I Just Don’t Know What To Say

Does it ever seem like we have been on a merry-go-round for the past 40 years? Slowly picking up speed but constantly going through the same experiences? We seem to learn nothing along the way that will help us turn the merry-go-round into a vehicle that will move us forward. 

Tuesday, once again we passed by a recurring nightmare – a crazed man with a killing machine shooting children – CHILDREN – to smithereens. The man legally bought the killing machine, actually two killing machines, in Texas where the current governor proudly signed a law that allows every goofball to get killing machine.

Sadly, unless something is done and soon, we will watch this play over and over again. While 90% – ninety percent – of Americans want something done, the Republican Party refuses to do anything. In Iowa, Senators Grassley and Ernst are for all practical purposes on the payroll of the gun industry. 

This is Memorial Day weekend. A day we set aside to honor our war dead. Certainly such a day of somber consideration of those who gave their lives for our country is necessary for the collective mind of the country. What most people do not know is that there is a day set aside to commemorate those who have died needlessly of gun violence in this country every year.

That day is next Saturday. According to the website  https://wearorange.org  this day was originally set aside to honor the memory of Hadiya Pendleton, a Chicago teen who shortly after marching in President Obama’s second inauguration parade was killed by gunfire:

why orange?

On January 21, 2013, Hadiya Pendleton marched in President Obama’s second inaugural parade. One week later, Hadiya was shot and killed on a playground in Chicago. Soon after this tragedy, Hadiya’s friends commemorated her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Wear Orange is now observed every June. Thousands of people wear the color orange to honor Hadiya and the more than 40,000 people who are killed with guns and approximately 85,000 who are shot and wounded every year.

It quickly became a way to memorialize the victims of the gun violence pandemic in America that now claims some 40,000 plus lives a year.

Let us not forget that while 40,000 die yearly from gun violence, another 100,000 are injured but survive. Little has been mentioned of the 17 victims of Tuesday’s massacre that survived. Their lives have certainly changed forever. These victims are often forgotten about as our media focuses on the worst outcomes of the incidents. 

everytownforgunsafety.org has a donation page for survivors of gun violence. These are people whose lives have drastically changed in an instant and now face a difficult life just trying to survive and cope. As the intro to this page states:

Gun violence has emotional, medical, financial, and legal consequences for individuals and communities. This page offers basic resources and information to help victims and survivors of gun violence. This list is not comprehensive and there may be other resources available to you in your community.

If you think that in Iowa the chances of such gun violence happening are remote let me remind you that Republicans in Iowa have dramatically loosened gun laws. Add to that the polarizing of our society even in the most remote pockets of rural Iowa by the extreme right through the internet and you can see that like Uvalde, no place is too remote in America from the scourge of gun violence.

For those of us who have been around Iowa for a while we will always remember the massacre by PHD candidate Gang Lu in November of 1991. Here is a recount in 2021 by the Daily Iowan of that day:

It was a quiet, snowy day when enraged former UI graduate student Gang Lu shot and killed five people in two different campus buildings. Among those who lost their lives were Christoph Goertz and Robert “Bob” Smith, both professors of physics and astronomy; Dwight R. Nicholson, chairman of the physics and astronomy department; Linhua Shan, a postdoctoral researcher; and T. Anne Cleary, associate vice president for academic affairs.

And there was one survivor of this massacre, and innocent clerk who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Miya Rodolfo-Siosan survived but her life was changed forever. Ridolfo-Siosan died in 2008 and her obituary in the Berkeley Daily Planet recalled her experience:

“Miya Rodolfo-Sioson, long-time advocate for disability rights, died at 10:45 a.m. December 3, at Highland Hospital, with her brother Renato at her side. Miya was being treated for inflammatory breast cancer. She was 40 years old.

In November 1991 Miya was about to graduate with high honors from the Global Studies program of the University of Iowa. She worked as a temp for the university’s Grievance Officer in the Academic Affairs Office. 

Gang Lu, a new Ph.D., un-happy because he was denied a major dissertation prize, entered the office on November 1 and shot the Grievance Officer and Miya. She was the only person not on his hit list, and the last of the six people he shot before turning the gun on himself.

She was the sole survivor of the shooting, living for more than 17 years afterward. As a result of her injuries, she became a quadriplegic.”

The vast majority of Americans want some form of gun safety legislation We are blocked by Republican legislatures who act as puppets of the gun industry. What we can do is vote them out of office this November. If you don’t, the merry-go-round just keeps on spinning. Your vote is extremely important!

And, if you can where orange next weekend and let the world know that YOU are against the slaughter that is going on.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
This entry was posted in Charles Grassley, gun control, gun safety, Joni Ernst, Republican Obstruction, Republican Policy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.