Then there are those gunned down due to mistaken identify. The tragic loss of life occurs because a careless attacker fired senselessly. Some say the death toll would be much higher if young shooters were better marksmen.
I remember the true story of labor leader, Walter P. Reuther, who in 1948 survived a shotgun blast in his own home. He was in his kitchen with his wife, when pellets burst through the window. Four lodged in his arm, one in his chest. Other stories I've heard involved angry business owners who shot up the competition's shop or a union hall because they felt unfairly targeted. The purpose was only to send a message, they allegedly said. But what if someone had been in the right place at the wrong time?
Whether the assault is a volley of commentary via electronic bursts in cyberspace or rounds fired from many feet away, the distance between attacker and the attacked allows us to shoot aimlessly.
We can debate the effectiveness of gun control in the effort to reduce violence. But without a change in our trigger-happy, vindictive natures, we will continue to count the dead and wounded, without knowing the lives that we've lost.