Las Vegas Mass Shooting – nothing has changed since Sandy Hook, is this the new America?

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City paper, 10/2017

These are my words:

For the next few weeks, the news magazines will run pictures of vigils and lit candles. “Experts” from all sides will debate every aspect of what happened. We will get to know the children, the adults, and the shooter and his family. People from all walks of life will get into a war of words about gun control. There will be hearings, investigations.

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Pulse massacre in Orlando – another senseless shooting, and more tweets of thoughts and prayers – It’s time to DO something.

13445359_10153880600878547_1697480610352181283_nBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City paper 7/2016

Brace yourselves, this one isn’t summer fluff, I’ll be funnier next time. Also, as much as I have been working on this one, it’s still a little all over the place, so apologies in advance that this piece is not as tight as usual and more “stream of consciousness.”

After the Pulse Nightclub Orlando massacre, there were many images of folks lined around the block giving blood in Orlando.

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The horror as school shootings become “routine”

candle
By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 10/2015

Once again, a school shooting.  This time, in Oregon.   The facts come in. This many dead. This many wounded. Shooter is dead. Details about the shooter come in. President speaks. Candlelight vigils held. Grief counselors sent to the school. Politicians tweet prayers (Wow. Just wow.) National dialogue is all about guns for a week or two.

And nothing changes. We move on.

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Finding hope through the darkness of shootings — National Night Out (Rescheduled due to Thunderstorms)

03-Christmas-Still-Life---CandlesBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reorter 7/2015

Last week, for the first time in many years, I wrote a full column for this space, and then proceeded to, as they say in the newspaper business, “kill it.” – The reason? It was so dark, and so sad, that it was – uncharacteristically for me – completely bereft of hope.

The impetus for the column came when I was asked to add the announcement of the candlelight vigil — for the four Marines and one sailor who were murdered — to be held the following Sunday on Foxboro Common — to several Facebook pages.

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A Christmas prayer for the victims of Sandy Hook

Dick Kulpa, Captain Cartoon.com
Dick Kulpa, Captain Cartoon.com

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 12/2012

All I want to write this week is a goofy op/ed piece making fun of the 12/21/2012 Apocalypse that wasn’t. I want to be funny and have a little Christmas cheer.

But the world DID end last week for a lot of people in Newtown Connecticut.

And last Friday evening, in a Wal-Mart parking lot, I did something somewhat uncharacteristic for me: I burst into tears, listening to the news reports coming in from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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Schoolyard bullying is no right of passage

For a very long time I have been searching for the right image to accompany this Op/Ed, and finally found this extraordinary and perfect image by Jesse Garrison, entitled “Shatterkid.” This image, like none I have ever seen, exactly captures the emotion and effect of what that broken window did to that scared kid back in 1979. I contacted the photographer and would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Jessee for your permission for me to use this image. Original URL is http://www.flickr.com/photos/jg33/4890702047 -- Copyright Jesse Garrison (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jg33/) and used with Jesse's permission and under license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0
For a very long time I have been searching for the right image to accompany this Op/Ed, and finally found this extraordinary and perfect image by Jesse Garrison, entitled “Shatterkid.” This image, like none I have ever seen, exactly captures the emotion and effect of what that broken window did to that scared kid back in 1979. I contacted the photographer and would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Jessee for your permission for me to use this image.
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The REAL storm wasn’t a blizzard: School Violence

Real_Storm_Is_Not_Snowby Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter March, 2001

Well, once again the story began with the hype: Astronomical tides. Snowfall that just might be bigger than the blizzard of 78. Two, three, maybe four feet of snow. Have a winter survival kit in your car. Stay tuned for continuous coverage.

Once again the supermarket shelves were laid waste as people stocked up on survival supplies and hunkered down for the big snowstorm. Schools closed.

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Gun Show! (The Gun Show Loophole)

10 Boston Other - Close the Gun Show Loopholeby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 11/1996 and the Boston City Paper in revised format 11/2006

“…A DANGEROUS “gun show loophole” continues to allow criminals and terrorists to legally buy and sell guns in the United States on a cash-and-carry, no-questions-asked basis.

At approximately 5,000 gun shows each year in 32 states, criminals and terrorists are allowed to purchase firearms from private gun dealers without an ID or background check. Although many gun dealers are federally licensed and therefore legally required to contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to ensure that a prospective purchaser is not prohibited from possessing firearms, private sellers have no such requirement.” — Boston Globe, August 16, 2008

In the same year that a very loved couple was brutally slain in their Foxboro Home, and in the same week that one Foxboro youth was killed at a party and another was left fighting for his life, and in the very same day that an eight year old boy accidentally shot his little brother with a gun he found in their home, and on the same day that the news reported more and more aggressive people are using knives and guns on highways, and on the same day that a man was convicted of beating his wife to death and cutting out her internal organs, and on the day a Stoughton man was charged with shooting a 19 year old Everett youth, this little gem ran in this very paper:

“Firearm and Custom Knife Show/Sale!” Against a silhouette of a gun were the words, “350 Tables!

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