“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
Grandmothers for Peace
Founded 1982
Spring 2013
Barbara Wiedner, Founder, 1928 - 2001
Lorraine Krofchok, Director
- US Military Deaths, 2001-2012: Iraq War = 4,486; Afghanistan War = 2,176
- Cost of The Wars, 2001-2013: $1,415,893,859,716.00 (TRILLION)
- Civilian Deaths, 2001-2011: Iraq = 110,971-121,262; Afghanistan, 2006-2011 = 12,793
(costofwar.com; icasualties.org; iraqbodycount.org; 1-22-2013)
Our country is reacting with shock, horror, and grief to yet another mass shooting – this time, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in
Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 elementary school children and
six adults were killed by a lone gunman. We should be shocked.
We should be horrified. We should grieve for the victims and their
families. And, as a country, we should be ashamed.
Every year, more than 30,000 U.S. civilians are killed by guns.
Children in the United States are killed by guns at a rate that is 12
times higher than in the other leading 25 industrialized countries of
the world. Gunshot wounds are the second leading cause of death
in children in the United States, just behind motor vehicle crashes.
The Connecticut shooting evokes memories of the 1989 Cleveland
Elementary School shooting in Stockton, California, in which 5
children were killed and 29 wounded; the 1999 Columbine High
School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, in which 13 students and
teachers were killed and 24 wounded; and the 2007 Virginia Tech
shooting in which 32 people were killed and 17 wounded.
Between July 1, 1994, and June 30, 1999, the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) reported that there were 220 separate
shooting incidents on high school campuses across the United
States, with 253 deaths. The report concluded that school-related
shootings were “rare.” The Canadian press commented that it was
“uniquely American” to regard 220 separate high school shooting
incidents in 5 years as “rare.”
The single factor which most clearly distinguishes the United
States from other democratic, industrialized countries that have far
less gun violence is the easy availability of guns in our country.
We should be ashamed that we have not adopted the same kind of
sensible gun control laws as in those other countries which put the
onus on the gun owner to show why he needs a gun, not on society
to prove that he shouldn’t have one. We should also be ashamed of
the glorification of gun violence in our popular media and of the
perpetration of the myth that honest citizens should have guns for
protection when there is overwhelming evidence that guns in our
homes and in our communities are far more likely to be used to kill
innocent civilians than to protect them.
We should be ashamed of our elected leaders who, with few exceptions, lack the political courage to even talk about gun control.
One such exception is California State Senator Dianne Feinstein
who co-authored the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. In 1996,
though, after the CDC reported the shockingly high rate of gun-related deaths for U.S. children, Congress cut funding for the CDC’s
gun violence research. In 2004, Congress let the assault weapons
ban lapse, and in 2005, Congress passed a bill giving special immunity to gun makers and dealers from products liability lawsuits.
Even after Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded in a mass shooting in January of 2011, Congress
failed to take any action to prevent future mass shootings.
Sandy Hook and the Shameful Epidemic
by Bill Durston, M.D.
~ DO SOMeThINg ~
TogeTher We CAn MAke A DIfferenCe
Sandy Hook Page 2

Grandmothers for Peace International [2013], Spring - 1/8