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On Saturday, Glen hosted the We Are All Newtown Blogathon. If you haven't seen these diaries yet, you will find the links at the bottom of this diary. Please share widely. The theme of We Are All Newtown was taken from Monte Frank's article, Newtown is no longer just a place, but a movement, originally posted in the Guardian on Monday, December 9. In his article, Monte Frank introduces us to his friend, Rev Saylor, whose son, Shane Oliver, was gunned down last October. Shane was twenty years old.

Oliver, a young man with a hand crippled by a stroke at birth, was deeply in love. He died trying to defend his girlfriend from the unwanted and crude advances of the man who killed him, says his grief-stricken father. Oliver and his girlfriend were at the apartment complex where Oliver was shot picking up a payment from one of Oliver’s customers. He had a fledgling business buying, fixing and selling cars.
Rev Sam Saylor, speaking at the Mother's United Against Violence rally says this:
I'm sick and tired of Newtown. I'm sick and tired of hearing about Newtown. Newtown this, Newtown that, I don't want to hear about that. I want you to know about Shane, the beauty of Shane. … We were with Vice President Biden a month and a half ago, and he understood our rage because we are an appendage, a footnote in this discussion around the world. We matter! Violence did not happen in Newtown; it did not start in Newtown. It happened in the streets like Hartford and Bridgeport and New Haven. And I realized something, sitting next to a father from Newtown in Danbury when Vice President Biden came. When I was sitting next to him, he was crying. He cried like I cried. His tears were wet like my tears. They were full of pain like my tears were full of pain. He had rage like I raged. If he could have his child back, he would have his child back now. You can have Newtown. They didn't ask for this. And I'll be darned if I let publicity – over-publicity – about Newtown separate me from that father and his tears. I realized that I am Newtown. We are all Newtown.



(emphasis mine)

Following Rev Saylor, it is Monte's turn to take the podium. It is then that he has the realization that we are all Newtown and we are all Hartfod, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Aurora, Tuscon, Virginia Tech and Columbine because...

We all stand united in our quest to end the parade of pain. We all seek peace. PEACE.
The blogathon was a vehicle to offer remembrance, honor and respect. Comments in each diary convey loss, sadness, anger, grief and hope, peace and love, analogous to Newtown's message:
A memorial sign in Newtown, Connecticut.
While all of this took place with hope, peace and love wrapped in syllables and sentences, the faces of the unknown children haunted my mind and weighed me down. There was something missing. Even the words, We Are All cannot convey the loss and tragedy of every individual taken too soon by gun violence. There are just no words to adequately describe this American tragedy. Even though we are all every city throughout the country who has suffered loss because of an epidemic of gun violence, there are many more faces, unknown to us, with lives who will never receive the acknowledgement and honor that these 26 in Newtown have, but who deserve it every bit as much. Every life taken by gun violence is one too many, so every face should be shown to our failed congressional members. If the tragedies up until Sandy Hook and Sandy Hook itself was not enough to pass gun regulation, perhaps wide spread acknowledgement of continued daily tragedies combined with mass murder, and photographs of every single death in America might turn some heads and you know, pass gun regulation that 90% of us want.

Saturday, December 14, 2013, Valley News by Janell Ross
The Gun Victims Who Seem to Count for Less

Young black men in particular live in the awkward space where they are the nation’s most frequent victims of deadly crime but are also feared and believed to be its most frequent perpetrators. When they are shot and killed, many law-abiding Americans who may consider themselves “ordinary” often assume that these young men are thugs engaged in crime, who were killed while engaged in something they should not have been doing, says Laurence Ralph, a Harvard University anthropologist who studies gang violence, public sentiment about crime and those who have been disabled as a result of it.
“There is absolutely a kind of discrepancy between the way we see spectacular events like Newtown,” says Ralph, “their visibility in our consciousness and mainstream culture, and the everyday kind of violence that is seen almost as normal, perhaps even deserved. The idea that threats exist elsewhere and the people who face them most often do so because of choices they have made can be comforting.”
But behind this kind of thinking are the beliefs that make people say things like “This isn’t supposed to happen here” after incidents such as the massacre in Newtown and simply shake their heads about a death like Oliver’s. It is a presumption that some people are unquestionably innocent, or at least deserving of protection and safety, and some people are not, Ralph says.
On the South and West sides of Chicago, every single day, mostly black and minority children and young adults are killed on a daily basis. These deaths don't occur in the same way 'tragedies' like Sandy Hook or Aurora occurred. The tragedy here is that every day young minority, black children, and young adults are killing each other by guns. According to HeyJackass, 441 people were murdered, the equivalent of 17 Sandy Hooks, and at least 1,800 were shot and wounded in the year since Sandy Hook brought this epidemic to the forefront and spurred some congressional members to attempt to take action.

HeyJackass continues to ask,

Of the 441, 58 children (17 and under) have been murdered since then. Aside from maybe one or two high profile, politically expedient cases, can anyone name much less recall any of the events of the 2,200+? Nope.

The only difference here is that one is considered a tragedy and the literally thousands of others are statistics.

I consider and I know that many here on Daily Kos also consider every single one of these deaths a tragedy no matter where or how it happened. It is up to us to make sure all groups of individuals are represented on Daily Kos. Better yet, all people as one with no suggestion that any one person is more worthy than another simply because of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, religion, socio economic status etc... We at Daily Kos have a responsibility as progressive members to work on these narratives. We have much room for improvement.

Chicago Murder, Homicide & Crime 2013 Stats taken from HeyJackass.com

As of 12/01/2013, there were 334 homicides in which the victims were black. There were 75 homicides in which the victims were Hispanic, and 8 victims who were white. By percentage respectively 80.1%, 18%, and 1.9%.

Below is a nominal snap shot of daily tragedies occurring but without the prominence that the children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School received. I have not heard their names on the news nor have I ever seen their faces - and for this I am saddened, and I am sorry. Their deaths are no less important than another.

May their memories be a blessing.

Huff Post
Posted 9/30/2013 Marcus Rush, 19-Year-Old Chicago Man, Shot and Killed and 15 More Wounded by Weekend GunFire

"Ashley Johnson signs a makeshift memorial at the site where her childhood friend Ashley Hardmon was shot and killed on July 4, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Hardmon, 19, was killed after being struck in the head by a bullet when two men opened fire on her and a group of friends on July 2."



"Fourteen year old Shyiem Wesley, with his mother Keshia Paige add to a makeshift memorial at the site where his cousin, who he also describes as his best friend, 14-year-old Damani Hernard was shot and killed July 4, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois." Damani was shot while riding his bike.



"Crime scene tape spills out of a trash can near where Alexander Mayo was shot and killed in front of the shuttered Henson elementary school on July 22, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois."



"Robert Williams leaves a message at a makeshift memorial where his friend 18-year-old Kenneth Barbour was shot and killed Friday on August 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois."



"A memorial is attached to a fence at the edge of a gas station lot where Eugene Clark was shot and killed on July 22, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois."


For more images please see the slideshow at Huffington Post, Crime in Chicago.

Last night my daughter came home with this assignment:

Imagine you had a hundred dollars, but you couldn't keep it. You had to give it away to a person or charity. To whom would you give it? What would you want them to do with it? Write a one paragraph essay.
This is what she chose to do with it:
If I had a hundred dollar bill I would give it to somebody that can buy $100.00 worth of guns. I would want them to melt them down to art. I don't want people to buy guns to kill each other. I don't want them to kill animals for hats, jackets, shirts, socks, pants and shoes. Another reason is sometimes people get too crazy and shoot a lot of people or animals for no reason at all. Lastly, if there are less guns there would not have been the Sandy Hook shooting.



"Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy stands in front of a small display of guns including a .22 cal. rifle (front), during a press conference in the Engewood neighborhood on May 6, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. McCarthy said Chicago police confiscate an average of more than 130 illegal guns each week."
Yeah, so a nine year olds get it.


"We Are All Newtown" Diaries

We Are All Newtown: 12/14 Blogathon by Glen The Plumber

Why No Action Was Taken by Dave in Northridge

The Price of Inaction is hard to Count by jamess

Shots Felt Around the World by koNko

Baby Teeth by VetGrl

The Newtown Movement by MonteFrank

Silence is not what we need now. Can we get this on TV?  88kathy

We Are All Newtown: Seeking Hope, Peace, and Love by remembrance

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate.

Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

Originally posted to Kitchen Table Kibitzing on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Firearms Law and Policy.

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