So, last week the recent spat of gun violence hit home, or very near it, when a man shot a woman in a local theatre --'local' in this case being in the next suburb over, Renton, where we lived the first year or so we were out here. It's a theater I've gone to occasionally, enough to know it's one of the newer, and nicer, in the area.
The gunman owned the gun legally and had a concealed carry permit; he claims he took it to the theatre with him because he wanted to protect himself in case of a theatre shooting, like the ones that have made so many headlines in recent years. Exactly what happened isn't clear at this point, but the end result was that he shot a random moviegoer, then left the scene. She survived, in part because of first aid provided by another moviegoer who'd had military training, but any local reading the story can tell how dangerous the wound must have been by the fact she was taken to Harborview; that's the place with the trauma unit where they take the most direly injured. Here's the link:
So, there it is: bad, but it so easily could have been worse. It highlights how intrinsically dangerous guns are (he's far less likely to have caused so much damage if he'd dropped a knife or hammer).
And since then, we've had another area shooting, this time at a homeless camp up in Seattle itself, in which two people were killed and several more injured; the attackers are still at large:
Finally, just to once again drive home the lethality of guns, here's a piece that argues that more people have died from being shot than the total number of U.S. dead in all the wars we've fought from the Revolution onward -- about 1.5 million, all told.
One and a half million of us. That's a lot of people. And counting.
current reading: The Rivers of London series, book three
*the most interesting part of this article to me was the Seattle mayor's straightforward acceptance of blame for not having done enough to help the homeless, despite his ongoing efforts. Rare to see a mea culpa like that.
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