In 1964 Bob Dylan released a song called “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll.” It described the 1963 murder of a 51 year old African American barmaid in Baltimore who was struck dead by a rich, white, 24 year old landowner. He killed her with his cane for not serving his drink quickly enough. He was a white supremacist. He received a six month sentence.
The refrain in the song is highly relevant today: “Take the rag away from your face. Now ain’t the time for your tears.”
We continue to tolerate, yes tolerate, shocking injustices as hundreds are murdered with assault weapons. We continue to parrot “never again,” and “not one more” but there will be more. Dayton will not be the last city to be under siege by crazed shooters unless we understand that “now ain’t the time for your tears.”
Searching Wikipedia under Mass Shootings in the U.S. one finds an alarming statistic: “ Gun Violence Archive, frequently cited by the press, defines a mass shootingas firearm violence resulting in at least four people being shot at roughly the same time and location, excluding the perpetrator. Using this definition, there have been 2,128 mass shootings since 2013, roughly one per day.”
It is a sad state of affairs to think that we actually live in an unsafe country, and that we now enter our shopping malls, night clubs, movie theaters, and yes, our schools, knowing there is real risk.
Unless we, as a nation, immediately enact real gun legislation (especially banning assault weapons and mandating universal background checks, thus closing the private sale loophole) we will continue talking about our tears.