Reviewed by Hannah Gough
The Guardian journalist Gary Younge picked at random one day (24-hour time frame) in 2013 in which ten young people were killed by guns in America.
Each chapter of the book is devoted to one of the ten victims and varies in length as some are more in-depth as Younge was dependent on the willingness of friends and family members to be interviewed. In the book Younge opens up the stories of the young lives while at the same time weaving in his own personal journey in undertaking this investigation.
This book helps to put a human face to the gun-related death statistics which are flashed before our eyes regularly in the media. ‘Another Day in the Death of America’ reminds you that behind the numbers are actual young children; take Jaiden Dixon for example, a 9 year old boy who had been slow getting ready for school that morning but didn’t make it off his front porch before he was shot dead.
As Younge states, this is not a book about race or gun control, it is about understanding the circumstances that resulted in ten young people being shot and killed in a 24-hour period. This is not an extraordinary day in terms of murders in the USA, none of these deaths made the news: it was ‘just another day’.
The book is relevant on so many levels especially since the underlying structural problems of gun control or lack thereof in America are still unresolved. This book will make you feel emotions which are warranted given the shear number of gun deaths – take the time to read this book.
I will leave you with this poem by a freshman student named Tyler who went to school with one of the youths killed.
We hope to live,
Live long enough to have kids
We hope to make it home every day
We hope we’re not the next target to get sprayed…
We hope never to end up in Newark’s dead pool
I hope, you hope, we all hope.