22 comments

  1. Moving. Heartbreaking. About halfway through, I found myself taking deep gulps of air, and by the end, I was in tears. This post is … so needed … so painful, but necessarily so. The key now is to make sure the people who most need to see this, see it. Those who would put their guns before their children, those who believe it is their undeniable right to shoot first and ask questions later. I will do my part to try to pass this story in photos along, with your permission, I will re-blog this afternoon? Excellent work, Greg ‘n Jeff. Thank you!

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    1. Good Morning Jill, and thanks so much!!

      I’m glad it hit you in an emotional way. It has a long way to go, but that won’t be a problem as there is so much material available to use (unfortunately.)

      Yes, by all means, please DO re-blog it!! We appreciate that VERY much!

      I was a little vague when I first described it to you obviously, but now you probably get the idea of what we’re trying to do. We want this to be an article which never goes away, simply because our mass shootings never go away. We put it in our ‘Featured’ spot for some limelight and as more articles are written, it will naturally be pushed back to make room for the new stuff. However, once a shooting event takes place again in America (and we know it’s only a question of time) I want to again have it appear in our ‘Featured’ spot with the fresh information. (We just have to figure out how to do that — it can’t be too difficult.)

      I hope there’s no photo limit for WordPress articles. I hope that as long as we have mass shootings and crazy gun violence, I’ll be able to add more photos to bring them all to light. I want thousands of photos… I want people to keep scrolling and reading, then suddenly say, “Holy crap, how long IS this article?” and then have them try to scroll down to see where it ends. I want the depth of it to hit them emotionally. I want them to realize that it’s a virtually bottomless pit of coverage about the mass shootings and gun violence we’ve had in America. We have so many shootings which occur so frequently that there’s no longer any impact. We’re unable invest our emotions anymore because the problem never goes away and we feel it’s useless to get upset anymore. We sigh and shake our heads, and then forget all about it until the next new shooting. This is our way of restoring some of that lost impact. We’ll bring them all back and list ’em here, without the distraction of other stories occurring simultaneously in the media. Seeing all the shootings lumped together where they can’t be forgotten or ignored is the core of our idea.

      It really is sad that I have so much material available to use, and that I think such a visual ‘article’ like this is needed. It’s also sad for me to think thousands of photos are required to make a point in America. In other countries, a single photo of a murdered child would do the trick to bring about responsible firearm legislation.

      We’re hoping there’s a lesson in the numbers and a message in the magnitude. We chose the Columbine shooting as a starting point, since it was the event which put mass shootings on the map in the minds of many Americans. We’re just starting out with it, but we hope to only use information compelling enough to keep our readers scrolling. (That’s not been achieved just yet, but that’s our goal.) In time we’ll get a better feel for what’s effective and what’s not, so it should get better as we go. Now that we have something in place online, we really only have to add the new events as they happen but I also want to dig up old events that have been forgotten. I want to put up photos of victims along with their names. It’s a tall order. If this was a perfect world, this would ultimately be a complete visual record of all the mass shootings in America since Columbine. I’ll be happy if I come reasonably close to that!

      Thanks Again Jill!! Have a great day!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As you say, unfortunately there will always be another school shooting, another mass shooting at a mall, a rally, a restaurant … just around the corner. Are you aware of a website called ‘The Trace’? They track all gun-related issues in the U.S. … you may find it of interest as you do research for this project. Here is a link, in case you’re interested: https://www.thetrace.org

        I am not sure whether there is a photo limit, but I did note that the last few photos loaded very slowly for me … that could just have been my wifi connection being stubborn, or it could have been due to the volume of graphic images. Something to keep in mind, and note whether others have the same issue.

        You’re quite right … we in this country have become inured to gun violence. Only one or two people died? Oh, no biggie then. Only the ones where either a famous person died, or many people died are noteworthy to the average person. It’s just too much to process, and yet … process it we must. I blame the NRA and their “this isn’t the right time to talk about it” attitude, as well as the members of Congress who are getting fat off money taken from the NRA. I blame ignorance. I blame the Alex Joneses of the world who turn mass shootings into a three-ring circus and denigrate the victims.

        It is a good thing you’re doing here, my friend. Let me know if I can help in any way.

        Hugs!

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  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Greg and Jeff over at On the Fence Voters have just launched a project on the issue of guns that I think you will find interesting. It is about awareness, about reminding people what role guns have played in the many tragedies this nation has seen as a result of the broad misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Thank you, Greg, for this profound look into our gun culture and its results, and thank you for your permission to share. Keep up the great work!

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    1. Thanks Mick for reading and for leaving a comment!

      I get you and completely agree. As I type this, I’m not sure we’ll ever see anything to curb our obsession with guns in the USA. I was reading some gun forums a few nights ago and my impression was that there’s no hope with the current generation of gun owners. They’re hostile, militant and so convinced that even the smallest measure of gun control legislation is a part of a vast conspiracy among Democrats to confiscated ALL firearms in the USA.

      I think our only hope is for the future generations. Folks like you and I just need to stay on our message of common sense. We have to be part of that voice which we hope will get louder in this country.

      Take Care Mick, and thanks again for reading On The Fence Voters!
      Greg / OhioRealist

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t see it changing anytime soon, Greg. As you say, the current generation of owners are so entrenched there is no point in attempting to reason with them.

        I have had conversations, often without revealing I am a Brit in the UK, and have been astonished at the amount of complete misinformation they throw at me. For example, we have extremely low numbers of gun incidents, due to the tight controls on gun ownership, yet I have been confidently informed by Americans that our gun fatalities are HIGHER than yours, and it’s out of control. When I have tried giving them figures, I get told they are fake.

        As the saying goes, you can’t argue with stupid.

        Best wishes, Mick

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s difficult to “like” this post … yet I did so because I definitely agree it’s a topic that needs to be put in front of the American Public on a REGULAR basis. Unfortunately, the act of mass killings has become all to commonplace and too many people tend to roll their eyes and shake their heads (and send thoughts and prayers) … and then do nothing.

    In our busy lives, it’s difficult to find the time to contact the politicians that accept money from gun-right organizations (and one can’t help but wonder if it even helps). But we must try! If enough of us took action, perhaps we will be able to effect some changes. After all, isn’t our government said to be by and for the people?

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  4. Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate it very much!

    I do wonder if it helps to contact these politicians who accept contributions from the NRA and other gun lobbies. I suspect our efforts are mostly ignored. Our country is more divided now than ever before… so much so that neither Democrats nor the Republicans view the other with anything but suspicion and disdain these days. (And yes, I’ll say it, at least seems warranted for the Democrats.) The topic of gun control is such a HUGE powder keg by comparison with most others. For my own self, if I sent a letter to a GOP politician voicing my concerns about anything — especially about gun control — he or she would just ‘consider the source’… i.e., I’d be considered to be just a ‘Liberal Dummycrat’ and my concerns would be cast into the Recycling Bin with all the others. Our political climate is like no other right now, and we’re seeing the worst of changes right before our eyes.

    I suppose it will never hurt to try, even if in the conventional way of contacting a politician. It’s hard to know what else to do along with that, but public outcry may be key to it all. If we ever experience a major shift in public and political opinion in which the NRA and all their supporters are suddenly on the defensive but nobody is buying their BS, then we may be on to something. How to get them on the ropes with wobbly legs is a whole ‘nother can of worms. It’s disgusting how powerful the NRA is, and how morally bankrupt our politicians are.

    We’ve no other choice but to keep going however. Giving up will not solve a thing obviously!

    Thanks again for reading and commenting!

    Greg / OhioRealist

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you very much for this post, I can only begin to imagine what it is like for you. I live in Australia and am constantly trying to comprehend the differences in our two systems. Maybe you can provide me with an insight into the obsession with guns and the control of the NRA? I have written an article as a response to the two recent mass shootings earlier in August, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on my article. Thankyou.

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    1. Thanks thelevinelowdown for reading this post with its experimental format and style. I chose this way of illustrating our gun problem in the USA because I was eager to contribute to our blog yet was unable to write in the customary way. It was a bit easier to take photos of articles which I hoped would underscore our worship of firearms here in America.

      To Explain, for the past two years, I’ve been caring for my beautiful mother who was afflicted with dementia that grew severe over time. Last May, a routine exam discovered she had Stage 4 Lung Cancer which had spread to her brain. Before her diagnosis, she never complained and never showed any signs that things were amiss, other than her worsening dementia. A few days ago on August 8th, she passed away after a VERY rough battle with the merciless disease. I was, and still am, shell-shocked at having witnessed what rampant cancer can do to a person.

      I’m happy and relieved her suffering is over, but along with the expected emotional fallout, I’m trying now to turn my attention to the many things I purposely neglected in my life to better care for my mother. I never knew how big a mess it all was until after she passed and I could see the extent of everything I let fall through the cracks… one of which was my contributions to this blog I co-write with Brookings Lib. Today marks the day I try to ease back into things. It will be rough going but I must pick up all the pieces which have fallen and put them back together again.

      Well, thanks! This was a rather long way to say, “please forgive how long it’s taken to reply to this comment!” Now, to your question….

      Know that what you ask seems to have no simple answer here, as evidenced by the inaction of our politicians. I want to give you a thoughtful and worthy response. I therefore want to read the article you wrote before I attempt to answer your question. I promise I’ll be back with another response. Good on ‘ya Mate, for wanting to understand, because understanding is always the first step toward solving any problem. I’ve long admired you Aussies, not just for how you handled your own mass shooting a few years ago, but simply because of how you folks are… maybe it’s the ‘Aussie Style’ I like so much! Take care for now! – Greg / OhioRealist

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Greg … so sorry to hear about your mom. The circumstances in their total had to be extremely demanding … including her passing and all that comes with settling affairs.

        Look forward to hearing more from you as you ease back into “normal” living.

        P.S. Just read your comment re: your wife. Good that she has control over her condition so you can love her for many years to come.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Levine!! Just wanted you to know that I didn’t forget your comments… rather I took them to heart so much that my eventual reply may actually be my next post. Still working on it. The gun problems in America are very complex, and it’s no easy task to write them down in a simplified way… but that’s currently what I’m attempting!

      Just wanted you to know I’m still with you on this, despite the time which has passed since we last spoke in this comment section! Take care in the southern hemisphere & we’ll talk soon! — Greg / OhioRealist

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Why thank you Levine! 🙂 Nice to know your name!

    I left out my wife’s condition because she doesn’t really like to talk about it. I’ve had second thoughts about it and want to include this little snippet. She recently completed about a year and a half chemotherapy for HER2 Positive Breast Cancer, which is much less common and a bit more stubborn than most cases of BC. That alone was worrisome enough to disable my creativity and focus, let alone what I just described about my mother. My wife Jen is fine now and we’re both hoping we’ll never see the cancer come back again. She still takes a low-dose chemo pill every day and will do so for at least the next 5 years, and maybe for the rest of her life. The great news is that we caught it in Stage 1… which is the best way to successfully treat most types of cancer.

    My wife means more than anything else in life to me, and it didn’t feel right to leave her out of the above explanation. No need to reply to this, I just wanted to paint a clearer picture of the last 2 years and what my babe courageously went through.

    Have a great night Levine!

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  7. Thanks so much Nan!!!

    I appreciate your thoughts and words and I’m very sorry I didn’t see them until now. Jeese, so many things have fallen through the cracks in the last two years, and my attention and contributions to this blog are right among them. The only way to pick up all the pieces in my life is to focus on the most important tasks before me and cross them off my list. The problem is that I’m emotionally attached to our mission here at OTFV, and to read the daily goings-on without being able to make meaningful contributions is heartbreaking to me. To avoid that heartbreak and the distractions it causes, for a time I must ignore our blog — including comments — until other matters in my life have been settled. Brookings Lib, my longtime ally and kick-ass blogger… he’s pulling the whole train by himself and OTFV is roaring down the tracks… it couldn’t be in better hands.

    Things are getting better, but life is very different now than how it was when Jeff and I started this blog. There’s been a cancer threat in our family now, and even though we can now say the words ‘cancer-free’ after 18 months of chemotherapy, I can tell you the anxiety never goes away completely. It’s like having a menacing dark cloud behind us which never dissipates. Even on the most perfect of days, all we have to do is turn around and there it is, all dark and threatening against the sky. It’s easy to put the worry out of one’s mind for awhile but it never leaves one’s reality. Accordingly, I have upgraded responsibilities in life… to my beautiful wife. None of this means I have to give up being a blogger, but it does mean I have to find a new optimum fit. I just have to wiggle around a bit until I fall right in. it’s starting to happen now actually… I’m writing a piece and working on it every morning… but it’s so frustrating how slow it’s going. A true snail’s pace. Always I have to stop where I’m at and work on something else which needs my attention NOW.

    Thanks Nan! I very much appreciate your thoughts! Take Care and we’ll see you soon in the blogosphere!

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