Dear Mr. Holt,
When I watch the evening news, it is the NBC Nightly News on which you serve as the anchor.
I appreciate the image you project, which I assume to be genuine, of caring about the news on which you and your crew are reporting. I also appreciate how you end the broadcast each evening saying “Take care of yourself and each other.” Given the current state of our politics and our nation that is something we all need to be reminded of.
I am writing today in the shadow of yet another school shooting.
Another mass murder.
Seven more, counting the shooter, needless deaths.
So far this year, in 87 days, there have been 129 mass shootings.
And more than 9800 people killed by gun violence.
Firearm related deaths are the leading cause of death among children and youth.
Statistics which you already know.
Tragedy which you and your newsroom knows each day.
I fear Representative Tim Burchett (R-TN) is correct when he said when asked about the shooting in Nashville, “We’re not going to fix it.”
He is not.
Congress is not.
But, I wonder if you can.
If not “fix it,” at least to help move the pendulum a bit.
Here is what I mean.
I was a teenager in the late 1960’s at the height of the Vietnam War.
My family was fairly traditional.
My parents, particularly my Dad, fairly conservative.
Each evening we watched the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.
What I remember from that time is, at the end of each broadcast, he would tell us how many US soldiers had died that day in Vietnam and how many had been killed in the entire war.
We heard those numbers.
And, over time it made a difference.
At least in my household.
More questions were asked about the war.
More healthy skepticism expressed when listening to political talking points.
I wonder if you could do something similar.
I don’t want you to take away your tagline because we still need to hear it, but could you find a way to add how many people had been killed that day by guns and how many have died so far this year.
If you did that
We would be reminded.
And, maybe changed.
And, maybe little by little find a way
Find the courage
To make a change.
Thank you for listening.