23 Years Ago, in Montclair

Screen-Shot-2016-01-09-at-8.59.35-AMIn the 90’s, I remember hearing the phrase “Going Postal” used as almost amusing hyperbole when someone seemed a little too upset about what felt like a minor issue. I remember hearing about unbelievable incidents in passing, trying to explain them away with “ifs, ands, or buts” that protected my sense of safety, and then half-shrugging. But “Going Postal” was never amusing or hyperbole for those directly affected by incidents of gun violence that occurred in or around U.S. Post Offices. Montclair included.

About a month ago, the daughter of Scott Walensky, one of the Montclair Post Office shooting victims, left a message on an old blog post here, and it really hit home (again) how deeply and for how long friends and family and communities of those taken by gun violence feel the loss.

That afternoon shook up the sense of safety in a town that, as a community, didn’t HAVE to confront daily threats of gun violence. It sparked activism in locals, bringing about the North Jersey Ceasefire group and inspiring life-long activism in young people who now have careers in gun violence prevention.

The ten-year anniversary of the shooting was memorialized in a large ceremony that included dozens of mail trucks and a dedication. In later years, depending on local involvement, there have been smaller events, or none at all. However, a wreath is usually displayed at the (relatively) new Watchung Plaza post office on Watchung Avenue.

This year, I hope a few people will at least hold a moment today about the tragedy of four people lost, Ernest Spruill, Scott Walensky, Robert Leslie, and George Lomaga, and one person who survived being shot, David Grossman, 23 years ago.

And perhaps it will help us all realize that gun violence is a scourge that is not new, but it is also not impenetrable if we follow our shock, pain, and sorrow with action. See links below for helpful ideas to ACT on your values.

Includes Easy Actions halfway down the post.

Push Back on Gun Violence

Support artists like Rhiannon Giddens, who use their voices to educate.

Educate yourself about the most preventable form of gun violence.


About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
This entry was posted in Activism, Memory and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 23 Years Ago, in Montclair

  1. Lauren Becker says:

    I don’t think I’ve heard of this, so thanks for sharing. It’s horrible how long gun violence has been happening, but some people are doing great things to try and stop it!


  2. jessi394 says:

    It is horrible how much violence has occurred and nothing has changed. Let’s hope now that enough is enough!

  3. roamy says:

    It`s sad that people seem to turn to violence so fat, I wish we`d stop just for a few seconds to think how our actions will affect othere.”going postsl” a good neme/word-

  4. It surprises me that we aren’t doing more to end this. It’s just sad really.

  5. I hate that gun violence has turned into a joke. 10+ years ago I was working in a bank when we were robbed at gunpoint. It was terrifying and even though no one was shot I still feel the impact of the trauma. I can only imagine how people who were involved in actual gun violence must feel.

  6. This is so important. What a great resource.

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