He killed himself on the steps of Town Hall. Like the self-immolating monks in Saigon, he killed himself as a cry out to humanity to stop a dreadful wrong. Jeremy Richman, father of 6 year-old Aviel who was murdered at Sandy Hook, was the third suicide of mass murder survivors in one week. Two were teenagers who survived the Parkland massacre.
Their deaths came on the heels of another mass shooting; this time in New Zealand. The humanity, compassion and swift action taken by their Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern contrasted so sharply to the response here that their grief, despair and hopelessness engulfed them. Jeremy Richman hoped that by his suicide, the leaders and representatives of our country would at least take note. They haven’t.
A mafia mob boss in New Jersey was murdered last week by a young white man who came into court flashing white power signs and white supremacist symbols written on his body. He stated that he was inspired by Trump and his attorneys plan to use that as his defense.
Our country is overwhelmed by violence. This year, not including suicides, there have been 12,605 gun related incidents. Three thousand one hundred and ninety-one people have died and 705 children were killed or injured. Hate spews like a fountain from the bully pulpit of the White House on an hourly basis and like ripples on a pond; it has spread around the globe. Unlike the U.S., 10 days after their massacre, AR 15s were banned in New Zealand and Australia shut down Fox News for incitement to violence.
Here, we have a different story. In California, a judge struck down a ban on high powered ammunition, the NRA opposes the Violence Against Women Act, and throughout 2015-2017, The National Christian Foundation funded hate groups to the tune of $56 million.
It is as though the U.S. is in the grip of a mass psychosis. In the past 90 days, there were 68 mass shootings, almost all were committed by white men; disaffected, seeking reassurance they are the most important members of our society.
When do we say enough and change the paradigm?