We have no words of wisdom, only sadness and embarrassment.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It's becoming almost a daily occurrence, but our reactions to it, although strong and condemning, are also a reflection of our different perspectives.

As a mom, Red finds it both incomprehensible and incredibly frightening, as she fears that with each passing day, there's truly no safe place for her children, for her loved ones, her friends, herself. There's always been the possibility of random acts of violence, but by using a combination of common sense and doing the "right things" there was a lot you could do to avoid putting yourself in harm's way. But it seems everything has changed.

The recent shooting in Boulder, Colorado showed that just going grocery shopping could prove deadly, just as prior events – from attending an outdoor concert in Las Vegas or a nightclub in Florida to even going to a movie, again in Colorado – made us realize that routine activities are no longer immune from the horrors of gun violence. However, most would agree that the very worst (not that any loss of life is acceptable) are the deadly school shootings across the nation, too numerous to mention.

As President Biden stated after the recent Indianapolis mass shooting,

Gun violence is an epidemic in America. But we should not accept it. We must act. … Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation. We can, and must, do more to act and to save lives.

Black, of course, agreed with Red, and then reminded her that it was less than a month ago that we addressed the question, Another mass shooting! How do we make these stop?, and that there's no simple answer. And then we started talking about how all gun violence is being "lumped together" – domestic violence, targeted shootings, and random mass shootings – and making headline news. Of course, any lost life is tragic, with the heartbreak and ripple effect no less so in one situation than another.

Always driven by statistics and numbers, vs. emotion, Black found a website that provides near-real-time data about the results of gun violence. She also looked at how gun violence in the U.S. compares to the rest of the world (including a BBC article with great graphics). The more she thought about it – the more she realized that the specifics related to any gun violence point to a bigger problem … that needs to be addressed on a bigger scale.

As Black explained to Red … it isn't just about gun control, it's about leadership (or, perhaps, the lack thereof). Gun violence shouldn't be political – yet there's so much political rhetoric that seems to condone violence. Full stop. Then, she became more emphatic,

When will politicians start taking responsibility for their words and actions (and inactions)? And, when will we all start taking responsibility to hold them – and ourselves – responsible for who we are – and what we represent? Because, quite simply, we are better than this. As individuals. As a country.

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BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We grew up in the 1960s when space exploration was in its infancy and space travel was left to the imagination of television show and movie writers; but since one of us was a theater major and the other studied business, it's not surprising we had very different reactions to the recent flights.

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BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Although tattoos have been around for thousands of years, how they're perceived has changed dramatically over the last few decades; just ask Red, who when she was growing up would've made a face and responded, "Yuck," while Black would've said she found them cool and (just to annoy our mom) that she could see getting one.

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