Numbers give us a perspective. They don’t lie.

We use them in almost every facet of our lives.

Probably more so today than ever before in our lifetime.

There are some that we gladly accept and others we cast an alarming eye.

What are numbers telling us about our nation today? Let’s look and see.

Numbers-wise, COVID-19 has been with us for over two years. It has taken the lives of many of our family members and friends. According to reports, over one million people have passed away from this deadly illness. Since the vaccines, we have seen a significant drop in new cases and deaths.

Do you still wear your mask? We do.

Pain at the pump has become a commonly used expression. It is fitting because of the price of a gallon of gas. The numbers that glare at us at the filling stations simply make us shake our heads.

It was just a few years ago that we gave a casual wink at the cost. Now our eyes are wide open.

The average cost for a gallon of gas is now $4.69. Some states are higher as it depends upon where you live. We found gas just recently for $3.99. What a bargain!

Owning a home is a part of the American Dream. It has always been that way. Just last year, the interest rates were more manageable. Now, they are climbing and hovering around 6% in some areas.

Again, the numbers matter.

A number that is disheartening and disappointing to talk about is the number of mass shootings that have occurred during this period.

A report in the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit says there have been 314 mass shootings in this nation so far this year. Hate, mental health, copycat and not valuing life are all reasons why we are seeing these heinous crimes committed.

This same report says that more than 22,000 people have died because of gun violence this year.

We have come to a point in our beloved country where we watch where we go. Being in a crowded area has now almost become a recipe for instant disaster. Parades and outdoor celebrations have become favorite targets for these would-be killers. The 4th of July has always been a holiday filled with joyous activities of all kinds. This 4th of July was tragic and life-ending for some citizens in Highland Park, Illinois. At a parade, seven people were killed and 46 people were injured by a lone gunman. Robert Crimo III, the shooter now faces seven charges of first-degree murder. He was shooting his victims from a rooftop with a high-powered assault rifle. He is 21 years of age.

What kind of vile and vicious thoughts build up in a guy of that tender age? We will probably never know the answer to that question.

Now this community outside of Chicago is left to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives.

R. Thurman Barnes, the assistant director of Rutgers University’s New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center and faculty at the Rutgers School of Public Health said, “In a country like ours, we have a lot of guns.” He added, “And when you have as many guns as we have which we have more guns than people, you’re going to have more gun violence in all of its forms.”

Sometimes, it seems as if we are waiting for something to happen to us. That cannot be our only course of action.

Stronger gun laws is a course of action that more Americans want now.

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