Seven Days of Silence

Photo by Jeff Nissen on Pexels.com

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There is a phrase coined as the hot days of summer. There have been many years which were long, hot and even bloody thanks to protests, violence and even deaths. We saw that in 1968, again in 1979, 1992, 2001, 2020 and now, 2022. We have not been able to have one day where there was no carnage on the streets, nor famous people that were shot, nor bridges that were senselessly blown up. The events of July so far this year have been anything where extraordinary would have been a modest term. We had two mass shootings on July 4th in the US- in Philadelphia and in Highland Park (outside Chicago). Another one was averted in Charlotte, NC. We have had over 330 mass shootings since the start of the year, and this second half has just started. On top of that, we have the war in Ukraine which has been amped up by Russia, dragging us into a potential World War III. And as this piece is being written, Japan is mourning the loss of its former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assasinated during a speech in Nara.

All of this has proven too much and the last item we need to discuss are the day to day operations. Because it is inappropriate to be talking bridges during the time of mourning, we decided to take a full week of silence where nothing was posted. This started on July 11th and ended yesterday. In addition to that the podcasts will also be on hiatus but for the rest of this month as well as all of August. Our first podcast will take place in September during the first weekend. We would like to use this time to reflect on what has been happening, paying respects to those whose lives have been senselessly cut short, and coming up with a plan to end this maddness. We know that this decision is a tough one but writing about bridges or even talking about them during this time is simply not appropriate.

If there is a word of advice to give you as we shut down for a week, it is this. This has got to stop and it has to stop right now. What we have for legislation is not enough to curb the violence. We need to get to the problem no matter how painful. We don’t need guns on our streets. We need common sense, which includes physical self-defense tactics, mental health services and neighborhood watch. Guns have never had any place on our streets nor in any home- especially automatic weapons! Therefore they should be banned and those who have them should be strongly encouraged to rid them- donate them to Ukraine. They would love to have them. If you want to shoot, join the military. They have all the tools available that can straighten you up in no time. And given the current situation, they could use a lot of men to serve and protect the country and its allies. And lastly, we need to tackle the social problems that have spawned mass shooters. Media, mental health, inequality and discrimination, poverty- they all belong in this pot and it is our responsibility to focus on this. The idea of business as usual has no place at all. We cannot accept shootings as the American norm because it is anything but that- normal. And that is bullshit!

We have politicians and lobbyists who have a different opinion. So therefore in November, vote them out. We don’t need those who think carrying a concealed weapon is the right answer and think everyone has the right to bear arms. We do not. Leave it to the professionals. It is our responsibility to protect our family, friends, neighbors and others who are in need. And weapons are simply not the answer. It’s time we make a statement and show Washington in November that this is not what America wants.

What we want is a safe America, where the streets are safe enough to walk on, to shop, to converse with people and to eat out. It’s time to make America safe again. ❤

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Stories, poems and the like about this topic can be found in sister column The Flensburg Files. Click here and follow. There’s a week long segment on America and it being on the crossroads. There are some ideas worth thinking about.

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