On this Thanksgiving Weekend Ukraine and USA Share Two More Things: Thankfulness and Violent Death Rates
At this time of Thanksgiving in the USA it’s intriguing to reflect on the reasons to give thanks in the USA even as we suffer a rash of mass shootings. Similarly, Ukraine would seem to have little to be thankful for given the war, power supplies under attack, etc. Americans can give thanks for steady power supplies, fresh running water, plentiful heat, and no missiles overhead. Ukrainians can be thankful I suppose just to be winning the war.
One of the most striking things people take away from watching Trek to Bucha is just how thankful Ukrainians are. Most interviewees in the film are thankful to have their family, friends, homes, and country survive. Not all though. The tragedies and atrocities mean that many, many people’s lives will never be the same again. Same for those who have lost loved ones to USA’s ubiquitous gun violence.
As I prepare to kick off Trek to Bucha’s promotional tour in Ukraine in January, I took a look at the #1 issue people understandably bring up when I tell them I’m going back: “Isn’t it dangerous?” To which I reply: “No more than here.”
Bottom line? It is just as likely someone will be killed in the USA by gun violence than in Ukraine from a missile strike. Here are the dismal statistics.
The difference is that in Ukraine they are Putin’s murders. In the USA, it’s Americans murdering Americans; part of the gun environment we’ve made for ourselves. Ukraine’s situation will hopefully end sooner than later. America’s will likely go on.
One thing to be thankful for in either case is that the chances are slim of being killed this way if you stay out of the war zones. So, in answer to those that wonder if I’m worried or scared to go back to Ukraine the answer is: “Not much”.
I’m thankful to have the opportunity to go back. I look forward to updating the stories with fresh interviews and footage and shooting the sequel: Back to Bucha.
Besides, there’s always a chance I can make a difference and support the cause.
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