The lineup for the April 20 edition of the TH was no different than that of many newspapers nationwide. Front-page stories included the closing of a café in Cuba City and city officials’ approval of our Fourth of July fireworks. Relegated to page 20: A 7-year old girl killed in a shooting at a McDonald’s in Chicago; a toddler shot in a road rage incident on Lake Shore Drive; shots fired at a bus driver (also in Chicago).
At what point did a 7-year-old child gunned down at a McDonald’s become back-page news?
Large numbers of Americans horrified at the mounting deaths in Vietnam took to the streets in massive protests. They did so again when enraged at the injustice of police violence against and killing of African Americans. In the 16-year period from 1959 to 1975, roughly 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam. In the two-year period from 2017 to 2018, over 79,000 Americans were killed by firearms in their own country. Are we no longer horrified and enraged by the senseless killing of thousands of our fellow citizens, including toddlers and school children?
A thought: What if all newspapers nationwide decided to select daily just one of these deaths by firearms and cover it on the front page with their boldest, largest headline? Thus giving these incidents the status and prominence they deserve: an anomaly, an outrage, a disgrace and embarrassment to this country, an emergency, a call for action.