Mug - Amy Gillentine

Amy Gillentine, Publisher and Executive Editor 

My heart sank when I heard the news last Thursday night.

Another mass shooting. This time, so close to friends and family who often shop at the Kroger (the South’s version of King Soopers) in Collierville, Tennessee.

Collierville is a suburb of Memphis, where I was born and where I attended the University of Memphis. I have former sorority sisters who live in Collierville, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins who call the area home.

Two are dead after last week’s mass shooting, including the gunman. Reports are that the man wounded at least 12 people, some of them seriously enough to need intensive care. Others are in stable condition at Memphis hospitals. After the weekend, many are back home, but some of the hospitalized are still in critical condition.

And when I looked for updates this morning, I discovered that over the weekend, six people were shot in Memphis in four separate incident, and four were killed. Gun violence is such a problem in the city that the news station keeps a homicide tracker: 205 this year as of Sept. 10.

Firearm deaths never get less shocking; never get less heartbreaking, no matter where the tragedy takes place.

Colorado Springs has had 25 homicides in 2021 and the number of violent deaths is on the upswing in our city too. It all begs the question: When is this nation going to end its toxic love affair with guns? When are we going to decide to honor life over weaponry? When are we collectively going to decide enough is enough?

Look, I was raised around guns. My family hunted deer, turkey, quail. My parents had rifles and shotguns. We were taught to respect them for the deadly weapons they are. I was educated in a rural part of Mississippi where a classmate shot and killed a deer (legally) in public land across the street from the school.

But the violence we are seeing today — mass shootings in grocery stores in small cities like Boulder — are happening where people should feel safe. The violence is becoming routine; it shouldn’t be. The Second Amendment doesn’t give people a license to reach for a weapon as a solution to any problem.

It’s time for consensus, compromise, SOMETHING to stop gun violence. Thoughts and prayers are great — but now it’s time for action. 

— Staff notes originally run in our daily email newsletter, Indy Now, along with news updates, photos of the day, a weekly poll and more. Sign up below.