Sunday, December 16, 2012

My sorrow has no words

April 20, 1999

13 killed, 24 injured: Columbine, Colo

July 29, 1999
9 killed, 12 injured: Atlanta

Sept. 15, 1999
7 killed, 7 injured: Fort Worth

Dec. 26, 2000
7 killed: Wakefield, Mass

March 5, 2001
2 killed, 13 injured: Santee, Calif

July 8, 2003
5 killed, 9 injured: Meridian, Miss.

March 21, 2005
9 killed, 7 injured: Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minn

Oct. 2, 2006
5 killed, 5 injured: Nickel Mines, Pa.

Feb. 12, 2007
5 killed, 4 injured: Salt Lake City

April 16, 2007
32 killed, 17 injured: Blacksburg, Va

Dec. 5, 2007
8 killed, 4 injured: Omaha

Feb. 14, 2008
5 killed, 16 injured: Dekalb, Ill

April 3, 2009
13 killed, 4 injured: Binghamton, N.Y.

Nov. 5, 2009
13 killed, 32 injured: Ft. Hood, Texas

Aug. 3, 2010
8 killed, 2 injured: Manchester, Conn.

Jan. 8, 2011
6 killed, 11 injured: Tucson, Ariz

Oct. 12, 2011
8 killed, 1 injured: Seal Beach, Calif.

April 2, 2012
7 killed, 3 injured: Oakland

July 20, 2012
12 killed, 58 injured: Aurora, Colo.

Aug. 5, 2012
6 killed, 3 injured: Oak Creek, Wis.

Sept. 28, 2012
6 killed, 2 injured: Minneapolis, Minn

Oct. 21, 2012
3 dead, 4 injured; Brookfield, Wis.

Dec. 14, 2012
27 killed, one injured; Newtown, Conn.

Sources: L.A. Times research - Originally published July 20, 2012...updated yesterday
Credits: Maloy Moore, Megan Garvey, Evan Wagstaff


To all who commented on the original post:

Apparently I exceeded the allowable character number in my response...hence this addendum.

I have two daughters who are nine and fifteen and attend public schools. Needless to say, this is the sort of thing that is a parent's worse dream. I would be devastated if this happened to either of my children.  So, this terrible thing rips my heart out in a father and as a caring human being.

As to guns in general: I am not a stranger to guns, having served in the army as a platoon leader. I am qualified on the 45 cal pistol and M14 rifle, as expert. I own no guns, rifles or shotguns. Have never owned any and do not want to own any. Guns are forever unforgiving. There is nothing sporting about a gun, rifle or shotgun...of any type.

In my view, in this society there is no good reason to own a gun...the "only criminals would have guns" crowd notwithstanding.

When the Second Amendment was written there were only 4 million people in this country. We just recently hit the almost 314 million mark. The difference between that 18th Century Society and this one is clearly obvious to all but the brain dead...or should be. There are just too damned many people and as we know, too many mental deranged ones. The massive numbers should tell us that the issue of whether the Second Amendment was to insure that we have a miltia, or not, is moot. The Supreme Court, which ruled in 2010 that the militia issue wasn't the intent, but rather that freedom to own a firearm was the intent of the amendment. Honestly, I think the Supreme Court has thrown out common sense and is pandering to the NRA.

The mental health issue? In this case, no gun restriction law would have prevented his murder of babies. Was he mentally ill? Of course...but, the guns were available. He didn't have to go through any legal process to get them. He simply borrowed them, or rather, took them.

What really murdered these children was an attitude. His mother had the attitude. She owned the guns, and the attitude is  re-inforced by our society and in particular by NRA members. What is the attitude? That we have a god-given right to own guns and that we NEED them in our lives. We do not.

Given our penchant lately for reducing funding for public programs such as mental health help, there is not much chance that we are going to address this part of the issue any time soon. And given that we have an insanely influential lobbying group...the NRA...calling the shots (no pun intended) on gun legislation...well, we are basically fucked. And so are our babies.

We all know the truth. No legislation will happen regards arms restrictions. No mental health programs will materialize to help individuals who have this sickness...and...the motherfucking NRA will continue to exist in all it's evilness. And no, President Obama is not planning to confiscate your bullshit arsenal, Billy Bob. Ain't gonna happen,.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

A terrible tragedy for all concerned. Again. Still.

the yellow fringe said...

If we do nothing, this list will continue to grow. More guns have not made the US safer. Plus the number one victim of gun violence is the owner of guns, middle age and older white men make up the largest number of deaths by guns, self inflicted, not by criminals. Having guns laying about is hazardous to the health to everyone, especially the owners.

Jerry Critter said...

How many of those would have been saved if guns designed to kill people rather than animals were not available to the masses? I bet it would be a significant percentage.

If you want assault rifles or pistols in the hands of the common man, you must accept the killing of children.

Mr. Charleston said...

I share your pain JJ. It's just to horrible to think about. I cry for our nation.

Sarge said...

Nothing will happen until we end the NRA's hold on Congress! I do not own a handgun - save a Crossman pellet pistol. Nowm I am siiting less than two feet away from about 2K in expensive rifles and shotguns. Do I see these guns as weapons? No, The only two legged thing I plan to kill is a wild turkey this Spring...

I say ban all handguns that cannot be legitimately used for hunting (Glock 19)and assault weapons (AK-47, UZI, AR -15). I want stricter gun control - More security at schools (metal detectors)
and stiff penalties anyone regardless of their age caught near a school child with a gun.


Ol'Buzzard said...

We can't let them change the subject from gun control to mental illness. The availability of weapons designed to kill humans is the problem.

the Ol'Buzzard

squatlo said...

Buzz, I agree with your statement that the problem is the availability of weapons designed to kill humans. But to disregard the cutbacks in mental health care availability would be short-sighted. It's simply a lot easier to obtain a weapon in America than it is to obtain quality mental health care.

There are parents all over this country who are terrified of their little darlings, and have no one to turn to for help. Call the police on your own kid? Good luck getting him out of the system once you've flagged his ass for them.

So we dose them with Ritalin, put Call of Duty in their stockings at Xmas, and hope we die before they do something like we've just seen in Connecticut.

Jerry Critter said...

It is not a matter of changing the subject from gun control to mental illness. It is a matter of changing the subject to gun control AND mental illness. One alone is not sufficient to deal with the problem.

In fact, both of them are not enough to,deal,completely with the problem. One must get to the underlying root of the problem, a lot of which comes from the expanding inequalities in our society.



Tom Harper said...

Very nice tribute. I don't have a solution, just horror at what this country has turned into.

jadedj said...

Thank all of you for commenting. Some interesting and valid points have been made I think. Please refer to the addendum at the end of the original post, for my response.

jadedj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PENolan said...

Nothing to add - except a big, virtual hug heading your way.
Love and Light

Susan said...

As a parent and a teacher, I agree--worst nightmare.

jadedj said...

Tricia---It's good to hear that you are still out there :-)

I'm not sure there is anything to add, but thanks for the love and light...back at you.

Susan---Yesterday I dropped my youngest off at school and I have to say it took a great deal of will-power to drive away. I almost stayed to make sure she got into the school. But, I realized that would send the wrong message to her. So, I swallowed and drove on. It's a sad note that we have come to this, or rather, that I have.

BTW, an aside: Reading your comment reminded me that I have had a life-long battle with that pair of bugger words...worse and worst. I still can't keep it straight. Out damned word!

Doug said...

It's hard to get the idea of gun control past the "they want to ban guns!" mentality of the NRA and its followers. We have very strict rules here, and yet guns are still obtained. We also have drive by shootings and murders and suicides by gun. Another oft used line by the gun worshippers is, "if guns are outlawed..." and I like that scenario, actually. It would be reassuring to me that the average citizen isn't packing heat and putting people at risk.

I didn't know how to express my own sorrow and rage over Friday's shootings, so I wrote a little story instead. I rattled it off in an hour so it ain't much.

jadedj said...

Doug---Yeah, the gun totin' idea is not a good one, for sure. BTW, did you post the story?

Doug said...

Yeah, it's titled "New World Order" and was written and posted Friday night. It's the only text post on the page :-)

Leslie Hawes said...

Wonderfully said. Thoughtful, realistic. I concur.

Harlequin said...

thank you for this post and the comment accompanying it.
this is unspeakable horror, and you are correct: there are no words.
i mourn ( and rant) with the rest of you.

jadedj said...

Leslie and Harlequin---And just this morning I read that sales have skyrocketed at gun stores since the slaughter last Friday. In Fact, WalMart is out of stock in most stores of their assault type weapons. This alone makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs. Insanity.

Susan said...

I especially like your last paragraph. Nothing is going to happen, but some hot air. BUT--what if gun laws actually stayed the same WITH this little bit of action: enforce safety regulations. Many of the firearms that are legally sold are unsafe and not because they shoot bullets. The ones that get into cities like Philly, Detroit, and Baltimore are even more unsafe in terms of how they are made--they are cheap. And those guns are generally legally made, but illegally sold. So if gun producers were fined for how the guns were manufactured, forcing cheaper versions to tighten up, then the cost would eventally pass down to the consumer and getting an illegal gun would be much harder as they would be priced higher.

In other words, keep the laws, but make them more expensive to maintain for the average consumer. If the market ceases to support gun ownership, it really won't matter who is in office. Just a thought on how this could be solved without so much hue and cry.

jadedj said...

Susan---That is brilliant!

Leslie Parsley said...

I share your pain and anger and think you will agree with "What we lack in America today is courage."

jadedj said...

Leslie---I do agree! That is the best proposal I've read to date about this sad problem. Thanks for sharing it.

BBC said...

You can't make things go away once they show up on this rock, and I like my guns, especially my black powder guns and belonging to the black powder club.

I've never shot anyone but I'm not discounting having to do it someday the way things are going.

jadedj said...

BBC---So, who is it that you think you might have to shoot someday?

Beach Bum said...

Great post, can't add anything to what has already been said.

jadedj said...

Beach Bum---Comments not necessary and...flattered that you found it worth reading.

I know, I know, missing a couple of pronouns here and there...not enough caffeine at this point ;)

Hughes ap Williams said...

The NRA is a lobbying group for gun manufacturers, but there are still people out there who think that the NRA exists to support their analysis of the second amendment.

jadedj said...

Hughes ap Williams---Beautiful! And I might add, an amendment which dealt with ball and powder muskets, not dum dum-dum ammo and automatic weapons, for christ sakes. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Intelligent and well thought out comments are always welcome.

Punch said...

Think about this.
If we (We) all, WHO are against the personal ownership of assault rifles, were to join the NRA all 88 plus million of us. (US)
We would have the ability to vote out the current leadership of the NRA and change their agenda. We could make the NRA a voice FOR gun control.
They currently have only 4 million members. JOIN the NRA, NOW!!!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE.
so on and so forth.

Jerry Critter said...

An interesting proposition...most rightwing/fundamentalist organizations could be taken over it his way. Destroy them from the inside rather than defeating them from the outside. It is what the teabaggers have done to the Republican Party.

jadedj said...

Punch and Jerry---A brilliant idea, however I have little faith that enough people would actually do it.


not sure how many people here have had to actually shoot someone..and since I have I can tell you..if there had been no guns in that house, Jack Denney would probably still be alive...maybe not..he always wanted to die suicide by cop.

jadedj said...

Jackiesue----I'm sorry, I don't know who Jack Denney was.

Punch said...

I am reading "The hour I first believed" a novel about Columbine HS. Built around how it affected the survivors and their family and friends.