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by Jerid Woods

It’s june. We’re at the halfway mark of the year, and when we should be reflecting on things we find ourselves, instead, repeating them. At this point, America has had at least 246 mass shootings this year. Disgustingly so, we are right where we are supposed to be–if our goal is to have as many as we had last year, the worst reported year since they started being recorded in 2014. That would mean we would reach 692 by the year's end.

That’s a lot of death to go…


…And yet, we have no solutions. We have suggestions, yes, but they leap from the minds of those with their best interests in mind, and I don’t say that to say that I’ve saved my words as mentioned earlier only for politicians–no, not at all. These words easily fit about the neck of those who argue in their cars at stop lights, in coffee shops, and in living rooms about the blood that is on all of our hands like the little ones who once presses their painted palms to construction paper for parents they’ll never see again in classrooms we have yet to properly protect.

We have failed them.


We have failed those gunned down everywhere, in churches, supermarkets, graduation parties, malls, hospitals, everywhere because nowhere is safe. America isn’t safe. And I feel we’ve known that for a while. I feel like the certainty of unsafety wraps us all up like shawls in the winter and we are comforted only by the inevitability of more of the same. The inevitability of the vacuum doing what it does, hold our screams for later, so that when we scream again they’ll be someone there to greet the sound, hold the fury, and remind us of the nothing we like to do in the wake of such things.

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