Letters to the Editor

Tragedy in Orlando is just more of the same

FILE - In this April 10, 2013, file photo, a man holds a newly-assembled AR-15 rifle in New Britain, Conn. A gun shop in McHenry, Ill., is raffling an AR-15 rifle to benefit victims of the June 12, 2016, nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla. The semi-automatic weapon is similar to the one gunman Omar Mateen used in that shooting.
FILE - In this April 10, 2013, file photo, a man holds a newly-assembled AR-15 rifle in New Britain, Conn. A gun shop in McHenry, Ill., is raffling an AR-15 rifle to benefit victims of the June 12, 2016, nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla. The semi-automatic weapon is similar to the one gunman Omar Mateen used in that shooting. Associated Press

The carnage in Orlando has been called “the nation’s deadliest shooting” by many media outlets.

However, on Dec. 29, 1890, U.S. soldiers from the Seventh Cavalry surrounded and opened fire on Lakota camps at Wounded Knee, slaughtering about 150 people — from babies to the elderly. Some estimates placed the number executed at 300. The Lakotas were buried in a mass grave. Twenty members of the Seventh Cavalry received Congressional Medals of Honor for their “heroic” deeds.

Nor was it the deadliest shooting in “modern” history, where modern is defined narrowly.

Ariela Gross, professor of law and history at USC Gould School of Law, wrote in her blog that calling it the “deadliest mass shooting in American history … is to forget the last hundred years of U.S. history of mass violence fueled by racial hatred and homophobia. Although precise numbers of deaths are impossible to specify, at least 100 African Americans were killed in East S​t.​ Louis, Ill., in one bloody night in July 1917; anywhere from 55 to 300 blacks were massacred in Tulsa​, Okla.,​ in 16 hours in June 1921 …”

Orlando is not the most. It is more of the same.

Alice Welchert, Los Osos

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