I spent last week mulling over the topic for this month's health blog. As a health advocate, I focus on the well being of my clients. If they are sick, we focus on creating a sane path through the modern medical system maze. We visit doctors, we question, we talk. We make sure that all the medical care teams are on the same page as my clients, and, more importantly, that my clients are on the same page as their physicians. We chart a course together to get them back to a state of wellness. If my clients are healthy, we work together to keep them that way. We focus on preventive care with their physicians. We work on diet, exercise, stress levels, and sleep patterns all which play an important role in keeping us healthy.
This month's blog was focused on a simple hack in organizing our medical information. Then I saw this weekend's news and I knew I had to focus on something else entirely. This Saturday I spent the morning hearing about the horrific news out of El Paso, shaken over another senseless murder spree in our country, angry over the apparent inertia of our government's willingness to do anything about it, and feeling sick about the victims and their families, who by a horrible twist of fate happened to be in a Walmart.
Then, this morning, I decided to enjoy my morning coffee without the news only to receive a text from my son telling me how upset he was by the news. I switched on my phone and saw the news of Dayton. More senseless killings, more lives lost, more tragedy. How does this keep happening here? How are we the only developed country that can't seem to do anything about it?
This is a health crisis. This should not be political. Thirty people died this weekend and many more were injured in El Paso and Dayton not because they were sick or did not take care of themselves but because we allow guns to be available to kill people. Our citizens do not feel safe in our schools, our movie theaters, our synagogues, our churches, our mosques, our temples, our food festivals, our night clubs, our malls, our municipal buildings, our newspaper offices, our country. If thirty people died this weekend in two American cities because they were gathered in a certain location and their hearts stopped working, they were unable to breath, or they started bleeding out, we would be doing something. All Americans would demand action. This senseless gun violence is killing Americans.
According to the Gun Violence Archive as of August 4th, there have been 253 mass shootings in the US this year and 8,759 gun deaths. This is a health crisis. If we cannot guarantee our citizens the right to live their lives freely and without fear of gun violence, what sort of country are we living in?
We need to do something now. We need to take a stand and say enough. We need to prevent any more people from dying. We need to step up and demand action for our sakes, for our children's sakes, and for our health's sake.