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Anitra Brown

What Spas Have To Do With Gun Violence

By December 18, 2012

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Wesley BrownLike most people, I have been profoundly affected by the deaths of 20 small children, their teachers, principal and school psychologist in Newtown, Connecticut. It brought back painful memories of July 14, 2012, when I learned about the death of my dear brother due to gun violence.

He was shopping with his ten-year-old daughter in a Best Buy when a bullet from a gang shooting outside came through the store's front window. It hit him in the chest, killing him almost immediately, while his daughter circled, crying in confusion and despair.

If he could be killed in a Best Buy, if first-graders can be killed in their schoolroom, if movie-goers can be killed while watching Batman, if people in Washington D.C. could be killed by a sniper while filling their cars with gas, any one of us could be killed by guns at almost any moment.

Spas are all about engendering a sense of health, wellness and balance. How can we feel that way when we know that, at any moment, we could lose our lives -- or those of our children, family, friends, and neighbors -- to gun violence? We can be at school, at work, at church, in a movie theatre, shopping at a mall. We can even be in a spa. Customers ran fleeing in their robes when an estranged husband killed his wife and two co-workers at a high-end spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, a suburb or Milwaukee. Four other women were injured. Life is dangerous enough without making it easy for angry, disturbed, mentally ill people to get their hands on arsenals that can kill so many people so quickly.

It's horrendous that it takes the mass slaughter of six and seven year-olds to grab our attention and, I hope, to shift the country's thinking on guns. "We can't tolerate this anymore", President Barack Obama says. "These tragedies must end. And to end them we must change." I hope we are ready. I encourage you to step up and raise your voice through Demand A Plan and Stop the NRA. Share your thoughts with your legislators.
As someone who lost a family member to gun violence, I am looking at organizations like National Gun Victims Action Council.

After Newtown, we are all victims of gun violence.

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