Showing posts with label gun deaths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gun deaths. Show all posts

Monday, September 15, 2014

Colorado teenager invents smart gun that only works after identifying owner's fingerprints. Now that's what I'm talking about!

Courtesy of Tech Crunch:  

Colorado has a history with gun violence so it’s only appropriate that 17-year-old Kai Kloepfer, a high school student from Boulder, would want to apply biometric user authentication to firearms. Kloepfer just won the $50,000 Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge for his smart gun prototype. 

Angel investor and gun reform advocate Ron Conway became the main backer of the $1 million Smart Tech prize to spur gun safety solutions earlier this year. “Let’s use innovation to bring about gun safety. Let’s not rely on Washington,” Conway told the SF Examiner in January. According to the Smart Tech Foundation, a total of 15 innovators will receive a part of that million dollar prize. Kloepfer is the first to get the award.

The gun works by recording the fingerprints of the user inside its self contained data base, which means no information is uploaded to any other server.  This makes the weapon's computer very hard to hack, and does not jeopardize the owner's  personal information.

Kloepfer came up with the idea two years ago when he needed something for his high school science project. “The idea came to me right as I was falling asleep. It was kinda in the back of my mind because of the shooting,” said Kloepfer, alluding to the Aurora, Colorado shooting that had been on everyone’s mind at the time. The shooting was just an hour’s drive from his home. “I scribbled it down before I went to bed and fell asleep and then in the morning I began my research,” He explained. 

Kloepfer’s parents helped him in monetary increments to get the parts needed for each improvement. It would eventually cost $3000 for the whole thing to come together. “At first it was just a concept on paper,” he tells me. The gun went from phase to phase with each science fair. “Right now it’s a prototype on a plastic model. Its not entirely there but it works,” he says.

There is NO reason why this kind of technology should not be embraced the NRA and gun owners around the world.

And if they did so it could dramatically reduce the number of accidental shootings, increase the safety of our loved ones, and do a great deal to qualm the fears of those calling for stricter gun laws.

Friday, August 22, 2014

In 2012 409 people were killed by police officers in America in what were determined to be justifiable shootings. In Britain the police fired off a single shot. Nobody was killed.

Courtesy of PRI:

In 2012, 409 people were shot and killed by American police in what were termed justifiable shootings. In that same year, British police officers fired their weapons just once. No one was killed. 

In 2013, British police officers fired their weapons all of three times. No one died. According to The Economist, "British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans. Between 2010 and 2014, the police force of one small American city — Albuquerque in New Mexico — shot and killed 23 civilians; seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period. 

So wait, so does this mean that when a man approaches the police and asks them to kill him that they DON'T simply fill him with holes? 

The Economist argues that the reason for this disparity is actually quite simple: guns are comparatively rare in the UK. Most cops don't carry them and criminals rarely have access to them. The last time a British officer was killed by a gun was in 2012. In the US last year, 30 police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty. 

In December, PRI's The World reported on Icelanders grieving after their police force killed a man — for the first time in the country's history as a republic.

Perhaps the NRA would like to explain one more time how everybody owning a gun in America keeps all of us safe. I'm just not getting it. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Accidental shooting takes life of mother and her unborn baby. It seems that the pro-life rights and 2nd Amendment rights cannot always coexist.

Courtesy of Tampa Bay Times:  

Katherine Lynn Bryan grew up in New Port Richey, the youngest in a tight-knit group of four siblings. She recently got married and became Katherine Hoover. At the age of 25, she was five months pregnant. The new baby was going to be her second son. 

Instead, a tragic gun accident at a friend's house left the young mother and her unborn child dead Sunday. 

A stay-at-home mother who had recently moved from New Port Richey to Inverness, Katherine Hoover died in a hospital emergency room early Sunday. 

She was shot in the head Saturday evening while being shown a gun at a friend's house in Brooksville, authorities said. 

She and her husband, Carson Hoover, had gone to visit friends at 20079 Suncrest Drive in northwest Brooksville, just outside the city limits. 

Sometime around 6:45 p.m. inside the house, William DeHayes was showing the Hoovers some of his guns, including a .22-caliber revolver. The gun accidentally fired and shot Katherine Hoover in the head, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. 

Hoover was rushed to Bayfront Health Brooksville and then airlifted to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. 

Her unborn child could not be saved. Shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday, physicians removed the 5-month-old fetus from his dying mother in a last-ditch attempt to save him. But he was pronounced dead just after 8:30 p.m.

Something that has always confused me is the idea that the rabid Right to Life movement, is invariably made up of the same people  who also support the death penalty and the 2nd Amendment.

One would think that if you were so focused on every fetus's right to be born, you would also be against having a lot of guns around which might take their life as a child or as an adult. Or does "pro-life" concerns end once the child successfully navigates the birth canal?

Guns do NOT protect life, guns take life.

And in this case they took two innocent lives.

Does that make anybody feel safer?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

You know the thing about bulletproof vests is that they will not protect you if the bullet misses them. As dead Ammosexual learns the hard way.

Suspect Mark-Anthony Sandang Ramiro

Courtesy of WBALTV:  

A 30-year-old man has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a victim who was wearing a bulletproof vest and bragging he was about to take a "deuce deuce in the chest" in video recorded by a third person at the scene, according to court documents. 

Police said Mark-Anthony Sandang Ramiro was arrested and charged in the shooting death of Darnell Mitchell, 28, during an incident in Ramiro's basement at 2208 Cedley Street in south Baltimore on Wednesday. 

Police said the incident was filmed as Mitchell, who had been wearing a ballistics vest, was shot one time by Ramiro. The victim suffered a gunshot wound above the vest. 

According to court documents, police were called when Mitchell walked into the Shock Trauma with Ramiro around 4 a.m. Wednesday. Despite medical efforts, police said Mitchell was pronounced dead at 4:07 p.m. 

After getting a search warrant and processing the scene, police said they discovered a Cannon E07 digital camera with video on it of the shooting. 

In that video, Mitchell was bragging that he was about to take a “deuce deuce in the chest” -- a shot from a .22-caliber bullet -- before Ramiro, who is seen standing in front of Mitchell, discharged the handgun one time, striking Mitchell just above the vest, according to charging documents. 

The documents said Mitchell collapsed onto the floor and Ramiro dropped the gun. Ramiro and the person taking the video helped the victim, and then the video ended, according to court documents. 

You know you live disrespecting the power of the gun you die with suddenly new respect for the power of the gun.

This so-called "gun culture" is chock full of people who treat guns like they are simply accouterments or tools to be used to shoot in the air for celebration, or to open a locked door after losing the key, or to whip out to suddenly give the impression that they are a man. 

The facts are that these are deadly weapons designed and manufactured to end a life, and unless the individual with access to one does not treat it with great care and respect for its life ending power, the person whose life it ends will be either themselves or somebody they care about.

I wonder how this guy tested his bike helmet? Did he ride his bike into a brick wall at full speed?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In 14 states gun deaths outnumber deaths by motor vehicle. Well there goes another NRA talking point.

Courtesy of Oregon Live:

Oregon was one of 14 states where gun deaths outpaced motor vehicle deaths in 2011, according to a study by the Violence Policy Center. 

Data was compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 

This marks the third year the Violence Policy Center has issued an annual report comparing gun deaths to motor vehicle deaths by state. The center is a nonprofit organization working to stop gun death and injury. 

Oregon's number of gun deaths also exceeded its motor vehicle deaths in 2009 and 2010, according to the center. 

Gun deaths include suicide by firearm, homicides, and fatal unintentional shootings. Motor vehicle deaths include both vehicle occupants and pedestrians. 

The 13 other states where gun deaths exceeded motor vehicle deaths in 2011 were: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington state, as well as the District of Columbia.

As I am sure most of you know the NRA and  Ammosexuals have long argued that there are more deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents then are caused by guns. However as the article above states, that is not true in at least 14 states.

What's more, as I have pointed out repeatedly, the primary function of a vehicle is transportation, whereas the primary function of a gun is death.

But if the gun fetishists wanted gun owners treated more like car owners they may want to keep this in mind.

 Seems reasonable enough, don't you think?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

11 year old shoots and kill grandfather after grandfather shoots his dad. Another domestic dispute made deadly by the 2nd Amendment.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

Vance County Sheriff Deputies were called to the home of 84-year-old Lloyd Woodlief late Monday night. A family argument had turned violent, Vance County Sheriff Peter White said, leading Lloyd Woodlief to shoot his 49-year-old son, Lloyd Peyton Woodlief, with a .22 caliber pistol. 

Authorities said that they believe the unnamed 11-year-old then shot his grandfather with a 12-gauge shotgun. 

Lloyd Peyton Woodlief was taken to Duke Medical Center, where is he recovering from his wounds. His father died on the scene shortly after authorities arrived. The 11-year-old was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon. 

“A juvenile petition has been taken out against the 11-year-old,” Sheriff White said. “He is in the custody of juvenile services.”

I am not sure that this boy should be charged with anything.

If he lives in a house where there is violence, and he sees his grandfather shoot his dad, what's he supposed to do?

He responded in the way that he had been taught to respond by the adults in his life.

In my opinion the boy will need a lot of counseling, his father needs to take parenting classes, and the grandfather got what was coming to him.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New analysis determines that states with lax gun laws have a higher percentage of gun deaths. In other news apparently water is wet.

Courtesy of the Violence Policy Center: 

States with weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership have the highest overall gun death rates in the nation, according to a Violence Policy Center (VPC) analysis of new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 

Meanwhile, states with the lowest overall gun death rates have lower rates of gun ownership and some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the nation. However, even in these states the human toll of gun violence remains unacceptably high and far exceeds the gun death rate in most Western industrialized nations. 

The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates in 2011 were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana. Each of these states has extremely lax gun violence prevention laws as well as a higher rate of gun ownership. The state with the lowest gun death rate in the nation was Rhode Island, followed by Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Each of these states has strong gun violence prevention laws and has a lower rate of gun ownership.

Why is Alaska always on these bad lists?

Look before all of you sad little gun fetishists start to panic, nobody wants to keep law abiding citizens from owning a gun. 

I completely understand that Viagra is expensive, loud noises frighten you, and that you have the muscle mass of a quadriplegic, so without your arsenal of bang sticks you feel lost, impotent, and confused.

However there are people who are careless with firearms, emotionally ill equipped to handle them, or mentally deranged and possibly homicidal, and surely everybody would agree that these people should not be trusted to own or handle instruments of death that can kill even fathers of newborns from all the way across the street.

We just want to send our children to school knowing hey are safe, attend a movie without having to wear a flack jacket, and shop in the mall without scanning the food court for armed assailants.

In other words we just want to live in the America that existed before the NRA started pushing gun ownership like that creepy guy in the van hands out free samples of meth to the neighborhood children.  (The first taste is always free.)

In my opinion our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, outweighs the right of ammosexuals to walk around feeling like a bad ass.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Immoral Minority's roundup of crazy, sad, and frightening stories of guns and gun violence around the country.

Welcome all you rational people to the world of irrational fear that permeates the "gun culture."

First up we have the case in Texas of the Open Carry dipshits approaching schoolchildren and attempting to convince them that carrying around assault weapons helps to fight Jim Crow laws:


Open Carry Texas posted this disturbing image which shows their fully armed members talking with school children. I’m not certain if their weapons were loaded with freedom bullets or not. They proudly declared in their post, “Dallas County speaks to kids at Coppell City Hall this weekend who mentioned they were studying Jim Crow laws in school.” 

We all know how that subject comes up when kids run into heavily armed groups consisting of mostly men. These are the same armed people Target allowed to protest on their premises. 

They continue to say, “We explained that gun control is a major component of the Jim Crow era to keep guns out of the hands of minorities and that Open Carry Texas is working to repeal these laws.” They concluded, “We also discussed gun safety.”

Yes it was lack of access to firearms that kept African Americans from receiving the same educational opportunities as white people, and from passing the unfair literacy tests they were subjected to before being allowed to vote, and it is what kept them from being allowed to eat in the same restaurants as their Caucasian neighbors.

Just imagine how much differently things would have turned out if the black man had taken up arms against their white oppressors, and shot their way into restaurants, voting booths, and better schools.

Idiots!

Not to be outdone an Open Carry advocate in Michigan decided to bring his metal penis extender to a local library's summer reading party: 

"I'd rather have my gun and not need it, versus needing it and not having it," said Warren, a 31-year-old resident of Kalamazoo Township's Eastwood neighborhood who runs his own lawn-care business. "I'd rather be prepared. "

"Whether it's the gas station or the library, I can live with the fact that I'd be forced to take another man's life if he attacked my family," Warren said. "I couldn't live with not doing anything."

Translation: "I'm really hoping to kill somebody someday."

In eastern Pennsylvania a guy was a little TOO prepared and ended up falling asleep watching gun videos on You Tube and discharging his weapon accidentally: 

Greg Winnick, of Wind Gap, said he had been watching YouTube videos about a new trigger for his AR-15 after installing one on his gun when he apparently dozed off at the computer with the gun cradled in his lap, reported The Express-Times. 

The 37-year-old, who said he had been awake since midnight Sunday, told state police he had not realized the weapon was loaded.

Your gun going off in your sleep, who hasn't been there?

But what happens when your metal penis becomes jealous of your natural equipment?

Courtesy of Crooks and Liars:  

A man in Macon, Georgia accidentally shot himself in the penis while attempting to holster his gun last week.

Talk about ironic.

You know they must have little bullet proof sheaths to prevent this kind of thing, right? Or maybe you could just arm your dick so that it can fire back.

On a serious note the facts are that despite NRA arguments to the contrary the evidence shows that guns to NOT keep our families safe:  

The overwhelming empirical evidence indicates that the presence of a gun makes children less safe; that programs such as Eddie Eagle are insufficient; and that measures the NRA and extreme gun advocates vehemently oppose, such as gun safes and smart guns, could dramatically reduce the death toll. Study after study unequivocally demonstrates that the prevalence of firearms directly increases the risk of youth homicide, suicide, and unintentional death. This effect is consistent across the United States and throughout the world. As a country, we should be judged by how well we protect our children. By any measure, we are failing horribly. 

The United States accounts for nearly 75 percent of all children murdered in the developed world. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 in the United States are 17 times more likely to be murdered by firearms than children in other industrialized nations. 

Children from states where firearms are prevalent suffer from significantly higher rates of homicide, even after accounting for poverty, education, and urbanization. A study focusing on youth in North Carolina found that most of these deaths were caused by legally purchased handguns. A recent meta-analysis revealed that easy access to firearms doubled the risk of homicide and tripled the risk for suicide among all household members. Family violence is also much more likely to be lethal in homes where a firearm is present, placing children especially in danger. Murder-suicides are another major risk to children and are most likely to be committed with a gun. 

These gun toting pieces of shit can talk about the importance of their 2nd Amendment rights, and their desire to keep their families safe from violence, but the facts are that THEY are "bad guys with the gun" that the NRA keeps warning us about and that to be safe we need to keep weapons out of the hands of those who fantasize cutting down law breakers during their lunch break.

More guns, means more bullets, means more deaths. It is as simple as that.

Other countries have done the math and it is high time we do the same.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Goods guy with a gun, kills bad ex-wife and new boyfriend, in front of 100 good people who did nothing.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

An Illinois man reportedly fatally shot his ex-wife and her new boyfriend at a high school reunion in East Peoria over the weekend before being killed by an off-duty FBI officer. 

WEEK reported that 33-year-old Lori A. Moore and her boyfriend, 36-year-old Lance E. Griffel, (pictured, above) were at The Fifth Quarter Sports Bar and Pizzeria on Saturday, when 40-year-old Jason A. Moore walked in and shot them both in the head at pointblank range. 

Lori Moore was there to attend her reunion for East Peoria Community High School Class of 1999. More than 100 attendees witnessed the shooting. 

According to the New York Daily News, an off-duty FBI officer shot and killed Jason Moore. 

“It’s very difficult to say. You can play the ‘what if’ game over and over again, but I think it’s pretty clear in his case the presence of this officer and his ability to take very quick and very decisive action prevented a further tragedy,” East Peoria Police Chief Ganschow explained. 

Lori Moore and her boyfriend were pronounced dead at OSF St. Francis Hospital several hours after the shooting.

The NRA will tell you repeatedly that access to guns keeps us safe, but I think we all know that the VAST number of gun deaths are muhc like this one, the result of a crime of passion, or an accident, or simply somebody angry at the world who kills for no discernible reason. 

Of course we can never make and absolute determination as to how many people are killed by guns, and for what reason, becasue the NRA has been actively blocking efforts by the CDC to gather that data.

Which is odd if in deed they were confident in their belief that guns keep us safe, don't you think?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The monster that the NRA created is loose, and it is doing what monsters do.

Jared and Amanda Miller.
Courtesy of the Daily Beast:  

It’s been quite a month for the National Rifle Association: Massacres at universities, in restaurants, and at retail stores from South Carolina to Las Vegas. Gun nuts porting assault weapons to dinner from Chili’s to Chipotle. The leaders of the take-no-prisoners gun-rights organization have been witness to the logical outgrowth of its policies and rhetoric. Much as the GOP helped create the lunatic-fringe Tea Party within its midst, the NRA chieftains have helped birth a beast whose black heart now beats strongly among its most radical adherents. 

The NRA’s officials purposefully pipeline propaganda to the most loony-tunes among us. They’ve told these gun cultists that they had best arm themselves with as many weapons and as lethal weaponry as they can get their hands on, because either a black president or a black helicopter will be hunting them down shortly. Simultaneously, they’ve used every electoral and lobbying tactic to best enable these unstable individuals to have access to the weaponry of war from which they and their arms-dealer cronies so handsomely profit. 

The result: They’ve watched impotently as this witch’s brew of mental illness, far-right politics, propaganda, and heavy weaponry has led to one shocking—yet wholly predictable—massacre after another, with the most recent targets including the execution-style murders of two lunching police officers in Las Vegas. These very same factors have also provided the impetus for a group of lunkheads to share their passion for taking AK-47s to lunch—even though the rest of us have no interest in sharing their emotionally degraded worldview. 

It’s quite a con. And it’s killing us.

Very well said.

And of course it should b e obvious to even these inbred knuckleheads that the more guns that are out in the community the more bullets there are to fire.

And the more paranoia that is drummed by the NRA about the government coming to take those weapons the more likely they will be fired.

And the more terrified the politicians are to do anything about it, the more likely more of us will be killed in this, the land of the free.

There are now people living in Beirut who feel safer than people living in this country today.

THAT is what the NRA has done to us.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Man "accidentally" shoots his pregnant girlfriend in the face during argument.

Courtesy of Raw Story: 

Doctors in central Pennsylvania delivered a baby during emergency surgery on a pregnant woman shortly before she died from a shotgun wound. 

Police said 25-year-old Denver Blough told them he had accidentally shot his girlfriend, 23-year-old Caressa Kovalcik, during an argument Saturday at the Windber apartment they shared with their 11-month-old son. 

Kovalcik died after delivering the child she had been carrying for nine months, reported The (Johnstown) Tribune Democrat, and the baby was flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for additional care. 

“What’s going to happen to my baby?” Blough asked state police as they took him into custody. 

Blough, who worked for an asphalt company, was charged with criminal homicide, attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault charges, and other charges.

Blough claimed that he broke his 20 gauge  shotgun into two pieces and went to show his girlfriend, and that the weapon fired hitting her in the face.

That seems highly implausible to me, if not outright impossible.

I would think it more likely that he shot his girlfriend, panicked, and then broke his gun into pieces.

I think the police might be making a similar assumption which explains why he was charged with criminal homicide instead of manslaughter.

The NRA is always talking about how weapons keep us safe, but it only takes a cursory knowledge of gun deaths to recognize that the vast number of people shot in this country are shot in similar domestic squabbles, where one person becomes angry and there is easy access to a weapon.

And now this poor child has been robbed of both their mother, who is now dead, and their father, who may not get out of prison until the child is an adult. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

3 year old accidentally shoots and kills baby brother with unsecured handgun.

Courtesy of azfamily.com:  

A toddler accidentally shot and killed his younger brother at a Payson apartment on Tuesday. 

According to the Payson Police Department, the boys were playing in an apartment at 303 S. Ash Street at around noon when they discovered a gun. 

The 3-year-old shot the 18-month-old in the head. The victim was rushed to Payson Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

The mother and the two children were visiting a 78-year-old friend at his apartment which is in the same complex where they live. 

They had only been there 10 or 15 minutes when the boys got into another room where they found the gun. 

Police said, the mother was looking for the boys and just as she walked through the door of that room the 3-year-old boy fired the gun.

A lot of pro-2nd Amendment advocates would have you believe that the majority of gun owners are uber responsible individuals with gun safety training, who treat their weapons carefully, and keep them secured when not in use.

But there is substantial evidence to prove that such is not the case.

I would say that a large percentage have a gun in their home that they really don't think about that often unless they hear a bump in the night, or decide to blow off steam at a shooting range.

The owners seem to often consider the weapons to be more of a tool then an instrument of death, and do not treat it with the kind of respect that is called for when dealing with an object that can even accidentally discharge and end a human life.

It is really this lack of responsibility, and the vast numbers of weapons in our community, that puts all of us at risk.

All it would take is stricter guidelines for the purchase and ownership of these weapons, a comprehensive registration process, and some mandatory training, to dramatically reduce the number of accidental deaths in this country.

Personally I feel badly for this mother who had every right to assume that there was not a deadly arsenal only feet away from her children.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Michael Moore, director of the film Bowling for Columbine, remarks on latest massacre.

Apparently many people have been asking filmmaker Michale Moore for his thoughts on the shooting in California.

Finally he replied.

I think it is well worth sharing. With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night's tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA -- I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life. Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps. We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) "interests." The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol. While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns]), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do -- and yet we don't seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: "Why us? What is it about US?" Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that? Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses -- and then we the people refuse to remove them from office. So the onus is on us, all of us. We won't pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won't consider why this happens here all the time. When the NRA says, "Guns don't kill people -- people kill people," they've got it half-right. Except I would amend it to this: "Guns don't kill people -- Americans kill people." Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.

Kind of hits home, don't you think?

Mother Jones updates their guide to mass shootings in America.

Courtesy of Mother Jones:  

America's latest mass shooting took place in Santa Barbara on Friday night. The New York Times reports: "A college student who posted videos that documented his rage against women for rejecting him killed six people and wounded 13 others during a spasm of terror, the police said. He stabbed three men to death in his apartment and shot the others as he methodically opened fire on bystanders on the crowded streets of this small town." According to the LA Times, the guns he used—two Sig Sauer p226 model handguns and a Glock 34—were legally purchased from federally licensed dealers and were registered to the killer, who after a shootout with police ended his own life with a bullet to the head. 

It is perhaps too easy to forget how many times this has happened. The horrific mass murder at a movie theater in Colorado in July 2012, another at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that August, another at a manufacturer in Minneapolis that September—and then the unthinkable nightmare at a Connecticut elementary school that December—were some of the latest in an epidemic of such gun violence over the last three decades. Since 1982, there have been at least 70 mass shootings across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii. Thirty-three of these mass shootings have occurred since 2006. Seven of them took place in 2012, and another five occurred in 2013, including in Santa Monica, California, and at the Washington Navy Yard. The first five months of 2014 brought another bloodbath at Fort Hood, Texas, and mass killings in northern and southern California. 

Weapons: Of the 143 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and semi-automatic handguns with high-capacity magazines. (See charts below.) Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to slaughter students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes, along with an AR-15 assault rifle, when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater. In Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza wielded a .223 Bushmaster semi-automatic assault rifle as he massacred 20 school children and six adults. 

The killers: More than half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (12 and 20, respectively); the other 30 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, and religious and government buildings. Forty four of the killers were white males. Only one of them was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.) The average age of the killers was 35, though the youngest among them was a mere 11 years old. (See Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.) A majority were mentally troubled—and many displayed signs of it before setting out to kill. 

Mother Jones provides and interact map on their site, which provides information about each shooting going back three decades, when your mouse scrolls over each state.

The statistics are horrifying, and they should certainly make all of us ask the question posed by Mr. Martinez the other day. "When will enough people say, “Stop this madness!”"

Now gun advocates will point out that the most recent killer, Elliot Rodger, also killed three people with a knife before his shooting spree.  And yes that is true, but the knife certainly did not allow him to drive down the street indiscriminately killing and wounding people from the safety of his car.

Knives have many uses, guns have only one.

And it is time we stopped treating them like fashion accessories and started treating them for what they are. Weapons of mass destruction.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mother convicted of killing her two children tells judge they are "alive and enjoying everything and anything heaven has to offer."

Courtesy of KTLA5:  

After deliberating for just two hours, a jury of eight men and four women in Hillsborough County, Florida, found Julie Schenecker guilty of two counts of first-degree murder for charges related to the 2011 shooting deaths of her two children. 

Schenecker, 53, was charged with murder in the deaths of her daughter, 16-year-old Caylx, and her son, 13-year-old Beau. The state did not seek the death penalty. 

Schenecker addressed the judge before he sentenced her to two life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 25 years per count, to be served concurrently. 

“Your honor, I’m prepared and I accept your sentence. I apologize to everybody in this courtroom who have broken their lives,” Schenecker said through tears. “I know our children are in heaven. I want people to try to find comfort in believing as I do that they are in no pain and they are alive and enjoying everything and anything heaven has to offer,” she added. 

The mother, who had a long history of mental illness, wrote out a plan for her "Saturday Massacre," with a gun she bought two days before the killings. She apparently  tried to arrange for her husband, who was in the military, to find the bodies.

In an interview with police, Schenecker said she shot her son to death while driving him to soccer practice on the night of January 27. Afterward, Schenecker said, she returned home, parked her van in the garage and shot her son one more time in the mouth — “his mouthy mouth,” she told authorities. 

Still armed with the handgun, Schenecker told investigators, she went inside the home and shot her daughter twice in the head while Calyx was doing homework on her computer. Schenecker said she then wheeled her daughter’s body over to her bed and covered her body with a blanket. 

This story really hit home for me, especially the part about the children living in heaven now, which of course serves to alleviate a portion of this woman's guilt.

Many years ago I worked with a young boy who had a potpourri of mental health difficulties, and who would often talked about just wanting to go to heaven now, in order to deal with the pain he felt trying to cope with his mental disabilities.

His parents were fundamentalist Christians, and had once taken him to an exorcist in order to deal with his problems.

The young man was on suicide watch the entire time that I worked with him, and at times was not allowed to be alone under any circumstances unless he was heavily medicated and asleep in his room.

One time during a team meeting, when the suicidal ideation came up, his mother suggested that it might not be the worst thing to simply turn our heads for a moment and allow him to act on his impulse. "After all then he will be with Jesus in heaven, and all of his pain will be taken away."

Today this young man has graduated high school, holds a job, and has an actual relationship. His medications were altered over time through trial and error and he is in a much better, and happier, state of mind. In other words no more talk of killing himself.

One of the truly terrible things about the Christian religion is the focus on the perfection of the life that follows this one. For individuals who are struggling with constant mental health issues this seems like the best of all possible solutions.

This mother callously shot and killed her own children. But in her mind she simply sent them ahead to a better place.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Two year old kills eleven year old sister with unsecured handgun. Yay, 2nd Amendment.

Courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune:  

A 2-year-old boy apparently shot and killed his 11-year-old sister while they and their siblings played with a gun inside a Philadelphia home, police said Sunday. 

Jamara Stevens was fatally shot Saturday morning with a gun that police believe was brought into the home by the mother’s boyfriend a few hours earlier. 

The mother was home with her four children in a master bedroom, Lt. John Walker said. Police say the shooting occurred when she left the room at about 10 a.m. to use the bathroom. 

The 2-year-old pointed the loaded, cocked gun in the direction of his sister and the gun discharged, according to investigators. 

The fatal bullet struck Jamara’s shoulder and then traveled to her chest. Jamara was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, but died about a half-hour later, police said. 

It appears that the boyfriend at least TRIED to place the gun out of reach of the children. However it seems he did not understand the tenacity of children in their efforts to get their hands on something new and forbidden.

Police believe the mother’s boyfriend had brought the gun to the house and stashed it on top of a refrigerator. It’s not immediately clear who brought it to the bedroom. 

Homicide detectives are investigating and will forward information to the district attorney’s office, police said. No charges have been filed.

And it is unlikely that any charges will be filed, since this appears to be the very definition of an accidental shooting. 

However it is an accident that simply could not have taken place before the arrival of the boyfriend, and his weapon.

I am sure the boyfriend believed that his gun made him and everybody around him safer, only to learn that often it has just the opposite effect.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Texas prosecutor says that it is very unlikely that father who shot daughter's boyfriend will face charges.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

The District Attorney’s Office in Houston, Texas says that no charges will likely be filed against the father who shot his teenage daughter’s boyfriend dead. 

Prosecutor Warren Diepraam told FOX 26 that “[w]hat was going on in the person’s mind at the time of the shooting what they found out after the fact isn’t going to matter a whole bunch. They’re looking at what he was thinking when he made the decision to shoot.” 

The decision to shoot, according to police, was made by the 55-year-old homeowner after his 4-year-old son informed him that there was a strange man in his 16-year-old daughter’s bedroom. It was 2:20 a.m., and the homeowner immediately grabbed his gun and entered his daughter’s bedroom to find her under the covers with an unknown teen. 

He allegedly told the teen not to move, and police say his daughter initially claimed not to know who the teen was. At some point during the discussion, the father perceived the teen to be moving for what could have been a gun and shot him dead. 

The teen was unarmed, and his daughter later confessed that the dead teen was her boyfriend, and that she had snuck him into her bedroom.

When I wrote about this earlier I predicted that the father would likely not face any jail time, though I have to admit I was hoping I would be wrong about that. 

In my opinion this man had every right to threaten that young man with an ass whooping and throw him out on the street, but he did NOT have the right to take his life.

And do you know what? If he had smacked that kid around he probably would be MORE likely to face charges.

That is how screwed up this country has become.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pregnant woman accidentally shot to death by her husband, a state trooper.

Courtesy of Philly.com:  

Police released the identity of a pregnant woman accidentally shot to death Friday afternoon in Montgomery County by her husband, a state trooper. 

JoAnne Miller, who was 22 weeks pregnant, was taken to Mercy Suburban Hospital with a gunshot wound to the upper body. She died soon after she was admitted. Doctors performed an unsuccessful emergency cesarean. "The baby never had its own breathing or heartbeat," said the Montgomery County coroner, Walter Hofman. 

The shooting in the home on the 3000 block of Stony Creek Road in East Norriton occurred around 2:30 p.m. Friday, police said. The officer pulled the trigger while taking apart his .45-caliber handgun for cleaning but did not realize the gun was loaded, police said. 

I am not going to make any snide remarks because this is truly a tragedy.

However it is instructional in showing that any gun introduced into a household is far likelier to put the inhabitants in danger than to protect them, even when the gun is in the hands of somebody trained to use it for protection.

This gun had a purpose, and that purpose is ostensibly to protect life, but in reality a gun is only good for one thing. And that is the taking of life.

In this case the life of a mother and her unborn child.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Relaxed gun laws in Missouri have resulted in around 60 more deaths per year. Sure, like those two things are related.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

A new study has found that around 60 more people have been murdered each year since the state of Missouri made it easier to buy a handguns without going through a background check. 

In the study which will be published in an issue of the Journal of Urban Health, a team of researchers led by Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research Director Daniel Webster found that between 55 to 63 more people were murdered each year after Missouri repealed its permit-to-purchase (PTP) handgun law in 2007. 

“This study provides compelling confirmation that weaknesses in firearm laws lead to deaths from gun violence,” Webster said in a press release. “There is strong evidence to support the idea that the repeal of Missouri’s handgun purchaser licensing law contributed to dozens of additional murders in Missouri each year since the law was changed.” 

After the law was repealed, unlicensed sellers were no longer required to perform background checks before selling their guns. 

While murders in Missouri spiked between 2007 and 2012, bordering states experienced no significant increases. And the overall murder rate in the U.S. declined by 5 percent during that same period.

Gee, who could have predicted that more guns on the street, in the hands of individuals who may or may not have a criminal record, would result in more gun deaths?

After all everybody knows that more guns in the hands of our citizens results in fewer shootings and gun fatalities, right Wayne La Pierre?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Smith and Wesson to stop selling handguns in California due to new law that makes it easier to track guns used during criminal activities. Wait, that can't be right.

Courtesy of The Washington Times:  

Smith & Wesson announced it will stop selling its handguns in California rather than manufacture them to comply with the new microstamping law. The other publicly traded firearms manufacturer in the U.S., Sturm, Ruger, also said this month that it will stop new sales to California. 

The announcement late Wednesday came a week after the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for firearms manufacturers, filed suit against California for requiring that all new semi-automatic pistols that are not already on the state’s approved gun roster have the microstamping technology. 

Microstamping is a patented process that, in theory, would have a unique code on the tip of a gun’s firing pin that would engrave that information on the casing when fired. 

Smith & Wesson President and CEO James Debney said, “As our products fall off the roster due to California’s interpretation of the Unsafe Handgun Act, we will continue to work with the NRA and the NSSF to oppose this poorly conceived law which mandates the unproven and unreliable concept of microstamping and makes it impossible for Californians to have access to the best products with the latest innovations.” 

"Poorly conceived law?" A law that makes it easier to track a gun used in a crime back to its owners, is poorly conceived?

Here is what the microstamping does exactly:

Firearm microstamping, or ballistic imprinting, works by engraving a microscoping marking onto the tip of the firing pin. When the gun is fired, it leaves an imprint, usually of a serial number, on the bullet casings. The telltale mark theoretically allows law enforcement investigators to trace the bullet to the registered gun owner.

Here is how the NRA is responding to the new law:  

"This is the latest attempt to undermine the Second Amendment in California by politicians with little to no knowledge of firearms, who seek to impose their liberal values upon those who choose to protect their families with the constitutional right to own a handgun," said Chuck Michel, West Coast Counsel for the National Rifle Association, an Adjunct Professor at Chapman University and author of the book "California Gun Laws."

Color me confused but I am not sure exactly how this negatively impacts the purchase of handguns by law abiding citizens. 

Any of us who have watched a few episodes of CSI, or Dexter, or Law and Order, all know that traditionally bullets can be tied back to the guns that fired them through ballistic tests, during which an expert fires a bullet from a gun and then compares the striations on the side of that bullet to the ones found at a crime scene to see it they are a match.

This technology would dramatically reduce the complexities of that kind of work, and allow law enforcement to simply type the microstamp into a computer and immediately locate the person who purchased the gun. Think of how many police man hours could be saved, and how many more crimes could be solved with that technology on hand.

So knowing that, how exactly does the NRA, and Smith and Wesson, come out against it?