- by Kelly Babcock

It drives me crazy when someone dies from a gunshot and people start talking about shots per minute or per second and how long to reload and is it or isn't it an assault weapon ... someone died because they were assaulted with a weapon, and it wouldn't matter in that last split second of their life if the weapon that shot came from was a muzzle loader. Someone could be 17 years old, or 22, or 35, or 80. Shots per amount of time should be calculated in this way, one shot per seventeen years of life is one too many, it's too fast, it's too much of an assault. It's too much.

I was at a vigil tonight for those slain in Orlando. We had a list of the names and ages of the victims. I don't care if it was an AR-15 or a bolt action Cooey Model 60 Ranger .22. There were 49 names on the list. We passed the list around, thinking we would have to let it go around a couple of times, but in the end there were more than 49 of us there and some didn't have the opportunity to read a name. Forty-nine names read, 49 candles lit. The flickering light made a statement, but when they were blown out ... that's when the statement hit home.

Forty-nine names in less than 15 minutes.

I heard each one, rolled it around in my head, apologized for this world that I am a part of that could not keep them safe, keep them alive. If I met 49 people in 15 minutes I would never remember all their names, would likely not remember all their faces, could possibly meet one of them in a hallway ten minutes later and not be sure if they were among the ones I'd just met. I, of course, do not remember the names, not all of them. In fact, 48 of them I would have to look up.

But Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old, that name I remember. That is the name I spoke. That name will be on my mind tonight, Probably tomorrow as well. Martin was from Puerto Rico, visiting family in Orlando. He was gunned down. He was 33 years old. One shot in 33 years.One shot too many.

Thirty-three years old. How old are you? Speaking for myself, I'm starting to feel too old for this crap.


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