We are all deeply affected and saddened by the Las Vegas shooting; yet another in the long string of mass shootings in the USA during the current era. But I take exception to the Oct. 3 front page headline, “Attack is the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.” So many of us have no clue of our history; This AP headline helps perpetuate that ignorance on a national level.
The massacre at Wounded Knee took place Dec. 29, 1890, when the 7th U.S. Cavalry surrounded a Lakota village on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and slaughtered 150 men, women and children. Some estimates place the number of dead at 300. Twenty soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for this genocide. The site is now a National Historic Landmark, and in 1990 both houses of Congress passed a resolution formally expressing “deep regret” for the massacre.
By virtually any reasonable measurement, Wounded Knee was three times larger than the senseless tragedy at Las Vegas. Ignoring our history in this case is yet another example of how we have denigrated our Native American citizens, dismissing them as somehow less human or worthy of note compared to when the rest of us are victims of mass shootings.
This letter is written so that such denigration does not pass unnoticed.