477: The Power of Seeing Numbers
By Brian Sene Marc
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Hold on to that number for a moment here. It’s not concrete. But it’s damn near...
Let’s say it was one hundred less. 377. Hell, let’s go further. Let’s say it was four hundred less. 77. Let’s say that was the number of punches thrown in a school building this year- 77. Let’s spread it out even further. Let’s say in [arbitrary deceased politician name] high school over 10 years, 77 punches were thrown. It’s still kind of a lot, no? I mean, schools are for learning- not punching. Okay, thinking it’s a good time to get back to that original number: 477.
In researching to write this (and I almost quit many times) I counted 477 school shootings in the United States since 1764. I’m not spelling out the numbers as is recommended or accepted as a rule in writing. I feel like seeing the actual numbers hits a little harder. Swallow it. That’s a number that I’m sure is less than accurate as the reporting of crimes has changed over the years as has media coverage of said crimes. But let’s say, for the sake of this article, that 477 was RAINMAN accurate. Let’s go a step further and stretch our imaginations to believe, for a moment, that only one student or teacher died in each of these incidents. 477. FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY FUCKING SEVEN. But hey, forget that number now. That isn’t nearly accurate as far as fatalities go. It’s far greater than that. Considering that, February 14, 2018, seventeen people who walked into a school building, with the intentions of receiving or giving an education, were murdered. In one incident. 17.
*Apologies in advance, but I’m going to bounce you around here.
Pete Rose isn’t in the hall of fame. He isn’t in the hall of fame because of gambling on his own baseball games. As the manager of a baseball team, Pete Rose was found guilty of betting on his team’s victory. If anything, this made Rose compete harder to do a better job in helping his team win. In essence, he put more pressure on himself to perform well in the job he was hired to do. Americans deemed this shameful. Major League Baseball campaigned, and succeeded, in banishing him from his rightful place in the hall of fame. The thinking? If we don’t we don’t nip this in the bud., how out of hand could this get? How legitimate of an organization can we be if we don’t set an example here. The MLB sought to protect it’s integrity. Reminder: BASEBALL IS JUST A GAME.
NRA (Read MLB for Guns). National Rifle Association. Their baseballs kill. Their bats kill. (Read: NOT JUST A GAME.)
Objective: protect second amendment rights. So they would have you believe. Unfortunately, we can’t dive into how that’s not remotely all they’re out to do- because people are dying. Children are dying and they deserve the respect of some focus here.
Much Ado About SOMETHING
Four hundred Seventy-Seven times people walked into an educational facility with positive intentions, and were put into life-threatening- if not fatal- situations.
AND THE MAJOR LEAGUE FOR GUNS- The NRA that is- they aren’t trying to ban anything. Not the players, the coaches, the bats, the balls. Nothing.
They’d have you believe all is fine in (GUN)ited States of America. Bring your angry, your hateful, your poor. Bring your mentally sick, your troubled, Just.. don’t bring your laws. The NRA wants you, and for for decades, they’ve had the money to buy you...until now.
When 17 precious sets of eyes closed on February 14th, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, millions of eyes opened around the country. Why was it different this time? Because the students (read: kids) that were closest to the victims (read: other kids) looked around and realized that the adults of this country weren’t going to do anything about it. Again. Again, those politicians who have swung from the purse strings of the NRA for so long would lie at any cost, even the lives of children, to keep that money flowing. And this particular group of kids called BS (READ: Bull- Fucking- Shit).
March For Our Lives was set up and millions of people around the world took the streets to be seen and heard. Because as with this article, sometimes you have to see the numbers, to let them hit home.
Hey, that number isn’t concrete. But it’s a lot. (Read: TOO DAMN MANY).
*Author Note: Since Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre, there have been 4 more shootings, in schools alone, in the United States. These school shootings have claimed an additional 7 lives.