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A long list of forgotten victims – The Denver Post

ATHENS, Ala. – Amid the flood of mass shootings that have become commonplace in America, the reality of the nation’s staggering murder rate can often be seen most clearly in the deaths that never make national news.

Take this weekend to Chicago. On Monday, a rooftop gunman opened fire on crowds gathered for an Independence Day parade in a Chicago suburb, killing at least seven people and injuring about 30.

Less mentioned, Chicago police say 68 people were shot in the city between 6 p.m. Friday and just before midnight Monday. Eight of them died.

Most gun violence in America is related to seemingly ordinary conflicts that spiral out of control and someone is looking for a gun. Black people are disproportionately affected by gun violence in America and are far more likely to be victims of gun crime or homicide.

Often the victim and the shooter know each other. They are colleagues and acquaintances, siblings and neighbors. They are killed in agricultural villages, small towns and overcrowded cities.

They are people like David Guess, a 51-year-old small-town father of four who had struggled with addiction and who police say was shot by an acquaintance and dumped in an Alabama forest near from a place called Chicken Foot Mountain.

Her murder received little attention outside of rural northern Alabama where Guess grew up and later worked as a mechanic and truck driver. But his death shattered many lives.

“It was absolutely devastating” for the Guess family, said his brother, Daniel Guess. Their 72-year-old father, Larry, now rarely leaves his home and often does not get out of bed.

Daniel didn’t just lose his brother in the shooting.

” I lost my father. too,” he said. “It kills my father.”

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Compared to much of the developed world, America is a murderous country. The United Nations estimates that the homicide rate in the United States is three times that of Canada, five times that of France, 26 times that of Japan. According to some studies, there are more guns in America today than there are people.

But while Americans often see the country’s streets as ever more dangerous scenes of public massacres, the reality is more complicated.

denverpost

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