03 group of people making toast 3184183Just this month, the United States has endured six school shootings. CNN reports that 2019 brought us 45 school shootings in 46 weeks, from Georgia to California, in elementary, middle and high schools, as well as on college and university campuses. Of those, 32 occurred at institutions serving kindergarteners through high school students. Here are the most recent.

Nov. 3 A 30-year-old student was shot and killed in a Texas State Technical College dorm in Waco. The victim the shooter knew each other.

Nov. 4 A University of Central Missouri student was killed in an on-campus apartment when a gun was accidentally discharged.

Nov. 5 A man was shot outside a dorm of a Langston, Oklahoma, university.

Nov. 11 A 19-year-old student was shot getting out of a vehicle near Achievement Academy, a high school, in Baltimore, Maryland. Law enforcement authorities believe shooter and victim had been in an altercation.

Nov. 14 Two students, aged 14 and 15, were killed and three injured in a shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. The shooter, 16, turned the weapon on himself and later died.

Nov. 15 One adult and two children were injured in Pleasantville, New Jersey, when gunfire erupted at high school football game.

Barely over two months ago in September, one of 45 school shootings took place at Fayetteville State University where a 20-year-old former football player was found with numerous gunshot wounds.

When are we going to stop this, or are we even going to try?

Other nations have issues of violence with various causes, but no nation — I repeat — no nation tolerates the gun violence to which we have apparently grown inured. No other nation allows civilians to own weapons of war designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. 

What if Sandy Hook happened not at Sandy Hook Elementary but at VanStory Hills or Benjamin Martin Elementary and your child, grandchild, niece or nephew were in one of the classrooms shot up by the shooter? 

What if instead of Saugus High School, an alienated 16-year-old shot up Jack Britt or E.E. Smith High Schools with your terrified child, grandchild, niece or nephew trying to find safety? A Saugus student told an interviewer that students there choose classes not by subject matter but by which classrooms have large, locking closets.

How much longer are we going to make our young people live like this?
  
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Two stories from the “Who Knew?” department.

The Pew Research Center reports this startling find. It seems that between 1995 and today, some 59% of adult Americans between 18 and 44 lived with an unmarried partner, handily out pacing the 50% who have been married. During that same time, the percentage of currently marrieds dropped from 58 to 53%, while the percentage of those cohabitating rose a full 7%. So glad my grandmother missed this news flash.

And, this happy news from the animal kingdom. As we in North Carolina know all too well, hurricanes can be major weather events with strange consequences. Hurricane Dorian slammed the Bahamas in September before moseying on to make landfall at Cape Hatteras. Just south, Ocracoke Island was stunned by a 7-foot storm surge that flattened homes and businesses and from which the community is struggling to recover. During the storm, three wild cows living on Cedar Island went missing, presumably swept out to sea. Well, not so fast. It seems the trio has turned up 4 miles away on the Cape Lookout National Seashore, happily munching federal grass.

I don’t begrudge them one bit!
 
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When I was a child, Thanksgiving was always at our grandparents’ house, complete with white tablecloths and fancy china. In more recent years, it has been with cousins and friends, less formal and sometimes rollicking fun. Thanksgiving 2019 will be different still, but always a welcome respite with folks near and dear.

Wishing you and yours a warm and peaceful Thanksgiving wherever you may be!

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