A few weeks ago, a 16-year-old Hispanic boy, who is my age and attended my high school, was killed in a west Salt Lake City drive-by shooting after a family barbecue. A few local news outlets reported the incident, his family set up a Go Fund Me, people who knew him grieved and those who didn't went on with their lives.
I began to wonder what the reaction would have been had the same incident happened to a white boy in an east side neighborhood. I can't imagine anything less than mass hysteria. If it were to happen regularly, Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch perhaps would find it in themselves to support gun control or risk being voted out of office.
But right now, our senators don't have to support gun control. Could it be because their voter bloc is spared from gun violence? Utah is very white demographically, and the brunt of gun violence is suffered by minorities. When Lee appears on Fox News and claims the problem is terrorism, not gun violence, it may be easy for us to believe. The 88 Americans killed each day by gun violence in America are invisible to us. Their stories aren't slapped across the front page like when there is a mass shooting or terror attack. We're not told about the families they're leaving behind. Sometimes we're told nothing at all. Even gun control champions like Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and California Sen. Diane Feinstein rarely try to push gun control bills through Congress in reaction to anything other than mass shootings. We hear so little about all other types of gun violence that gun violence and terrorism almost feel the same.