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The Rise of Violence in America: How Many MORE Must Die? June 2022


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The Rise of Violence in America: How Many MORE Must Die?

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June 8, 2022

The Rise of Violence in America: How Many MORE Must Die?

By Santura Pegram

According to theologians, murders have taken place since the beginning of time. And, according to historians, murders on what is now known as U.S. soil have taken place since long before America was founded in 1776 when The Thirteen Colonies (also known as the United Colonies) merged in 1607.

However, what should be disturbing about these seemingly never-ending tragedies that have left most Americans stunned or borderline desensitized is the increasing frequency and vulnerability of such public acts of violence taking place at a moment’s notice, and how they leave us wondering when the next incident will take place and who the next victims will be.

A mentally unstable Howard Unruh did not commit the deadliest mass shooting of all time when he shot and killed multiple people by himself in Camden, New Jersey in 1949 (his rampage claimed 13 lives and wounded 3 others). Sadly, there have been and continue to be other encounters that have unjustly claimed equal or far greater numbers of mass casualties ever since then with alarming intensity over the decades thereafter.

• In 1966, a mentally ill ex-Marine took the lives of 17 and injured 37 others at the University of Texas tower shooting.

• In 1975, the Easter Sunday Massacre in Hamilton, Ohio, took the lives of 11 people (all relatives of the shooter).

• Throughout the 1980’s, 4 more separate mass shooting incidents killed a total of 73 victims and injured another 27.

• In the 1990’s, 2 other separate mass shootings took 39 lives and injured a combined 51 people.

• From 2000 to 2010, 72 more people combined lost their lives in 4 more separate mass incidents and 66 were injured in those combined incidents.

• From 2011 to 2020, 267 additional people lost their lives in 13 separate mass shooting incidents and 1,132 others were injured in those combined incidents.

• And, from 2021 until June 2022, there have been 3 separate mass shooting incidents in public that have claimed the lives of 44 people total and injured a combined 23. The latest being an unfathomable ordeal that snatched the lives of 19 third and fourth grade defenseless children between the ages of 9 to 11-years old.

We know the numbers of innocent victims of such encounters are continuing to rise at record levels. We know that a growing segment of society is battling with serious mental health issues that need immediate psychological attention. We know that at any given moment any one of us (or one or more of our loved ones) can be caught in the midst of such a fateful encounter. Yet, two questions remain: First, why does it take such tragic events to happen to people directly to spark them to want to do something about a life-or-death problem that possibly could have been prevented?

And secondly, why must it take more public policy makers at every level of government to risk suffering a violent attack on themselves or a member of their own family (like former Congresswoman Gabby Gifford; the victims of the Kirkwood, Missouri City Council shooting; Clarksburg, West Virginia City Councilman Jimmy Malfregeot or the son of former Florida state legislator Daphne Campbell) before such political windbags will stop squandering their time in office and find the courage to move swiftly and push for widespread, mandatory changes to firearms manufacturing (which includes biometric – RFID technology and Ghost Gun fabrication), limiting the number of outlets where guns are sold in each state, implement intense sales specifications with severe punitive sanctions against sellers who violate the law, and strengthening licensing mandates?

The NRA must begin to understand that the government is not and should not be out to take away the right to bear arms of NRA members. Instead, the people (‘government’) merely seek to prevent guns from continuing to get into the hands of mentally and emotionally challenged people and irresponsible children and young adults who misuse such weapons.

Oddly enough, if the U.S. government was able to disrupt the Goliath tobacco industry (an annual multi-billion dollar generating sector) and make tobacco companies legally liable for the effects of their harmful products upon consumers, then surely the same approach should be applied to another annual multi-billion dollar generating industry – gun manufacturing companies – when their weapons are used to take a life unjustifiably. The families of deceased shooting victims and/or living survivors deserve the right to file a major lawsuit against not only the person/people responsible for maiming or killing an innocent victim(s), but judicial systems should help hold gun manufacturing companies accountable like Philip Morris International, R.J. Reynolds Company, Altria Group, and other tobacco companies have been
forced to do.

The NRA and their lobbyists appear out-of-touch attempting to downplay the fact that the United States has had more mass shootings than any other country. That should be unacceptable. A mass shooting, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Gun Violence Archive, is defined as “firearm violence resulting in at least four people being shot at roughly the same time and location.” In the U.S., there have been well over 2,100 mass (public) shootings since 2013. Latest research reveals 417 in 2019, 610 in 2020, and 692 in 2021. See how bad it really is – (

Unfortunately, community violence is a monster that will require EVERYONE to tackle it if you expect to live in a peaceful community without the fear of becoming a potential victim.

Stop depending solely upon the police to protect you because this animal is much bigger than even law enforcement can handle alone, and despite what any clergy leaders tell you this is not something you can simply pray away. Prayer (meaning faith) without ‘action’ is dead. So, everyone must do more to thwart potentially violent situations.

Take the time to sit and talk with younger people and genuinely get to know them on a personal level.

Show them that they can trust you, and in turn, they will begin to show you the same in return.

Don’t judge them for making a few errors along the way, but let them know the importance of making good decisions and not-so-good decisions throughout their lifetime.

Show them…don’t just tell them…what “respect, love, and altruism” really means, and watch them improve because many (if not most) want to come out of the streets but do not know how or lack other realistic (economic) options.

Teach them about anger management & conflict resolution skills. Those variables may likely save their life one day or prevent them from throwing it away.

And, whatever you do, be conscious of who you choose to vote for and expect to represent you in public office.

Advocate for term limits to be implemented at every level of government to prevent corruption and complacency by those holding such positions. Without hesitation, vote incumbents out of office who display a disinterest or refusal to fight for the necessities of your community…safety-wise, economic-wise, and general service-wise.

Society may have gone astray the last few decades, but we can still turn things around and find our way, back to a sensible, safer community before it’s too late if we seek to find the right roadmap to follow.

That begins with confronting the challenging topics most people prefer to avoid – like racism, classism, ageism, ableism, genderism, ignorance, and greed that make life more cumbersome than what it already is for the average person. Help people instead of dismissively hurting them and watch peace and prosperity appear.


* Santura Pegram ( is a freelance writer and socially conscious business consultant who has helped to advise small businesses; nonprofit organizations; city, county, and state governmental committees; elected officials; professional athletes; and school systems. His son died from gun violence in 2012.



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