Family just killed in Douglasville, GA

attribution: Family Photo used with permission

America is a scary, violent place. Yes, we host the Grammys and produce Pixar movies, but we live in one of the most violent nations, historically and currently, in the entire world. Culture and sports, which are admittedly great here, serve as a distraction from the reality that we live in the Wild Wild West.

Two days ago, this man killed his ex-wife, several of their beautiful children, by-standers, and then himself—five people in all—but it was hardly relevant nationally. Why? Because it’s just the norm. It happens all of the time here. Tuesday morning three Muslim students at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill were shot to death by a man who just seemed to hate them because they were Muslims.

Thirty-two people a day, over 12,000 per year, are shot and killed in America. On a daily basis, it’s never a matter of if anyone is going to be shot and killed, but who and where—and eventually it will hit close to home. A recent study determined that the United States has more guns and more gun deaths than any other developed country in the world. With most nations it’s not even close.

Little kids are accidentally shooting their mother’s face off in America. What happens to that child when he grows up? The police just shot and killed this man for throwing rocks. The police just shot and killed her for showing a knife. The police just shot and killed her for stealing a car. It’s ridiculous. We have a problem that we are unwilling to face as a nation.

Hundreds of kids have been shot and killed in America since Sandy Hook. More mass shootings, in fact, have happened in the United States, over a longer span of time, than any other developed nation in the world. Our problems aren’t new either. America was founded on violence. Millions of indigenous people were slaughtered for the founding of this nation. Millions of Africans were slaughtered and tortured to build this nation.

A new study was just released and determined the number of African Americans lynched and slaughtered in modern history has been grossly underreported. New studies are determining that the number of people killed by police annually in this country has been underreported by at least 60 percent—maybe higher. The number of men and women being killed in prison, 346 killed last year in Florida alone, very often by guards and officers, just hit an astounding all-time high.

Ignoring these problems obviously don’t make them better. Arming ourselves more clearly doesn’t make the country safer. We must dive deeper and take more risks and grapple with weightier solutions if we are going to truly improve this nation in ways that matter.