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Thanksgiving? The most dangerous animal in the world…

This is the time of year when Thanksgiving traditionally kicks off the holiday season, which should be full of festivities, friends and family gathering in celebration. This is the time of year that historically we get closer to Yule, the time to rest from our hard work and regroup as we bunker down for the winter months. We wait for Ostara, the time of year when growth begins, and we regenerate ourselves into spring.

We should be showing gratitude for all we have and pay tribute to the Native Americans for all the early Europeans stole from them. This is when we should recognize that everyone continues to oppress the Native Americans. The American education system does not teach Native American history accurately, and the curriculum should be developed to explain the Native Americans were full societies, with political, economic, and commercial systems of sustainability (food, housing, water), medicine, spiritualty, engineering, water travel, recreational activities, etc…

The focus of correcting the wrongs against the Native Americans has shifted this year because the United States has become a society of pain and fear. We need to collectively reflect and take accountability and responsibility for the mass shootings. As a professor teaching social issues, I cannot get through two days of lectures without another slaughtering of innocent people.

CBS Sunday Morning News (11.27.22) reported these murders have resulted in “the memorials to these tragedies are now part of the American landscape.” There are innocent people going about their day, gunned down and we say, “not again” and build memorials to honor their murdered souls. One day, archeologists, anthropologists and art historians will record our history as brutal with senseless violence…a cruel and barbaric time to live.

No one is safe to gather with friends or shop for the holidays. Here is a snapshot of eight days of a only some of the shootings:

Saturday, November 19, 2022, Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado – five dead and twenty-five wounded

Sunday, November 20, 2022, Dallas, TX – a shooting in a parking lot injured 4 but today (11.27.22) in Dallas (as I write this) a triple shooting, kills one and critically injures two

Monday, November 21, 2022, West Palm Beach, FL – two were shot to death and two were injured and this follows on the heels of November 14, 2022 there were three separate shootings in West Palm Beach resulting in three injuries

Tuesday, November 22, 2022, another Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia – seven employees were shot to death by their manager

Wednesday, November 23, 2022, Hennessey, Oklahoma - a shooter killed four; also, on the same day in Temple Hills, MD there were three teenagers and one adult shot

Wednesday, November 23, 2022, Philadelphia, PA – there were four students shot near their high school

There were two different shootings on Thanksgiving, November 25, 2022 – Costa Mesa, CA, a shooting left one dead and four injured and in Houston, TX a man killed two and injured two minors on Thanksgiving night

Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago left eight shot to death and thirty-two injured

Saturday, November 26, 2022 Philadelphia, PA - five people were shot in five different areas of Philadelphia

Sunday, November 27, 2022 (as I am writing this blog) a Queensbury, NY a man was shot to death in a Walmart parking lot. As I was finishing this blog, there was another shooting in Philadelphia killing a man.

As of early November 27, 2022, the Gun Violence Archive reported that there were 607 shootings in the United States in 2022 but as you can see, by the time you read this it will be higher. While I wrote this, there were three shootings that I found and last week as I wrote about LGBT murders late at night, there was the mass shooting at Club Q. We are at a crisis and the NRA does not see a problem.

I remember visiting the Bronx Zoo in New York City as a child and this quote and image has always stayed with me and has become more and more true: 1963, Bronx Zoo, NY exhibit with a mirror saying: “You are looking at the most dangerous animal in the world. It alone of all the animals that ever lived can exterminate (and has) entire species of animals. Now it has the power to wipe out all life on earth.” – Garry Winogrand

I was a child and believed the world would get better and I was wrong. I never had a drill for an active shooter invading my school; I never felt fear. I was living the American dream without realizing it and now we are living the American nightmare.



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