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Leon Bibb commentary: 'The summer of the gun'

The Gun Violence Archive reports 320 mass shootings in the United States in 2022, with less than six months still left in the year.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — One week ago, a gunman opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois. 

Seven people died and many more were injured, on a day they gathered to celebrate our nation's freedom.  

Yet, we are a country, currently in the grips of a national crisis. An organization that tracks mass shootings in the United States reports there have been 320 since the year began. During that same holiday weekend, the city of Chicago had 62 total shootings, 10 of them fatal. 

As we pass through the hazy days of July, in my estimation, this has been the "summer of the gun." Tragically, the locations change almost week to week.

We are there, again. Another mass murder. So many in recent years, it is easy to lose count.

All we know is gunmen let loose in parades and supermarkets and schools and theaters and shopping malls and concerts and airports and houses of religious worship. Every area of the nation has felt the pain, the emotional hurt, the grief of murder—much of it from the hands of gunmen armed with military-style assault weapons. 

If you are not mad as hell, you ought to be. America, which is home to almost half of the world's guns in civilian hands, must find an answer. "Thoughts and prayers" sent to the grieving are not enough to quell the mayhem.

Answers must come from decided actions. We tremble because the danger zone is everywhere. 

From Highland Park, last week, we are left grieving. The still photos show all the items brought to a celebration of life. Instead, they were left behind when bullets rained down from a rooftop.

For surviving witnesses, the haunting collection of that day is forever etched in consciousness. Even the items left behind when survivors ran from the gunfire can prompt a sad memory, of the day of the murder-minded gunman changed life forever there, and everywhere. 




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