Up & Coming Weekly

April 25, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 5 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM APRIL 26 - MAY 2, 2023 UCW 5 MARGARET DICKSON, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. (910) 484-6200. Gun violence is not new in the United States. We have been a gun-loving, gun- toting nation since our inception. e right to bear arms is enshrined in our Constitution, although scholars de- bate to whom that actually applies. In 1994, Congress passed a ban on civilian ownership of military grade assault weapons. at ban expired 10 years later, and ever since we have been beset with a flood of such weap- ons and an accompanying wave of mass shootings. e mayor of Louisville lost a close friend in the recent mass shooting at a bank there earlier this month, an event now so routine this one feels like months ago. e mayor himself had been the victim of an assassination attempt a year ago. He escaped with only a bullet hole in his sweater, unlike so many other Americans permanent- ly felled by gun violence. Mr. Mayor is hardly alone. Millions of Americans have personal experi- ence with gun violence, and some like the mayor, more than once. A recent poll by the University of Chicago and the Associated Press found that 1 in 5 Americans report they or someone close to them have experienced gun violence of some sort from threats to murder. University of Chicago Profes- sor Jens Ludwig dubs that a "strikingly high number." And, ponder this for a moment. e leading cause of death of Americans between 0 and 18 years old is, in fact, gun violence. Let that sink in. Several decades ago, even after the advent of seat belt and baby seat regulations, the leading cause of childhood deaths was vehicle accidents. No more. We are now literally shooting our chil- dren dead. e rate of childhood gun deaths has soared from 10% in 2000 to 19% in 2023. e ban on civilian ownership of military assault weapons expired in 2004 … hmmmm. Most gun violence does not involve mass shootings, of course. Most incidents are personal, some accidental and some intentional. Many are suicides. What they all have in common are guns, and the real- ity that — accidental or intentional — without the gun present, many of those people, including children, would not have died. Mass shootings, generally defined as shootings in which 4 or more people are killed, garner national attention, as they should. ere have been at least 160 of them so far this year, and we have 8 more months to go. ey are changing our daily routines. Many people, including this writer, some- times avoid large gatherings of people unknown to us and evaluate escape routes when we do go out. Many of us have sought out weapons to protect ourselves and those we love and many have tried to learn how to handle and shoot a gun. More and more, public safety experts are giving advice on what to do if we do find ourselves in an active shooter situation. is advice usually includes several components. Always be aware of your surround- ings and quickly determine how you would leave the area or the building if you need to go. If there is an active shooter, run if you can. Hide if you cannot, and fight if you have no other option. If you hide, try to barricade yourself with furniture or whatever is around. Be quiet. After you ponder the fact that guns kill more children than any other cause, ponder this. While several southern American nations have higher gun death rates than the United States, we have set ourselves far apart from our international peer nations in terms of both gun ownership and gun deaths. According to U.S. News & World Report, American civilians own 120.5 firearms per 100 citizens, mak- ing us the only nation on earth with more guns than people. Political arguments aside, all I can think is hmmmm. Coming soon to a building near you by MARGARET DICKSON OPINION PRINT. PACK. SHIP. All in one place! Print & Business Services Westwood • Fort Bragg • Hope Mills 910.860.1220 WESTWOOD AND HOPE MILLS LOCATIONS NOW OPEN SUNDAYS 11:00 am - 4:00 pm 439 WESTWOOD SHOPPING CENTER SEND PRINT REQUESTS TO PRINT2974GMAIL.COM | FORT BRAGG MINI-MALL, REILLY ROAD 3333 N MAIN ST UNIT 150 HOPE MILLS SHIPPING BLUEPRINTS SIGNS FLYERS NOTARY BOOKLETS DESIGN DIRECT MAIL SHREDDING BROCHURES BANNERS CANVAS PRINTS Partner with our friendly team of shipping and printing experts to grow your business. TWO BROTHERS CATERING AT GATES FOUR GOLF AND COUNTY CLUB WEDDINGS | CORPORATE | MILITARY | SOCIAL | AND MORE! Call Two Brothers Catering to book your next event! 910.261.6584 | twobrotherscateringnc1@gmail.com www.thevinenc.com | www.twobrotherscateringnc.com

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