I had a weird thought…(sorry, I know this is getting to be boring, but I can’t help myself). It occurred after I noticed a headline on Google News. This set of words is a regular feature of newspapers, not all of which make it to such a hallowed medium. Once again, someone shot and killed another on a college campus. People are shot each day, but not all stories merit coverage beyond the local area. Colleges and schools seem to get special treatment…by the media, because shooters are less selective.
So, my strange idea is to erect a sign, which can be electronically manipulated—because it will need daily change—in Times Square or the nation’s capital, where tourists can stare and marvel at America preeminence. The country has fallen behind in so many areas, so it should make a big deal out of any leadership position.
I recall the signs at McDonald’s restaurants in my youth. At that time, all were near an intersection and had large golden arches to catch attention. One part of the sign announced the number of burgers served to date by the chain’s franchises. I recall the numbers starting in the millions and progressing to billions. I don’t know if they still keep track and post results. By this time, it must be a really big number, but certainly not a googol.
The sign I envisage would not have golden arches, but rather crossed rifle and pistol and would announce”
“# slain by gunshot in America”
It must be red, white, and blue. Of course, this number would increase each day, thus the need for an electronic sigh. Upon erection, the number would not be a number in the billions—like McDonald’s, but might reach into the millions, depending upon the starting date and available statistics.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.