Friday 14 December 2012

Kids and guns

Let’s do a little math.

1999, Littleton Colorado, 36 people shot at a school (School #1); 25 killed at an incident in Atlanta that same year (three with a hammer and the rest with a gun), and 15 more at a Christian rock concert in Texas.

2003, 14 shot, most of them black, in an incident in Mississippi.

2005, 14 shot at a religious meeting in Wisconsin, and 17 shot in a high school incident (School #2) in Red Lake.

The following year, 9 shot in Seattle and then 12 shot in an Amish schoolhouse (#3) in Pennsylvania.

2007, 14 shot in Nebraska by a teenager, and 56 at Virginia Tech (#4).

2008, 9 shot in Missouri, and 28 shot at Northern Illinois University (#5).

2009, 8 shot in North Carolina, 18 in Binghamton New York, 42 at Fort Hood in Texas.

2010, 11 shot in Connecticut.

2011, a Democratic congresswoman and 18 others shot in Arizona; 12 shot in Nevada including three members of the National Guard; 8 more at a hair salon in California.

That’s 335 people shot.


And now 2012.

7 at a school (#6) in California.

5 black men in Oklahoma.

6 shot in Washington.

60 in Aurora Colorado (#7).

11 at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

9 shot in Minnesota.

3 on December 11, in Oregon.

And now how many in Connecticut? 20? 30? That’s School #8. This is a town that will never, ever recover from this.

128 more shot, bringing the total in these incidents up to 463. And a number of these shootings that did not happen at schools, were either perpetrated by teenagers, or injured children. Kids, kids, kids. Forty years ago, four students were killed at Kent State, and the nation was changed forever – they wrote songs about it. For four kids killed. Today, we do…what? Go to the funerals and just get ready for the next shooting?

Mother Jones reports that, in all, there have been 62 mass murders with guns in 30 years. Almost all the guns were legal. Hundreds of people shot. What if it had been al-Qa’ida that had done this? 62 armed attacks, hundreds of people shot, all those dead children? The right wing would have declared martial law all across the country. And that’s not including the more mundane shootings, the under-achievers who only manage to shoot one or two at a time, like that abortion doctor shot in church in Kansas. This afternoon the White House said this is not the day to talk gun control. If not today…when? Can you think of a better day for it?

But don’t worry, help is on the way! The lame-duck Michigan legislature, the same one which is destroying union rights and abortion rights because they think no one is paying attention at Christmastime, just passed a law allowing guns in classrooms yesterday. Just what we need! We now await the decision of Michigan’s addle-brained Republican governor. Will he seriously consider signing this bill, while CNN is running pictures of the Sandy Hook school in the background?

In all, more than a million kids live in homes with loaded, unlocked guns, and 3000 children die each year because of guns. I wonder what the numbers will be like in Michigan next year?

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