24 July 2012

A Rant

- Navy Sailor John Larimer, 27
- Alex Teves, 24
- Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress
- Alex Sullivan, 27
- Jessica Ghawi, 24
- Micayla Medek, 23
- Veronica Moser-Sullivan, 6
- Gordon Cowden, 51
- Alexander J. Boik, 18
- Jonathan T. Blunk, 26
- Rebecca Ann Wingo, 32
- Matt McQuinn, 27
1. Susan Hileman, 58
2. Mavanell Stoddard, 75
3. Pamela Simon, 63
4. Ronald Barber, 65
5. Gabrielle Giffords, 40
6. James Tucker, 58
7. Kenneth Veeder, 75
8. George Morris, 76
9. James Fuller, 63
10. Randy Gardner, 60
11. Mary Reed, 52
12. Kenneth Dorushka, 63
13. Bill Badger, 74
14. Christina Green
15. John Roll, 63
16. Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Zimmerman, 30
17. Dorwan Stoddard, 76
18. Dorothy Morris, 76
19. Phyllis Schneck, 79
1. Rachel Scott, age 17
2. Richard Castaldo, age 17
3. Daniel Rohrbough, age 15
4. Sean Graves, age 15
5. Lance Kirklin, age 16
6. Michael Johnson, age 15
7. Mark Taylor, age 16
8. Anne-Marie Hochhalter, age 17
9. Brian Anderson, age 16
10. Patti Nielson, age 35
11. Stephanie Munson, age 16
12. Dave Sanders, age 47
1. Leigh Ann Vandiver Barton, 27
2. Matthew David Barton, 11
3. Mychelle Elizabeth Barton, 8
4. Allen Charles Tenenbaum, 48
5. Dean Delawalla, 52
6. Joseph J. Dessert, 60
7. Jamshid Havash, 45
8. Vadewattee Muralidhara, 44
9. Edward Quinn, 58
10. Kevin Dial, 38
11. Russell J. Brown, 42
12. Scott A. Webb, 30
1. Ryan Clark (22)
2. Emily Hilscher (19)
3. Minal Panchal (26)
4. G. V. Loganathan (53)
5. Jarrett Lane (22)
6. Brian Bluhm (25)
7. Matthew Gwaltney (24)
8. Jeremy Herbstritt (27)
9. Partahi Lumbantoruan (34)
10. Daniel O'Neil (22)
11. Juan Ortiz (26)
12. Julia Pryde (23)
13. Waleed Shaalan (32)
14. Jamie Bishop (35)
15. Lauren McCain (20)
16. Michael Pohle Jr. (23)
17. Maxine Turner (22)
18. Nicole White (20)
19. Liviu Librescu (76)
20. Jocelyne Couture-Nowak (49)
21. Ross Alameddine (20)
22. Austin Cloyd (18)
23. Daniel Perez Cueva (21)
24. Caitlin Hammaren (19)
25. Rachael Hill (18)
26. Matthew La Porte (20e
27. Henry Lee (20)
28. Erin Peterson (18)
29. Mary Karen Read (19)
30. Reema Samaha (18)
31. Leslie Sherman (20)
32. Kevin Granata (45)

Total = 87...yes, that's right EIGHTY-SEVEN PEOPLE!!!

How many of you are already bloody sick and tired of seeing pictures of the orange haired clown in Colorado who massacred 12 people and wounded another 59? Bet you know his name. Look over the list above. I'll bet you can name almost every person responsible for these lists. But without looking, how many of you can name even one victim? These lists represent only five of the approximately TWENTY-FOUR mass shootings* since the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 (yeah, that was Klebold and Harris, and I didn't have to look that up).

In every case, the killers' names and faces, backgrounds, education (or lack thereof), mental health issues, jobs, etc., etc., etc. were (and are) plastered on every newscast, tweeted endlessly, blogged about, dissected, ad nauseum. Every step of their legal processes were covered from arrest (or burial) to sentencing, then they are followed during appeals, every parole hearing (who isn't aware that Charlie Manson once again came up as "eligible" for parole?), until the perpetrator is dead (by whatever means), or released (God forbid). 

But who remembers the victims? Unless you personally knew one of them (and I am so sorry if you did). 

I was so happy to tune into Anderson Cooper during his AC360 show the other night, right after the Aurora massacre. He never used the shooter's name. He concentrated on the victims, talking to them, to their families and friends. Anderson showed pictures of the victims, discussed their lives, their loves. I cried for every one of them. And almost forgot the clown's name. 

Here's my rant:
We as a country seem to be completely beholden to the NRA and other "defenders" of the Second Amendment. Let me say that I am a gun owner. A several guns owner. I even hold a Concealed Carry Permit, allowing me to carry a firearm completely concealed from view in public. I do believe in the Second Amendment, whose wording in the Constitution of the United States as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Why in the hell can we place limits on the First Amendment - free speech...
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
..."you can't shout 'fire!' in a crowded theatre" is an oft quoted example of a limit placed on free speech...but we can't place limits on the quantities, types, and perhaps capacities of firearms that individuals can purchase?!?! Yes, we have limits that cover felons, the mentally ill, there's a few other minor exceptions. But in this country, we've gotten a little ridiculous in thinking that an armed populace is going to hold back a government gone awry. However, it would seem that there's not enough of us armed if no one in a theatre at 12:00 midnight could stop a lunatic with a shitpot full of guns!

So don't get me wrong, if I'd had my gun in that theatre, there would have been a lot fewer hurt and killed. (I probably wouldn't have; just because I have the permit doesn't mean I am armed 100% of the time - probably less than 1% of the time if the truth be known.) You don't have to kill someone wearing body armour to put them out of business. If you don't believe me, buy yourself a set, and come invade my home. I guarantee you'll be on your ass in my yard covered in very deep bruises and hurting very badly without a single bullet hole in your sorry ass. That's only IF I have totally forgotten everything I ever learned about shooting and miss your head. If you prefer the easier way, ask any police officer or soldier who's been shot in the body armour. It saves your life, it does not prevent you from being hurt, usually to the point of incapacitation, from the shock of a bullet hitting you at 2500 feet per second!

The lunacy has to stop. I don't own a gun that holds 100 rounds of ammunition. I can't think of any good reason to. I own one that could be considered a military weapon, it's a pistol, and is so much fun to shoot at water filled cans and watch them jump! I also own a shotgun to kill those horrible orange pigeons that pop up in front of you when you're hiking along skeet ranges. Oh, and the 54 calibre muzzleloading rifle that is a great deer gun. (Yes, I believe in hunting, too, it's about the only control we have left for deer in particular, since we wiped out all their natural predators, squeezed their habitat until they've adapted to our backyards and decks eating flowers and other ornamental plants,  and now the bleeding hearts prefer to let them get hit by cars and die from disease and lack of food than being shot for food). 

So I'm a mixed bag when it comes to guns, and the Second Amendment in particular. I just don't get why reasonable people need assault weapons unless they are planning mass destruction like the events listed below. If we can limit "free" speech, we can limit "the right to keep and bear arms". Let's get with it, America! Stop this madness!!!

*The list, taken from http://www.newsmax.com/US/mass-shootings-us-colorado/2012/07/20/id/445971:

(C) - April 1999 - two teenage schoolboys shot and killed 12 schoolmates and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, before killing themselves.
(D) - July 1999 - a stock exchange trader in Atlanta, Georgia, killed 12 people including his wife and two children before taking his own life.
- September 1999 - a gunman opened fire at a prayer service in Fort Worth, Texas, killing six people before committing suicide.
- October 2002 - a series of sniper-style shootings occurred in Washington DC, leaving 10 dead.
- August 2003 - in Chicago, a laid-off worker shot and killed six of his former workmates.
- November 2004 - in Birchwood, Wisconsin, a hunter killed six other hunters and wounded two others after an argument with them.
- March 2005 - a man opened fire at a church service in Brookfield, Wisconsin, killing seven people.
- October 2006 - a truck driver killed five schoolgirls and seriously wounded six others in a school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before taking his own life.
(E) - April 2007 - student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 15 others at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, before shooting himself, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the United States after 2000.
- August 2007 - Three Delaware State University students were shot and killed in “execution style” by a 28-year-old and two 15-year-old boys. A fourth student was shot and stabbed.
- December 2007 - a 20-year-old man killed nine people and injured five others in a shopping center in Omaha, Nebraska.
- December 2007 - a woman and her boyfriend shot dead six members of her family on Christmas Eve in Carnation, Washington.
- February 2008 - a shooter who is still at large tied up and shot six women at a suburban clothing store in Chicago, leaving five of them dead and the remaining one injured.
- February 2008 - a man opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing five students and wounding 16 others before laying down his weapon and surrendering.
- September 2008 - a mentally ill man who was released from jail one month earlier shot eight people in Alger, Washington, leaving six of them dead and the rest two wounded.
- December 2008 - a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit opened fire at a family Christmas party in Covina, California, then set fire on the house and killed himself. Police later found nine people dead in the debris of the house.
- March 2009 - a 28-year-old laid-off worker opened fire while driving a car through several towns in Alabama, killing 10 people.
- March 2009 - a heavily armed gunman shot dead eight people, many of them elderly and sick people, in a private-owned nursing home in North Carolina.
- March 2009 - six people were shot dead in a high-grade apartment building in Santa Clara, California.
- April 2009 - a man shot dead 13 people at a civic center in Binghamton, New York.
- July 2009 - Six people, including one student, were shot in a drive-by shooting at a community rally on the campus of Texas Southern University, Houston.
- November 2009 - U.S. army psychologist Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at a military base in Fort Hood, Texas, leaving 13 dead and 42 others wounded.
- February 2010 – A professor opened fire 50 minutes into at a Biological Sciences Department faculty meeting at the University of Alabama, killing three colleagues and wounding three others.
(B) - January 2011 - a gunman opened fire at a public gathering outside a grocery in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people including a 9-year-old girl and wounding at least 12 others. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was severely injured with a gunshot to the head.
(A) - July 2012 - Aurora, Colorado, in a movie theatre, 59 more were wounded

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