying. We have suicide attempts every day on our campus (often more than one) and it’s devastating. Thankfully, they rarely involve a firearm, and the students survive and are able to get support. I need we knew how prevalent it was among that age group until I worked in administration.

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