As we ended 2012 and continue to bring in a new year, news reports recap the violent events of 2012 and signs at parades and other events remember the victims of December’s horror in Newtown, Connecticut.
It is definitely a day for remembrance and hope for a better year, but I can’t help how much we can create real change without thinking of every individual victim. Philadelphia, for example, in the wake of one of its more violent years in a while, rang in the new year with two gun deaths. One of them, by all reports I’ve seen, was a teenager who was struck in his own home by a stray bullet.
We can — and should — remember Newtown, Columbine, Virginia Tech and all the others, but because of distance and time we remember them on holidays and anniversaries. Meanwhile, in between those times of remembrance, families and communities across the country face violence and loss every day, and they remain invisible. And, we remain numb and/or blind to them. I wish I had solutions for the gun violence in the country, but I don’t. I have ideas and I know I’m not alone. I vote, write politicians, sign petitions and make donations, speak up, and I know I’m not alone. And, like others, I know it’s not enough and no one person can change everything.
So one of my resolutions (for lack of a better word) is to speak out more and to try to get others I know to do the same…to try and build (or add to) a web of change. For starters, let’s begin to think of the violence in our communities as a problem that affects people, neighborhoods, towns, cities and the entire country every day, and one that takes away resources (such as our children or funds that could go to education or services) away from everyone else and from the things that made us a successful country.
To all of us…each day. And every day.