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Mass sadness

Ever since I read “Johnny got His Gun” by Dalton Trumbo in high school, I have been a peacenik. My very first published piece as a professional journalist was “Children’s Deaths Trigger Gun Safety Project.” And so, the two mass shootings over the weekend were major gut punches for me, as I am sure the rest of all of you. As I sat down to write this column, I Googled “mass shootings in U.S. 2022,” and what Wikipedia told me took me to my knees.

So far this year, according to the nonprofit research group “Gun Violence Archive,” there have been 239 mass shootings in the U.S.: 41 in January; 43 in February; 52 in March; 66 in April — and 37 this month, as of May 17. Including the shooters, 221 people are dead from these shootings and 790 were injured.

These are just numbers. But behind every one of those numbers is a human being, just like you and me. Every one has loved ones, a family, friends; a home, a job, dreams. I wish my words could do something about this, and I recognize the futility. But dammit, I also cannot — and will not — stand silent. We just have to come together and do something … . Vote. Pass laws. That’s all well and good but maybe we need to do more. Write letters to our legislators, march, let our voices be heard. We can still do that. … Can we please do that?

Speaking of voting, I hope you participated in Tuesday’s Primaries. And that you continue practicing that right and encouraging others. We really can make a difference — but not if we sit still and silent.

Speaking of not being silent, Bill Cope is back — and we have another jam-packed, 48-page issue featuring stories from news to comedy, music, food and drink — and even a dinosaur.

You’ll find everything else in our back pages, including our dynamic calendar, the alluring Minerva, FIND, history, puzzles, horoscopes — and oh, yeah, Tom Tomorrow is back!

— Jeanne Huff, editor

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