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  • Writer's pictureJanee Pennington

How Many More?...

Updated: Feb 27

It has been a deadly month for the United States of America. And no, this time I'm not talking about the pandemic. Eight innocent lives lost in Atlanta, Georgia, and another ten in Boulder, CO (to name just a couple). More mass shootings both within a week of each other. The devastation lingers as we all ask ourselves, how many more?

Before I discuss further, please take a moment to honor the victims of these heinous acts. These people were all going about their daily lives when they were ripped from their families and had their futures stolen. My heart is with their loved ones and the shocked communities that are left to mourn them.

  • Soon Chung Park, age 74

  • Hyun Jung Grant, age 51

  • Suncha Kim, age 69

  • Yong Yue, age 63

  • Delaina Ashley Yaun, age 33

  • Paul Andre Michels, age 54

  • Xiaojie Tan, age 49

  • Daoyou Feng, age 44

  • Officer Eric Talley, 51

  • Denny Strong, 20

  • Neven Stanisic, 23

  • Rikki Olds, 25

  • Tralona Bartkowiak, 49

  • Suzanne Fountain, 59

  • Teri Leiker, 51

  • Kevin Mahoney, 61

  • Lynn Murray, 62

  • Jody Waters, 65

  • And to all the others before them.

A clear pattern

What defines a "mass shooting"? Typically, a mass shooting is defined as incidents with at least four or five victims. So far in 2021, The United States has had 107 incidents that fit this criterion. Those 107 deadly incidents lead to 122 deaths, 325 injured, for a total of 447 victims. I ask you to think about these numbers hard and clear as we approach the fourth month of the year.

Out of the mass shootings so far this year, the vast majority were carried out with an AR-15. In fact, almost every major mass shooting that has rocked the nation in recent history, the shooter used an AR-15 to gun down his victims.

I look at this list and I come back to the same question... How many more?? How many more lives need to be lost, how many more shootings with an AR-15 will it take before we do something?

As humans, we are opinionated and don't always agree. This is a fact of life. I can't help but think, can we not find common ground here? Can we not all see at this point something must be done?

The 2nd Amendment

The guns that existed at that time of the constitution being written were completely different from the semi- and fully-automatic weapons we see on the news these days. Common guns in 1791 included muskets and flintlock pistols.

"A "Typical Revolutionary-era musket" had a one-round magazine capacity, and it could fire around three effective rounds per minute – in the hands of the most skilled wielder. Its maximum accuracy range had to be within 50 meters. Compare this to a "Modern-day AR-15," which has a magazine capacity of 30 rounds, has an effective fire of 45 rounds a minute, and an accuracy range of 550 meters." This summation doesn't even address the difference in reloading time, a modern-day automatic rifle magazine can be swapped out in mere seconds.

Since the technology and machinery have been vastly updated, should not the laws and regulations? There is no way the authors of the constitution could possibly have envisioned what guns would be capable of today. How many more mass shootings at the barrel of an automatic weapon, before we can agree on this?

Tough Conversations

For families with children, events such as this can lead to tough questions, questions we may not have the answers to. Here is a guide, broken up by age group, it lends some advice on how to go about these talks with our kids and teenagers.

Someday, I hope these conversations will be an extreme rarity, if not nonexistent. With two mass shootings within a week hitting the national news, we have work to do before we will get there. And work requires action, we need more than thoughts and prayers.

I am sending out healing energy to you this week, as we mourn together. Let our country grieve this immeasurable loss. May the victim's souls rest in unending peace and love.

Sending you all love, healing energy and please do stay safe.

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