Today, August 4th, marks one year since the Miami Valley experienced one of its darkest moments, for it was that evening when nine people were killed and many more injured as a result of a mass shooting in the Oregon District in downtown Dayton.
And while our collective attention this year has been focused for obvious reason on the pandemic which has altered practically every aspect of our lives, tragic anniversaries like this one only serve to remind us of another epidemic that has been afflicting our nation for years, even decades, and negatively altering the lives of millions of our citizens. And that is the epidemic of gun violence.
Though the shots fired on August 4th, 2019 ripped through the heart of the city of Dayton, it’s causes and effects were felt throughout our entire region, as not only was the Oregon District filled with people from around our region, but the gunman came from right here in our own Greene County community of Bellbrook.
This only serves to drive home the reality that gun violence knows no socioeconomic or racial barriers, it respects no boundaries based on family background or zip codes or any such superficial distinctions. It is why we must all come together to both recognize the depth of this problem, and stand up and demand real solutions to it. Business as usual in just allowing this to continue on, while those in positions of responsibility seem to just shrug their shoulders while 37,603 of our fellow citizens die every single year from this epidemic simply isn’t good enough. (Gun Violence In America – Policy & Research)
It’s why citizens from throughout the Miami Valley have been demanding of our leadership to “DO SOMETHING” in regards to stemming this epidemic of violence.
This is an epidemic for which I recognize there are no easy answers to, no quick fixes, no simple solutions. What I *do* recognize, however, is that political efforts to find those solutions have constantly been impeded by the presence of a politically and economically powerful weapons lobby, one that uses it’s leverage within our current campaign funding system to effectively squash any meaningful debate, let alone actual action, in our legislatures that attempts to actually redress this problem.
What do you call it when the *overwhelming* majority of citizens want things like universal background checks on all weapons purchases, the enactment of red flag laws, and other common sense proposals to reduce our nation’s gun violence epidemic. And yet making these overwhelming popular proposals into law continues to run into a buzzsaw of political obstruction, due to the undue influence of big business weapons manufacturers who use their lobbying power to derail these efforts. This is just yet one more example of the price our society pays for not bringing to heel the corrupting influence of money over our policymaking process. This is why I support organizations like Mom’s Demand Action, and why they recognize mine as a ‘gun sense’ campaign, because they’ve been demanding our legislators Do Something for years now, and know I’m committed to that effort, as well.
That is why now is the time for us not simply to remember those who’s lives were lost and forever altered and those who’s were forever altered by the tragic events of one year ago today, but to truly heed the call of the crowds who gathered together in the thousands afterwards to honor and remember the fallen, as they made their demands of their political leaders quite clear – *Do Something*
*For more on this, here is an address on the issue of gun violence by Dayton physician Dr. Matthew Noordsij-Jones delivered to the thousands in attendance at the March For Our Lives gathering in Dayton, Ohio in March of 2018. — “Gun Violence Is About More Than Guns”
Everytown For Gun Safety report on ‘Gun Violence In America’
“Mom’s Demand Action Recognize Kim’s Campaign In Support of Ending Gun Violence”