Sadly it only took 3 months for that reality to come to pass to the detriment of the victims.
On May 18, 2018 17 year old Dimitrios Pagourtzis walked into Santa Fe high school’s art room opening fire; a student describing what it was like to see his female classmate blithely shot in the head as he hid under a table, looking up through the legs of a chair to see a face of rage, adding to reporters the shooter was mad, witness not knowing about what, others describing him singing the lyrics to the song ‘Another one Bites the Dust while prowling the room shooting students willy-nilly. After the bullets stopped, police interventions had allowed students to escape and the shooter to be taken alive along with an eagle eyed student who saw either the 38 revolver or the shotgun Pagourtzis brought with him pulling the fire alarm, as police began to find then determine the explosives he placed throughout the school and community weren’t made effectively enough to be a threat, the body count was still 10. 2 teachers and 8 students, one a substitute; among the teens who suddenly lost their lives an exchange student from Afghanistan whose parents said in disbelief they thought their daughter would be safer in America. 10 also among the injured including a school resource officer who exchanged gunfire with Pagourtzis before law enforcement negotiated his surrender; days later still rendered unable to speak. Students no longer suffering the delusion their parents can’t seem to break away from even now, it can’t happen here, not in our close-knit, sleepy little town as representative of Mayberry as it ever could be in reality; heartbreakingly for them it wasn’t a matter of if but when, one student stating bluntly to reporters they weren’t surprised just scared. And things continued to travel downhill for the rest of the year; just 2 days before Pagourtzis waged an assault on an art room there was the Illinois student who opened fire on his high school’s graduation rehearsal lives saved, zero deaths or injuries occurring when a quick thinking school resource officer managed to chase the gunman out of the school, motives not disclosed for focusing on the officer’s heroics though he may have been ostracized by fellow students after getting in trouble for drugs. What has often been called uniquely American carnage to continue, whether it was merely a week later when an Indiana middle school student asked to leave class during a test, presumably to use the bathroom, returning with 2 handguns stopped from opening fire when a teacher threw a basketball at him, acting as a distraction, armed student then tackled by said teacher thwarting what could have been another deadly scene; teacher surviving his 3 gunshot wounds a singular student critically injured from a single bullet wound. That same week chaos reigned when a man wearing safety goggles and ear muffs, like the ones used at shooting ranges, opened fired at a packed Oklahoma bar and grill at dinner time hitting a woman and her daughter plus another young child before being shot himself, taken out by 2 civilians, one a security guard now considering a career in law enforcement, who retrieved their lawful firearms from their vehicle; victims expected to survive their injuries, shooter dead on scene. So much for the good guy with a gun narrative being false or bad, only vastly overplayed by rightwing talking heads; rambling YouTube video left behind spelling out some of the 28 year old man’s problems chiefly he believed his refrigerator was attacking him and hearing noises indicating a strong probability of untreated auditory hallucinations. The murder spree in Scottsdale Arizona initially put the city on edge when a renowned doctor, 2 paralegals and a life coach all died within days, from the start killings seen as related; later understood to be a man seeking vengeance on anyone associated with his, contentious would be an understatement, divorce from his ex-wife. Everyone associated with the case unsurprised at his actions, piecing together who was shot and killed, what witnesses saw at the shootings quickly alerting law enforcement he should be their top person of interest; final death toll 6 before he shot himself when confronted by police SWAT teams in early June. Underscoring a recurring theme shied away from by progressives, the hero pastor licensed to carry in Washington State who stopped a carjacking gunman at a local Wal-Mart trying to steal cars/a car, happening mid-June. End of June the Trader Joe’s hostage situation started when a 20 something young man shot his grandmother 7 times during an argument over the TV, got in his car chased by police to the supermarket, stray bullet hitting and killing the store manager, a customer too wounded. Whether it was the Maryland newspaper where 5 journalists were killed, others hiding under desks fearing for their very lives for the ‘crime’ of showing up to work that day, completing an all too familiar scene of filing out of buildings with their hands up; innumerable shots fired by a man who had a longstanding beef with them for information they published on a harassment case he was involved in, losing his definition suit against them years before, judge pointing out the paper only printed what was limited to public record. Switching his ire from the woman who rejected him, going back to high school, to the paper itself; later found to have deep ties to the alt right and a supposed oath to kill. Early July saw a different kind of school shootout this time between 2 construction workers who had a disagreement on the jobsite where one pulled out a gun and shot two others (one dead, one clinging to life) leading police on a chase through an adjacent neighborhood as he attempted to carjack a woman then stole someone else’s SUV, finally apprehended hours later; but, not before residents were told to lock their doors and shelter in place. Fast forwarding to August saw the harrowing shots fired at the Madden NFL 19 videogame tournament after the shooter reportedly lost his round ejecting him from further play eventually leaving 3 dead and 11 injured, among them the shooter taking his own life, location Jacksonville Florida; investigative journalism finding a history of mental health issues apparently going back to childhood as they mention parental arguments about how to address said mental health issues, no specifics given detailing what those where. Videogames often a scapegoat for violent behavior disregarding repeated study evidence to the contrary; still, anything can make an unstable or vulnerable person act irrationally, the Las Vegas massacre thought to have been spurred by Steven Paddock’s extreme losses at the gambling table. Early September it was the Fifth Third bank building’s loading area in Cincinnati targeted by one Omar Perez, motive never ascertained as he died from police gunfire; mid-September there was the Wisconsin software company employee who randomly opened fire at his cubicle, motive lost with the shooter’s death by cops. Same day in Pennsylvania 4 were shot dead outside a judge’s office; shooter scheduled to appear before the magistrate court on charges of domestic violence and terroristic threats, dead post rampage. Not hard to delineate he wasn’t willing to take the chance of being found guilty of those serious charges or being ordered to stay away from his domestic partner either one. Very next day a woman opened fire on her Rite Aid distribution center workplace killing 3 post some sort of argument had between her and a fellow employee; motive again lost with the death of the perpetrator at the scene. Mid-October, the Kentucky Kroger grocery store shooting snuffing out 2 ordinary lives of upstanding community members quickly investigated as a hate crime as both victims were black and the shooter white, Greggory Alan Bush allegedly telling a white shopper begging for his life ‘whites don’t shoot whites;’ ultimately discovered, a darker plan where he had tried to gain entry into a nearby majority black church presumably to commit carnage against African American congregants. A scant 3 days later a man armed with an assault rifle opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue abruptly ending the lives of 11 people, injuring 6 as they practiced their faith and attend a baby naming ceremony or responded to the dangerous melee, no need to ask if it was investigated as a hate crime, the hate clearly seen in it happening at all. Among the dead a woman who survived the holocaust felled by a clearly disturbed man’s seething malice; able to get his hands on such a gun, the justifiably vilified AR-15, as well as several hand guns because the only criminal record he possessed was a traffic violation, no history with law enforcement absent charges, neighbors unnerved by how normal he appeared until he had done the deed. And while his social media was filled with hate speech and anti-Semitic rhetoric plus conspiracy theories, if we barred from guns everyone like this, if we locked up everyone like this as a preemptive strike we would have to develop new words for jail/prison overcrowding. Early November the man who killed 2 injuring 5 pretending to be a patron of the local yoga studio got increased attention as he was part of the dark subculture known as incels (standing for involuntarily celibate) and had a history of hurting women via grabbing them in various public places; less attention paid to the devastating pattern he was another former veteran both going of the rails and committing suicide after taking out his rage on unsuspecting health conscious individuals. Posted online videos spelling out borderline racist things calling dreadlocks the black man’s mullet, talking about his distaste with sagging pants, derogatorily mentioning ‘blow the butt’ and informing watchers it was a prison thing, ending that particular ranting telling viewers you don’t have to be disgusting; unclear if any of the people he shot were black, if their shooting was intentional or if he simply opened fire on whoever was there, those who died however were 2 white women. Less than a full week later was the country western California bar shooting 12 people dead, 25 injured by a former veteran who began shooting before he entered the establishment killing the bouncer, blankly killing a cashier, likely close to the door, causing people to break glass, throw themselves out windows to escape, frantically running for their lives during short pauses in the sound of gunfire. Shooter Ian David Long living with his mother and who friends worried had PTSD/other mental health problems stemming from his time in the military, stints overseas; describing all too familiar pictures of a person in trouble, a mental health sufferer who wasn’t getting help, warning signs we ought to see yet look different in the moment or at least that’s the only explanation that can be derived from such a pattern always ignored. By the time we get to the California bar shooter news reporting had commented multiple times about the double, reaching triple digit numbers comprising school or mass shootings happening over the current calendar year alone; horrifyingly some of those in the California bar survived the Las Vegas shooting only to lose their lives that night. Frequency keeping pace with appalling statistics mid-November the Chicago hospital shooting starting outside the facility as a domestic dispute, a man trying to retrieve his engagement ring, when the woman refused witnesses described him shooting her 3 times, standing over her putting 3 more bullets into her chest then going inside; 3 dead plus the shooter once Mercy hospital was finally cleared. And sadly of course we could neither get through the Christmas holiday or have hope for an improved new year without seeing headlines of gun violence, this time by the man who shot and killed his girlfriend, her 2 young children and her mother before initially evading police; underscoring the increasing phenomenon of varied weapons used during the commission of a crime, crime spree he fled police riddling one of their cruisers with bullets, later attempting to carjack a woman stabbing her 7 times in the process before being taken into custody at a local Quick Trip. A man in Huston who randomly sprayed a car with bullets while stopped at a stop sign, subsequently driving down the road shooting a 7 year old in the head spelling her instantaneous death, wounding her mother in the arm over mistaken identity of a car and revenge for a bar fight the previous night; oh the joys of New Year’s Eve, not for that family. There was the California bowling alley where a girl on girl hair pulling session escalated when males also with the party or just present got involved, one producing a gun resulting in 3 dead, 4 injured. And here is an American citizen who is still asking where are the basic preventative security measures we should be using in every public space to keep the public safe; why are public places so openly vulnerable to mad men, mad persons whatever their weapon, why are there never security personnel in places you would expect to see them let alone as an added layer of protection where you don’t in an era where ‘everyone has a gun?’ Where are metal detectors that can provide a buffer against a host of threats including, but certainly not limited to, guns, standard signs as open carry has become more popular, spreading across more states, covering specific regions of the country stating no guns permitted here, even if it seems obvious; alongside trained security officers starting on the doors of every school, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, community center asking, particularly at those schools, who persons going in and out are and what their business is there. Elsewhere ensuring the no guns allowed stipulation is enforced; the only real strictures that would have helped in that bowling alley, so many other scenarios like it. Instead go to most public places and there isn’t so much as someone greeting you, asking how they can help, an employee alert and aware watching those coming in, going out for people who look wrong or off be it having a medical episode, having run into your establishment looking for help after a robbery or attack, nearby car accident, shooting, fire, and so on up the street. Intercepting people who may not be armed with a gun but armed with a knife, other weapon willing to use it on an employee in a domestic disturbance, a customer as part of same; who may not be armed at all but who are visibly agitated and may get physical with patrons or employees if they don’t get what they want, may be mentally unwell and having a breakdown. Unsure which plagued the 20 year old at a Michigan Planet Fitness spawning the unsettling video below; predictably arrested facing charges of damaging property headed for a diversionary program in the near future. Returning to what should be our most hallowed grounds, educational institutions pre-k-12, college no, every school can’t employ the facial recognition software used in Seattle at the NBC News featured school, there are legitimate concerns about such data collection and the when, not if, of it ending up in the wrong hands via the dark web corner of the internet; but, you can put trained security persons on every door asking the above questions, escorting persons if necessary while within school walls for the duration of their business. Countering both the political right’s narrative the best thing for safe schools is trained armed personnel and lots of it coupled with the progressive pushback, forgotten supposition arming teachers and staff puts unbelievable strain on them should they have to shoot a current or former student; actually you need none of the above based on the products marketed to schools and how schools are electing to protect themselves in the shooter/intruder era. Alternatively staff are being trained with large canisters of pepper spray to distract and disable a shooter, some schools are employing classroom panic rooms, another hired a resource officer and dispensed panic buttons to its teachers; other available featured products news took a look at: bullet resistant whiteboards teachers can use to shield themselves and students at angles from exposed doors/doorways, bullet resistant glass in demonstrations you could neither shoot through nor use the butt of an assault rifle/shot gun, available blunt objects like fire extinguishers to penetrate, the time elapsed to maybe do so increasing chances of being caught. Personally the bullet proof whiteboards are an insult to teachers and school staff asking them to up front put themselves in excessive harm’s way, causing compiling psychological trauma for both them and students having to stand there knowing what’s coming, children having to see their teacher ‘protect’ them in such a way to know what could happen versus that teacher hiding with them; not to mention unnecessary in light of bullet resistant glass, looking into doors that aren’t glass, reinforcing solid doors that aren’t glass. Nor should the giant canisters of pepper spray cost around $1,500 sending an automatic alert to law enforcement or not; seeing what is on the market in school protection, should be broadened to public building protection brings us to where oh were is the retrofitting of key public buildings, incorporated security designs for new buildings utilizing things David Hogg, parkland survivor, noted weren’t being put in his school even after the shooting that had just taken place i.e. replacing locks busted by police to enter and clear rooms, remove students in a systematic fashion not substituted with ones capable of locking from the inside, my previous suggestion a teacher controlled one capable of getting unprotected, unarmed students to safety. Facets that should be part of any public building where children regularly are, from schools to daycares to hospitals, bullet resistant glass; glass Hogg reiterated wasn’t replacing the shattered classroom door panels or applicable windows despite it needing to be replaced thanks to the violence just witnessed and the obvious need for added protection. Said glass having the surplus advantage of slightly mitigating impact of natural disaster debris, instead my city’s local school is the first to have storm shelters after renovation like those used during tornados, independent the state being just outside the region known as tornado alley, which has an excessive amount of, you guessed it tornados; author writing a piece on what Moore Oklahoma and their 2013 tornado that saw students shielding themselves from a vast and violent vacuum using textbooks and backpacks, teachers throwing their bodies between them and flying objects, dirt should have taught us. Tangible consequences incurred on the youngest lives for want of proper perpetration. Migrating from specifically the school shooting, teen/college age shooter, where are the modern era, post school/mass shooting phenomenon educated law enforcement who know when to act and advise potential targets a-la that newspaper on their best course of action in handling a problem person or group, having some trained inkling when a person fits the dynamic of a possible mass shooter and deciding to take them in on the minor disturbing the peace, domestic disturbance, trespassing, harassment charge unto getting them help, getting them temporarily off the street before they can hurt one person, an entire mass of virtual strangers? Expanding to other types of gun accidents and tragedies resulting in injuries and shortening too often young lives, barreling us headlong into the redundant question, where are the stipulations for legal, long time gun owners that they, here’s a thought, take a safety course, demonstrate the ability to pass a safety course including storage and keeping track of your firearm(s); based on TSA statistics finding guns in carry-on luggage and the most common excuse given, they forgot the gun was in their bag, many gun owners obviously don’t know how to keep track of their legitimately purchased firearms and are extraordinarily reckless with them? Unlikely despite the lame excuses heard on tape, reported tape will be used in court or these persons will face permanent revoking of their gun privileges unless they have a larger criminal record, previous instances of the same occurrence, rare even then. The problem isn’t just the amount of guns, per gun control advocate talking points, but what people are doing with them that doesn’t involve a rampage, a single murder or the desire to do so when a child can pick up a loaded gun in a department store and fire a shot because someone randomly left it there; beating one’s head bloody on that proverbial brick wall, the 2 year old can find a gun just left in/on a store shelf but not the child’s parent as they follow their child’s actions in the store, better yet any store employee responsible for stocking shelves, putting out new inventory, setting up displays since this was an Ikea. The latest in a string of cases where they’ve been left in beachside bathrooms, stolen from law enforcement cars because they were in plain sight, reminding readers how disbelieving the American people were of the illegal immigrant who said he found the gun he accidentally shot Kate Steinle with wrapped in a t-shirt on or under a park bench. When they can do the same picking up an unsecured gun that serves no purpose as a defense against intruders left under a couch, can shoot themselves with a gun in the home, 2 adults present we need a different kind of gun law; maybe not the one already on the books stipulating safe gun storage as it plainly didn’t work and the adults facing charges will bring justice but not restore the child’s life. Once more Parkland students addressing your major issues with guns, the reforms you’re fighting to see the problem really isn’t guns, how many of them we have in society or don’t but the horribly dismissive approach to security everywhere enraging, egregious when discussing schools such a frequent target for violence in the first place, infuriating when you count up all the public places that have seen themselves become targets from movie theaters to grocery stores to outdoor concerts to yoga studios.
Santa Fe’s shooting immediately taking off the table many of the Parkland student’s, the parkland manifesto’s discussion pieces as the assailant was a currently enrolled student previously on the honor roll and sending up nothing like the red flags of Nikolas Cruz and his laundry list of documented mental health and behavioral diagnoses. The guns he used were not assault rifles, did not carry, allow high capacity magazines, extended round clips prohibited by select state laws enacted around the country post Parkland’s carnage; in fact one was a revolver more common to a Western movie set than modern American gun violence, they were average guns owned by citizens across America without incident used for hunting or basic self-protection. Shotguns, as the newsperson featured in video below pointed out most common for this because you don’t need to be exceptionally skilled to use it effectively; and, note how many cases of home owners, average citizens have been put in a position to shoot intruders into their home or business, actual intruders with sinister intentions not a daughter’s boyfriend, son’s girlfriend, or child sneaking back late for curfew. Even children and young adults put into the position of feeling they have to shoot home invaders to protect themselves, siblings, property like the 11 year old home alone one morning hearing the noise of a burglar who’d gotten into his house, who knew where his parents’ 9mm was, had obviously been taught how to use it, shooting the suspect after he threatened to kill him but not before warning him he could do the same; intruder only wounded in the leg. Woman returns home with her 2 small children in the wee hours of the morning to find a strange man in one child’s bedroom ultimately shooting and killing him; home security system or otherwise video of a woman shooting at 3 intruders to her home or business killing one, police searching for the other 2. A Sunrise Florida man was on the phone with 9-1-1 whispering there were intruders in his house having shattered a glass door when he felt forced to shoot, turns out killed, only 1 of three home invaders, remaining 2 fleeing his property to be caught by police later in the day. Older Americans often seen as easy marks by scammers and thieves perhaps should think twice and watch the following 2 videos below featuring a pistol packing grandma who sat down to watch the news suddenly confronted with an armed intruder; thankfully all she had to do was point her gun and the would be assailant decided to run, worst to happen to her home is 2 bullet holes fired off solely interested in convincing him to stay gone. An 84 year old former weight lifter frond of men’s health magazine sleeps with a gun under his pillow, whole nation soon to learn why, faced with 2 intruders he fatally shot 1 upset the second got away but unharmed other than soreness and an aching elbow, minor repairs required for his home including the glass at the front door, disposing of a broken vase and removing bloodstains from his kitchen floor; speculation for the attempted robbery his collections of both guitars and guns, things thieves can turn into easy cash. It made headlines when the mother daughter duo rather than acquiescing to the robbery of their liquor store broke out their guns to defend it as well as themselves; unlucky thief despite being shot multiple times refusing to give up, pistol whipping the mother owner and forcing both to flee the store to safety, suspect hospitalized in police custody. All people who are neither malicious nor reckless in engaging their firearms, bravado heard either covering fear or understandable sense of pride in the accomplishment of having defended themselves and what was theirs; abbreviated list largely for 2016, 1 incident from 2017 and 2018 respectively garnered from an average YouTube search, not including the 12 year old from 6 years ago responding to an intruder with a gun or the 19 year old mother doing the same from 7 years ago, yet progressives wonder why it feels as if everyone has guns, marvel at the average Joe who owns a firearm. Breaking down more details regarding Pagourtzis, he procured the guns from his home and his father too young to buy them legally himself, not attempting to buy them illegally at all; his father saying that the guns were locked up in a gun cabinet or safe, and again we aren’t talking about a Travis Reinking repeat, who in addition to having his own litany of mental health issues and run-ins with the law because of those issues, father told by the secret service when they returned the younger Reinking’s guns to him, a licensed gun owner in his own right, to keep guns away from his son. Child access laws enacted in many states pertaining to totally unsecured guns and young children prone to shooting playmates or themselves because they have no understanding of what a real gun does or the danger it poses, not children old enough to be in middle and high school; unfortunately overlooked by gun control advocates who believe numbers on violence will drastically decrease if you remove high capacity magazines, extended clips and get assault rifles out of civilian hands, this blatantly proves otherwise. Remember the family taking in Nikolas Cruz stipulated he have a gun safe, bought one for his fire arms, saw them put in it and believed themselves to have the only key; similarly do we not think a kid in junior high able to operate a combination lock for their locker can’t find the combination to their parent’s gun safe, can’t find the key to the gun cabinet if they want it, take what’s there and commit a rampage mirroring the ones we see so frequently on the news? Also following a growing trend were the placed explosives in the school and his home, in a vehicle, thankfully none of these were made well enough to detonate, but can we imagine if they had; speaking of which, in a school who had an active shooter plan, armed cops and 10 people still died, 10 subsequently injured how does a student get into the school with pipe-esque bombs, a pressure cooker type device and CO2 canisters without any adult/official noticing? Perhaps asking those questions would be more productive instead of being ready to charge his father for his poor gun storage; predictable answer, the school didn’t have enough resource officers or staff to put on every door, when using staff, staff who don’t adequately know what they are looking for, though we are how many years out from Columbine (19) and the pipe bombs planted throughout that school, we are how many years out from the Boston marathon bombing (5) and the known pressure cooker explosives used there, established fact both they got those bomb making instructions off the internet, mentioned instructions can still be located on the internet, and this stuff is getting past school doors??? How about if we are absolutely set on charging his father or Dimitrios’ primary custodial parent (rumored his parents were separated or not living together) with something criminal related to their son’s actions, try neglect for failing to notice their child was building explosives in their room, the garage, hiding them in his/the family car, walked out that morning with guns, with explosive devices unbeknownst to the parent he lived with; asking where he got the money for the CO2 canisters, how he bought them as opposed to the other things he cobbled together from odds and ends found in most households. Only inkling into what Pagourtzis’ anger stemmed from, he’d recently been turned down by a girl he had been interested in, possibly embarrassed at school by that same girl, a handful of social media posts spelling trouble in retrospect alone; what is it they say about hindsight being 20/20? No information given on where the 19 year old Illinois student got his gun; however, the Indiana student had 2 handguns he pulled from his pockets, logical conclusion he took it from his parent’s or other relative’s home seeing as he was in the 7th grade totally unable to buy them legally and not living in an urban blight era circa Chicago where guns can be purchased easily on the street, at the corner store, unlikely to be able to steal them from a gun shop, have the wherewithal to pull of such a heist. The Oklahoma bar and grill shooter was licensed to carry a firearm in accordance with his job as a security guard and his symptoms of paranoia and hallucinations could have been a new onset; at 28 he was at the latter end age range for a first schizophrenic psychotic break but it’s not just possible it’s exceedingly probable. If the Wal-Mart carjacker was willing to spray bullets to steal a vehicle odds he jacked the gun too are very high removing him from the current gun debate because he is a criminal and represents a different category of gun possessor unaffected by the gun reforms being petitioned for via the parkland students, most gun control advocates. Unclear how or where Dwight Jones got his guns or how he was able to keep them considering the long history of threats he made to his wife prior and during their contentious divorce, the elaborate security measures set up by her current husband, a retired police detective, he tried unsuccessfully breach, the orders of protection she sought throughout the divorce, the psychological evaluations requested and seemingly granted since the first person he killed was that psychiatrist enlisted to conduct said evaluations; it is quite possible his ex-wife let them lapse after the divorce was finalized or could no longer keep one against him since it was finalized and they are always temporary. The judge was able to plead him down on his lone assault charge (not stipulated against whom, her or someone else) likely because he had no access to the details of divorce proceedings, she had perhaps not yet asked for the orders of protection, the psych eval, all of these proceedings were handled in divorce not criminal court; plus both existing and proposed laws meant to bar guns from people who have orders of protection against them are applied to current/active orders not if you’ve ever had an order against you at some time in your adult life. The same with domestic violence only convictions, not dropped charges, not mere allegations, again under current and proposed laws, prevent said persons from buying guns but, if you are unbalanced enough to want to do it in the first place obtaining an illegal gun would hardly put you off. What we didn’t hear about the Trader Joe’s shooter is more telling than what we did, no reported history of mental health issues, repeated run ins with the law, not publically known who the gun belong to, him or the grandmother, so his first outward sign pointing to a propensity for violence could have been that day. Maryland newspaper staff didn’t want to escalate matters with the angry individual and had recently undergone a change in management from the previous owner who had the person’s picture available and told staff if he was seen to call the police, Shooter Jarrod Ramos independent his history and an ex-girlfriend saying she knew he would become a shooter, having left the state to get away from him, was charged but with a misdemeanor under criminal stalking permitting him to legally buy a gun; the gun he used a shot gun no high capacity or extended clips, reporter hiding under his desk to escape gunfire hearing the shooter reload, because his female target left the state to avoid him there simultaneously wouldn’t have been an order of protection actively against him barring him from gun purchase. Ok videogame tournament guy had a childhood history of mental illness encompassing at some point hospitalizations, but refreshing memories, the law stipulates involuntary (forced) commitments ordered by a judge or mental health professional blockading people from gun purchases; not checking oneself into an ER for psychiatric services and/or a mental health facility, 72 hour psych holds where it, at the end, was determined the person was psychologically sound enough to remain un-institutionalized, was having a proportionally appropriate response to grief or trauma better handled with outpatient counseling. Focused on adult mental health records unless the person has been deemed incompetent by a court, the second block to legal gun buying assuming you are an adult. Thinking critically that’s the way we want it isn’t it, we don’t want someone going back to childhood mental health records for anything other than medical/current mental health reference/relevance for the same reasons juvenile criminal records are automatically sealed unless otherwise stipulated by a judge; because, we don’t believe youth should be punished forever, however limiting it is, our justice system sees a fundamental difference between the actions of children and adults, the mental processes children at varying ages don’t possess. Similarly just because the parent’s fought over how to approach the mental health issues of young David Katz doesn’t mean 1., They weren’t resolved to a functional level in childhood meaning it shouldn’t have had any bearing on what he did at that videogame tournament or 2. Any hospitalizations initiated by his parents were justified; throughout high school I read 2 books about teens suffering the consequences of 2 different kinds of abusive parenting Runaway Me: Survivor’s Story by Evan Karl Cutler who ran away from home, got involved in drugs and prostitution because his was an abusive one and Becoming Anna by Anna J. Michener about a girl whose mother was actually the one who had psychological problems or didn’t want to be a parent so placed her daughter into a mental hospital where she was for a prolonged period of time, just 2 ‘90’s publications forget the litany of books on related topics published since then. Montel Williams during his talk show made increasingly famous the harrowing story of Dave Pelzer and his shocking abuse, the lifelong effect it had on him; we now know about conditions like Munchausen syndrome by proxy where parents usually make their child physically sick to elicit sympathy from doctors, nurses, the general public; if nothing else stream the movie The Night Listener inspired by true events, imagine yourself as any one of these kids, the millions we also know suffer abuse and neglect somewhere in their 0-18 years. Then ask yourself if Katz could be one of the described cases; highlighting even independent media who bought up the point didn’t want too much read into it based on the miniscule scraps of information available. Fact he, Perez, the bank shooter and the rare woman at Rite Aid all used handguns and stockpiled ammunition, but how many eyewitness accounts have we listened to depicting shooters reloading, the extensive timeframe of plans capable of dodging ammo limits sold at one time? A better detail to focus on might be how he went from the loading dock area to inside the bank itself having already fired shots outside according to reports without anyone in the bank suspecting or anyone on that dock warning people elsewhere in the building there was a guy waving/shooting a gun, running lose? His only record of dealing with the police or more accurately the courts are a pair of lawsuits he filed 2017 and 2018 against television/media companies accusing them of conspiring to watch and track him, the latter dismissed 5 days after filing leading authorities to conclude mental health issues played a role in Perez’s behavior; so, no telling what he actually thought was on that loading dock or in that bank when he opened fire. Yes racism would seem to be the theme behind the Kroger store shooting but he too fits another profile this blog has been slowly compiling over it’s years in print stepping up layman analysis the last 2 years; older individuals at prime ages for cognitive decline, exacerbated mental illness due to age and mental deficiencies separately or combined who then go on unexplained rampages or ones fueled by conspiracy theories, blog/author held similar stances concerning Dylan Roof, stating no one said he couldn’t be either mentally ill and likewise racist or racist and likewise mentally ill positing you almost had to be a variation on mentally ill to be racist today especially so young. Of course the synagogue shooter was racial hatred motivated like the other man, pattern repeating itself here too older person, gray hair, elevated likelihood of mental illness or cognitive decline, both more likely to be inclined toward watching Fox News reviving a trope about the Jews and ‘all the problems they cause;’ educated conclusions backed up by his hate filled social media pages comparing Jews to satan which can also be viewed from a mental health aspect of delusion AKA mental illness. Science recently confirming a link between brain damage and religious fundamentalism, better word extremism; it would seem all of a piece to include racial hated seemingly based on nothing else, no personal negative experience with the Jewish faith, a Jewish person, no bad experience with a Muslim, Muslim faith. Both individuals coming form a time in American culture where talking about and understanding mental health disorders wasn’t done vastly impacting their likelihood of seeking help even if they understood their need for it. Mounting evidence gun control is a secondary component to curtailing mass violence, even the president and CEO of the Jewish refugee group Robert Bowers was obsessed with said they should have known he was compulsively interested in them; forming the next logical question why didn’t law enforcement, the division responsible for tracking online hate groups for potential threats since the social media site Gab is a hub for Neo Nazis? Recalling the Sikh temple shooter was on the FBI’s radar before his conspiracy ideology led him to kill 6 and injure 4 in 2012, not for his large quantity of guns but for his affiliations with numerous white supremacist groups. No, not arrest, as alluded to the problems that causes laid out in the introduction, but monitoring which would have documented his escalation, had he bought any new gun recently those records attainable too; so when he posted “screw your optics I’m going in” they could contact the nearest office for that group, alert local surrounding synagogues and mosques (since he disparaged both Jews and Muslims) putting city law enforcement on alert possibly unto sending officers there to watch. Indeed the yoga studio shooter had a history of run ins with the law 2 for battery and 1 for trespassing at a local college campus still remaining able to buy guns; owing to, though his battery charges involved injuries to women it was charged under battery for being physically rough with them in public not under domestic violence because it appears he didn’t know either of them past meeting them in whatever venue and in no way were his actions chronic the way domestic abuse regularly is; further they were likely misdemeanor level, not felony charges, leaving him legally free to buy guns. The California bar shooter like school and mass shooters before him carried additional tools besides his gun, following James Holmes he was throwing smoke grenades to confuse the crowd as or after he entered the bar; but, polar opposite guns, any gun type, make model, no one sees a campaign to ban smoke grenades nor the CO2 canisters Pagourtzis brought to school. The California bar gunman whose extended magazine allowing 10 bullets to be fired simultaneously was illegal but no one caught it until after they were cleaning up his gruesome mess; when we drive across state lines on a trip for business or pleasure no one is there searching our cars and our person for contraband illegal in the state, citizens wouldn’t tolerate it if stat authorities were, few ways to catch such items besides that. Speculations assuming he didn’t buy it illegally off the street; highlighting the state’s gun buy-back, no questions asked gun turn in events have produced plainly illegal rocket launchers. Plus listening to cellphone footage of the shooting there are times when you can distinctly hear single shots being fired 1 at a time, comparing it to like footage of the Las Vegas shooting it becomes more apparent you are, at select intervals, dealing with a different type of gun, firing capability meaning the illegal magazine played less of a role than in headline mass violence previously. Known now Long was posting on social media in between shots fired typing something ominously true when he tauntingly told us this keeps happening yet little changes, left out the changes desperately needed that are less obviously staring us in the face; politically the buzz is commonsense gun laws 90% of Americans can agree on, many newly elected officials running on gun control they hope to bring about in congress, commonsense gun laws would not have stopped the majority of shooters detailed here Pagourtzis to Katz to Bower; long awaited gun legislation proposed by the newly democratic controlled house of representatives would not have saved little 7 year old Jasmine Barnes because what killed her was a drive-by committed by people criminal enough not to care about the legality or not of their gun, too intent on seeking revenge from those they’d gotten into that ill-fated bar fight with. Mentioned legislation calling for universal background checks on everything but sales between family members; opening a door for someone like Dylan Roof to still obtain a firearm. Latest school shooting an adult, parent embroiled in a custody dispute who drew a gun on officers when they were attempting to escort him from the school; shot by officers, the only one hurt while students were kept on lockdown. Mother of one of the California bar victims mentioning the nation’s go-to of thoughts and prayers, angrily saying she doesn’t want any more thoughts and prayers demanding gun control; I ask you and identical sentiment holding persons would you settle for improved security ma’am, metal detectors, bullet resistant glass, in a bar, better alert bouncers? Fundamentally what needs to change, things we can do now without altering one letter of a gun law, going through the process of altering the wording to existing legislation, crafting new legislation, passing it, forget putting it into effect; changings that can go into effect in the real time now saving lives while we make earnest attempts at fixing the rest. Dallas police chief in response to the high school shooting in Santa Fe point blank stated this keeps happening because our schools are not as protected as they should be; tone of the piece already taking shape to tell you all our public spaces aren’t protected as they should be either. Frustratingly everywhere Americans look the only viable topic of discussion when analyzing mass shootings, a term that has morphed to enfold shootings with lower and lower body counts merely because a gun was involved and the victims were all in one place, is gun control; media’s choice of categorization increasing both fear, outrage and resignation to it being the sad way things are but not viable solutions.
We keep futilely talking about guns’ impact on society, the gun laws we supposedly don’t have only to learn also in Florida 4 months after parkland news reported the agriculture commissioner admitted to not conducting national background checks on thousands of gun permit applicants due to an employee’s inability to long in; details sketchy as to how this persisted for so long if the employee failed to report the problem, supervisors didn’t care or the IT work order backlog was that big. And yes to their credit, what minuscule credit can be given, once the system was repaired on their end, problem resolved requisite checks were run and mistakenly given permits/authorizations were rescinded. Wait, rewind why oh why are we using a system requiring that kind of login to begin with for exactly the reason demonstrated by the news story; and, when the login failed why wasn’t there an alert sent to the IT company responsible for maintenance, repair of the system precisely due to it being the state, city/county access to the national background check system not Fortnite, the latest online gaming platform? Here is where again we must talk about the technological framework and capability we automatically assume is there that doesn’t exist; when a power outage can send an Atlanta airport into panicked insanity, when a computer glitch can send a North Carolina airport, Charlotte-Douglas International, into frenzied mayhem, instances happening with increasing regularity, when P&G utility is possibly responsible for the Camp fire literally wiping the town of Paradise California off the map, potentially facing murder charges if proven tied to poorly maintained public electrical lines and related equipment sparking the blaze, an electrical explosion at a New York power plant sent strange blue lights and panic through the area snarling operations at LaGuardia. CenturyLink’s nationwide outage not singularly left people and businesses without phone, internet or their signature TV services but effected city, county 9-1-1 services over large parts of the country, furthermore took days not the estimated hours to fix; dangerous to the point of prompting a Boston resident to pull street mounted fire boxes alerting fire personnel to smoke billowing from a building, meanwhile leaving other region customers with more standard problems unable to get their repair needs logged on a list for someone to eventually get to because that system too was down. Things that far surpass any conversation on infrastructure, physical or technology based; frequent readers/followers of this blog know my penchant for complaining and pointing out the limits of technology, more importantly the short comings glossed over by a ‘that’s the way it is’ attitude, from finding shouldn’t be hard to find movies and TV, things you cannot buy due to western world squabbles over copyrights and who sells what to what country, to the maintaining of websites no one wants to do while insisting on having one minus whatever alerts you need to keep it operation 25/8/366. Highlighting the pitfalls of smart homes, connected everything dawning the internet of things, joining the chorus against the smart dumb fridge that reboots cooling compressor turned off, to combatting the ‘it’s just a—fill in the blank, fanfiction site, shopping website, celebrity fan page’ attitude among sections of the public; it wasn’t just an old, digital immigrant griping, because eventually it isn’t just a recreational thing, a convenient thing, a fun thing effected, never mind what’s the point of having it if it isn’t usable a large percentage of the time? That Boston had to go back to fire boxes kept operational since 1852 is terrifying and goes to the heart of less sophisticated tech in use for decades; why a handful of regulatory agencies are investigating what when wrong. We talk almost incessantly about universal, meaning nationwide, background checks despite one of the lesser touted pieces of criminal justice reform outlines spearheaded by senators such as Cory Booker, one of the tenets of criminal justice reform missing from the bill set to pass congress soon being clear steps to ease the noticeable strain on said background check system prone to giving false positives and grossly inaccurate information due to its overuse for the capacity in which it was originally built added to the technological short falls chronicled above. As blog and author stated beginning of last year you cannot have universal background checks if the checking system was never meant to be universal. 5 months after Parkland we were still learning disturbing details about the harrowing event itself, we knew about the school resource officer who didn’t go into the building where the shooting took place as shots were being fired, we knew about the resource officer right after the tragedy, once school reopened, who was found behind the building in his patrol car asleep; what we didn’t know was about the security guard who saw Cruz, saw the guitar case, in released excepts of investigator interviews told them the school knew if there was one person, current or former student who would cause a problem it would be him, but let him go on his merry way into the building. No warning alert to staff inside he was there, no hey check what he’s doing here/what he wants, keep an eye on him, nothing. What we didn’t know about was the security guard who spent those terrorizing moments of the shooting hiding in a closet rather than helping students escape, helping track down the shooter while still in the building; what we didn’t know was that one of those 2 officers was credibly guilty of sexually harassing female students including at least one of the Parkland victims who lost their life, his recommended firing dwindled down to a slap on the wrist 3 day suspension. Hold up their actions against the Illinois resource officer able to chase the gunman outside away from students and the heroic teacher who stopped a gun wielding student with a basketball and their own bodyweight, contrast student reactions to the latter 2 incidents and the betrayal justifiably oozing from parkland survivors and their parents; indicating Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school’s biggest problem is security, a complete lackadaisical approach to security, security personnel they had completely incompetent. Further a report released at the end of the year codified those failures at Stoneman Douglas including at least one additional adult in the form of a football coach who was told by a freshman, just having passed Cruz in the hallway loading his gun and warned to get lost things were about to get messy, who didn’t call a code red, their code for an active shooter, intruder or threat, not specified by news reporting if he asked the student more questions to discern if it was a prank or advised school security to minimally check out the student’s claim using operational school surveillance cameras, walking nearby hallways were he was reportedly seen. State commissioned report citing unlocked/unmanned doors and gates allowing Cruz or anyone to wander in, lacking of a hallway PA system to warn students, insufficient outdoor security cameras to view all spaces on the spread out campus compounding obstacles for law enforcement, anyone tracking a threat, the ones they had on a whopping 20 minute time delay on top of the information about the school resource officers who didn’t go in and who were hiding in a closet respectively. Doubtlessly angry parkland students and their agog parents will use this newest information going forward to demand the school security they thought they had, the school security they now know is needed simply added to their movement on gun control. To that end regarding Santa Fe Texas’ tragedy, no, a large number of doors don’t kill people over guns designed to do exactly that unlike the absurd republican in Texas claimed, but having sprawling campuses, doors minus locks and/or staff monitoring those doors, if not both, can be just as deadly as any weapon, gun, knife, blunt object or barely functional explosive because the threat was allowed to get in as Santa Fe brutally taught you and a nation/parents slowly waking up to the fact school security nationally is a joke. No ‘too many doors’ don’t present a tangible threat to students; absence of metal detectors on any and all school doors, mental detectors that would have alerted on the steel in the CO2 canisters part of the explosives he had stockpiled, that would have alerted on the metal parts in the pressure cooker device he allegedly had, do. Independent media network The Young Turk’s Anna Kasparian described on one show attending a political event and quickly becoming nervous there were no metal detectors present at the venue and upset at her own thinking, that it was a 3rd world mentality, sad it had to be associated with America; resounding question why, when they would be a minimal approach to safety? Piling atop parkland, Santa Fe, that Indiana middle schooler both had the guns in his pockets upon returning to class and previously got them into school somehow, logical conclusion a lack of a metal detector or putting it to use correctly; at least the graduation rehearsal shooter could have been outside, never going in any school door once he had the gun, depending on how the ceremony was to be held, where student’s were. The place in Oklahoma was a bar and grill, bar implying they serve alcohol all the more reason to identify who has guns despite conceal carry laws that might be in effect, to be alert to potentially drunk patrons and firearms; dido the California bar, you’re a bar, you have bouncers to keep unruly and unwanted people out, to expel persons too drunk and rowdy to remain, at least that day/night, and you don’t employ metal detectors to prevent the highly volatile combinations of booze and firearms, American citizen asking why the hell not? The shooter was able to start shooting outside, come up on the bouncer and mow him down and you don’t need to review/revamp your security measures, but we need gun control ASAP? Compartmentalizing the sheer negligence of police at one point saying there was insufficient evidence to arrest Ramos regardless a litany of social media posted threats aimed at the Maryland Gazette, the publication’s reluctance to antagonize the situation with him by pressing charges at a later juncture, where a competent set of officers would have advised them why it was beneficial to go ahead with legal proceedings; there is the officer who wrote in his report he didn’t believe Ramos to be a threat to the newspaper’s employees, what 21st century trained officer tells civilians an ignorant thing like that? But the employer isn’t as entirely blameless as they are being portrayed either; you’re a newspaper and you don’t know you’re an easy target, you have a guy making threats to come after you referencing Charlie Hebdo and you don’t comprehend that ‘little dinky rag in Maryland’ or no you need security procedures, if not metal detectors then the things listed next, you’re a newspaper in an era of our president, commander in chief calling the press the enemy of the people and you don’t take proactive action of some kind? Retired ATF agent speaking in MSNBC echoing my own thoughts on security for the public space, talking about workplace, school, business security, the importance of little things: locking doors, buzzer access, cameras; the American citizen injecting one additional suggestion, losing the large glass doors knowing he ‘blasted it to pieces,’ it shattered because it was made entirely of glass, at least using the bullet resistant kind. ATF agent emphasizing the urgency of doing anything but nothing because everybody knows somebody, related to somebody who could be like this pleading we need to open our eyes— amen. Washington D.C.’s Fox 5 news station proving this once more when a man was shot by security after kicking in 2 glass doors, suspect projected to survive to face charges however if you can kick in the glass that’s 5 kinds of safety hazard; the California man who was arrested before he could act on any of his detailed threats toward the Boston Globe but only due to how specific they were. Throwing us back roughly 3 years, how did Robert Dear so easily gain access to that Colorado Planned Parenthood and wielding a weapon no less; Planned Parenthood a known fixture as an abortion clinic a political, social and violence lightening rod for decades and there weren’t the same kind of security measures plus metal detectors present? Previously in the past identified ‘abortion doctors’ were targeted in their home, one in their church, killed with explosives set off at the clinics themselves. Hospitals another foreseen target people receiving life threatening/life altering diagnoses for them, their family, people losing loved ones to accident, illness, chronic disease, surgical and pregnancy complications to say nothing of the high stress environment for staff before handling distraught/devastated patients, their families; still security presents as an afterthought when a man can go in claim he has a gun, break glass windows and door panels sending people pouring out and police rushing in, not so much as bullet resistant glass as protection. Burnout and suicide rates extremely high among doctors facets that might cause them to snap or kill themselves at work; complicating the negative outcome trifecta violence against emergency room workers is on the rise yet administrators appear to be gazing at their navels, twiddling their thumbs, behaving like Nero who fiddled while Rome burned when it comes to security, keenly illustrated above. Guy loses video game tournament, goes out to his car, comes back with a gun no one the wiser until people start seeing blood, guy walks into a yoga studio with a gun and no one knows until the guy is opening fire, that’s a problem; problem not centered singularly around guns but non-existent security. Worse here the gaming event took place in a mall, where there should have been established/existing and increased security for the tournament; still said shooting had people scattered through other parts of the vast shopping center/community hub hiding for hours well after the gunman had committed suicide. The Maryland county where that Rite Aid was located had a history of repeated gun violence doing nothing to shore up their workplaces, though 2 of 3 involved business rampages; worthy question where was her gun, did she go out to her car and then walk back into the building, was it in her workplace locker? Important because even in open and carry states businesses have the right to post signs saying weapons/guns prohibited and carriers must abide; as an employer you don’t tell workers please don’t bring guns inside the job, don’t put them in your locker, if the latter is applicable, come on. We care, or at least progressive and gun control advocates care about Scott Paul Beierle’s owning a gun, we care about the latter’s identifying with the marginal group known as incels, yet there is little care attributed to security; Pennsylvania courthouse, what are you thinking, yes you are only a lowly local magistrate court but you were arraigning a case of domestic violence and terroristic threats judge, you know better than me, 90% of the public the statistical danger associated with such accused persons, likely being the only court for several miles, why you in your lowly position were hearing it at all, and you continue going without a metal detector, didn’t petition the city/county government for one citing the protection of you, the police working there and the citizenry conducting legitimate business there, recurring utter foolishness. Someone should ask Ms. Kasparian if she thinks Israel a 3rd world country, because while it may be on the other side of the world from us it assuredly isn’t, despite progressive support for the BDS movement and the negative feelings about their politics; yet, Israel keeps schools safe with armed soldiers at the doors, why, they have always been a target of bigger, more powerful nations, entities who want to do them harm. The same Israel who advised news outlets regarding TSA procedures post shoe bomber Richard Reid, forcing passengers to remove their shoes for screening before boarding, Reid would have been stopped by them based on where he came from, his lack of luggage and his behavior. Do we not think the Thousand Oaks California shooter considering his military service, his specialty while serving (firearm and munitions handling) coupled with his honorable discharge from the army, versus the likes of Mica Xavier Jonson who had to be relieved of his weapon while still overseas on active duty, wouldn’t have meant fast tracking his civilian gun permit application for a hand gun, not an AR15, assuming he knew what he was doing, had better training than the average person in handling weapons? Where do we think the veterans’ home shooter got his guns, again despite all the laws and restrictions you could put in place, is it reasonable to think he wouldn’t have likewise been fast tracked having been a rifleman? Understandable we don’t want to fortify and outfit places of worship with metal detectors, armed guards outside, their propensity to cause a host of other problems, we want religious sanctuaries to be just that, inviting/welcoming places any can come; but everywhere else…instead you had news footage calling the yoga studio another sanctuary pierced by gunfire, Thousand Oaks residents and attendees at the nearby college referring to the bar, the community as a sanctuary; reverberating question is WHY, why would anyone today be naive enough to think any place unsecured would be that kind of safe? Focusing on security exclusively, it’s time to issue a challenge to metal detector and airport style body scanner manufacturers to either make a metal detector capable of correctly distinguishing between a pocket knife and other longer more dangerous knives, a pocket knife permitted in many states even on school grounds as long as you are not brandishing it or threatening others, it is below a given length and a gun; or, reduce the cost and enhance the safety/function of body scanning technology commonly utilized in airports to put them on the doors of every school able to distinguish between environmentally friendly steel water bottles, their accompanying straws and the CO2 canisters brought in by Pagourtzis, parts for an engineering school project and the pressure cooker device he planted in the school. Do we need to rethink our approach to domestic violence charges, better listen to victims who say they are in danger, better listen to victims of anything violent really, absolutely but the American citizen has another set of questions first; what was Dwight Jones doing walking around free and clear in public forget legally able to buy a gun, what were the results of the court mandated psych eval., assumedly it was negative or he would have had no reason to target, kill the psychiatrist who did it? Reminding perusers of this piece Arizona is the hotline state where you can call a hotline and have people dispatched to mentally evaluate anyone, police have slightly expanded powers to remit persons to 72 hour psych holds, why Jared Loughner’s rampage remains so infuriating; so why didn’t they do that concerning Jones since it pertained to domestic violence, her reason for seeking a divorce, every lawyer associated with the case utterly unsurprised he made an attempt on his ex’s life, therefore why wasn’t he hotlined as unstable, greater proven instability when he committed suicide upon encountering police rather than fighting, surrendering indicating he was also a threat to himself? Woman’s current husband is retired law enforcement, set up security parameters for them, safe houses Jones continually breached looking for her, though never achieving contact; translation, why wasn’t he arrested for stalking because constantly breaching property belonging to them seeking her out is exceedingly close to the textbook definition of stalking. Therefore why was he never arrested and charged on that criminal offense, minimally why wasn’t it enough to reinstitute orders of protection legally barring him from being within X feet of her? A parkland father boasted at the president Trump held listening session this happened at airports once and they fixed it, referring to 9/11, wondering despondently why it hasn’t been the same for schools; except, hate to burst your bubble especially after so horribly losing a child, but we didn’t fix it. Cordoning off the litany of things missed by TSA agents responsible for conducting luggage security checks, looking at X-ray level pictures of bags including in the latest video of people who forgot their gun was in X bag routinely missed at one airport and picked up at their destination stop, people able to go through security once and duck around checkpoints for nefarious but non-violent reasons, the guy who legally checked his gun in with security in its case, loaded it in a bathroom and shot up that Florida airport, there was the rash of airport employees, plane maintenance worker, baggage handler types stealing planes, attempting to steal planes. One taking it on a long ‘joy flight’ before committing suicide, the other foiled by a maintenance worker who stopped his theft, their goal also eventual suicide; passing the obligatory background check first young man working for horizon airlines 3 ½ years. Second breach achieved by a student pilot at an airport on the opposite side of the country who hopped a barbed wire fence trying to steal a jet tackled by technicians working on the plane instead; conflicting reports as to whether his goal was suicide or simply to return home to Trinidad, blessedly it wasn’t hurting anyone. However it raises some disturbing questions 17 years post 9/11 about what we consider security and secure when man 1 was able to tow his stolen plane out onto a runway and take off unimpeded; also unearthed, model of plane in the first incident doesn’t have locked doors or keys but can be easily started by checklist. While man 2, they say wouldn’t have been able to do much, huge plane’s nose facing a wall, that particular airbus housing no reverse, but we’ve all seen the action movies where they just burst through it and you don’t have to tell the American people to be wary of facts coming from people covering their behinds. To say nothing of the people caught during/after ramming their cars/trucks through barricades, fences, unobstructed, running onto the tarmac on foot chasing after someone in a domestic dispute, trying to catch their missed flight, angry at their airport boss, but we had a problem and we fixed it.
Again you come back to accountability, be it with planes in their hangers, sitting idle not in use, awaiting maintenance or inspection to actual personnel, sure the resource officers who failed so miserably in parkland are long fired once the school and authorities found out what actually happened, but how about the district officials who left all those listed deficiencies/failures in place so long voted out, fired; how about the novel idea of not hiring totally unserious persons for one of the most serious jobs, why not think strategically about security prior to tragedies happening? Accountability connected to school funding under a whole different aspect than properly paid educators, support staff, mental health professionals trained to deal with kids, teens, adolescents, books, technology, supplies, functional buildings, desks exc. and demanding hardware and personnel toward safety; real time or less delayed security cameras, enough of them to cover the whole, minimum outside, of your campus, rethinking large, sprawling campuses when building newer schools and renovating older ones, locked or manned gates and doors i.e. every gate and door from the moment the school opens to the last extracurricular activity. Actions which would have discovered Dimitrios Pagourtzis coming through a back door with his deadly arsenal and at the very least attempted to stop him, perhaps an armed security system for the nighttime and early morning hours when personnel cannot be expected to be present preventing the planting of explosives, holding the happy side effect of reducing vandalism cost from senior pranks in the case of high school. A PA system that can go to the hallway warning students of a shooter, intruder or other problem complete with what steps the students need to take to proceed to safety; what some but not all schools have done altering their response to fire alarms to avoid shooter traps. Accountability for that officer who said of the Maryland newspaper shooter he didn’t think him a threat in the form of firing and making sure he never works anywhere nationwide as a police officer or security guard ever in the future. Accountability for judges and other law enforcement when handling cases like the stalking charge the Maryland shooter was convicted on because she (his victim) told press and predictably the judge here’s your next mass shooter; her lawyer spoke to news outlets about the malice oozing off of him in court unnerving him, a seasoned attorney, illogical to believe he didn’t inform the judge. Judge if he’d been on the bench more than 5 minutes feeling it himself or feeling something was off, more was going on with the man before him on such a low charge; where was the psych eval for Jarrod Ramos considering what he was being charged with and why? Based on the results of that why was he walking around minus being under the care of a mental health professional if not deemed unwell enough to be in a psychiatric facility; when he was making threats to that newspaper why wasn’t he Baker acted under whatever state statute permitting 72 hour remittance to a psychiatric facility for evaluation, if they weren’t willing to escalate things between him and their paper by filing formal charges would they have A- been legally able to put a trespass warning against him to keep him off the property and B- would they have been open to that, valid questions apparently never explored. What about the judge who presided over his defamation case telling him the paper published nothing that wasn’t available via public information related to his stalking conviction, next to unbelievable he didn’t exude the same malice he did at that previous trial, upon hearing the verdict; leading to did you have the power to mandate a psych eval., offer a trespass warning or adjacent protection to the publication in order to keep him away from the newspaper’s facilities, answer yes—why didn’t you, answer no— what other options were on the table? Should judges be mandated to weigh such factors when dealing with those who come before their bench like Mr. Perez’s erroneous lawsuit against the 2 media companies and what he accused them of doing; what would a psych eval. have rendered on him, could it have kept him from that loading dock and bank, we’ll never know, but maybe it’s time to stop finding out after the fact. Accountability for all persons associated with the California bar shooter from the officers who did not use the red flag warning law there to take any guns from him post being called to a domestic disturbance finding him acting erratically, appearing not to ask him or the other occupants of the home if there were guns present, not insisting a condition of them not arresting him on the domestic disturbance charge is him getting mental health help for suspected PTSD, potentially alerting those family members if they seem to be enabling him they too could be charged in conjunction with his future violent crimes. Accountability for the mental health specialist employed/dispatched by the police department who cleared him on scene when neighbors reported fits of anger, walls kicked in, relatives/occupants of the home unable to control him, loud, angry arguments heard over fences; no, it’s not a case of police officers being asked to do too much it’s why you’re there with your training so they don’t have to make that untrained decision. Specialist apparently not attempting to ask neighbors, perfectly willing to show their faces on national TV, anything they knew about Long and his history there. Prevention ownership stretching partially to those neighbors who heard gunshots from the property a year prior, residential enough it should be illegal to do so, did you report him and keep reporting him until they did something, another neighbor who called police for an undisclosed reason unsure if he was hurting himself; psychological finding 7 months before the shooting. Specialist too failing to ask the most pertinent question if there were guns in the home, if he had easy access to firearms; key not only to his mental health and potential to commit violence but to the referenced law above knowing either the specialist or family members could petition a judge to have his gun, bought in 2016, meaning he did possess one when they were there, temporarily removed from him. If at that time you couldn’t, the police couldn’t did you subsequently inform the family member they could, under what conditions should they develop in the future, they could have his gun seized through legal processes meant to preempt exactly what happened? Accountability far surpassing any current cases going back to Jared Loughner’s family who noticed nothing of his downward spiral into madness up to letting him walk out of the house day of the shooting though he could not carry on a coherent conversation; accountability especially for our current institutions meant to oversee various aspects of public, child and vulnerable citizen welfare meaning Adam Lanza, in addition to charges for his mother has she lived, should not have been placated by his school over mandating treatment. But he also should not have been abandoned by child services, child welfare based on the circumstances of his parent orchestrated removal from public school to dubious home schooling; those entities should have then done regular checks to see Adam was progressing in his school subjects and his issues, whatever they were, were being adequately addressed, if they weren’t, placing him in the appropriate foster home, group home or mental health facility. Societal realities rearing their ugly head 4 years later when another teen pulled something similar shooting up an elementary school playground after shooting his father dead in the family home and shouting he hated his life; him too known to the community just as Adam was, pulled out of school in favor of homeschooling like Adam before him. Where were school officials when the likes of Christopher Shawn Harper-Mercer was in school exhibiting stunted socialization skills prompting his mother to self-diagnose his with autism; where were school officials noticing his mother acted the same caliber of weird as Nancy Lanza, insisting little Shawn get help, contacting social services/child welfare if that didn’t happen, he only 4 years older than infamous Eliot Roger discussed fully later in the paragraph. The Austin package bomber another homeschooled, isolated, awkward kid who had dropped out of the community college he was attending and been fired from his job before setting packages to explode throughout the city. Homeschooling cannot be the go-to escape route for kids with these glaring kinds of problems any more than owning your own business can be the choice escape valve for employees who can’t hack it in any other work environment, taking direction from a boss, opened businesses that become spectacular failures as seen in programs like Tabitha’s Takeover; for society’s sake in terms of reducing abusive bosses and their toll on workers to helping these young kids thus preventing the mass tragedies and mass casualties regardless what weapon they choose to take up. The parkland students talked an awful lot about changing our national gun laws, started a movement around sane, reasonable gun controls, uncomplicated restrictions on who can get guns and what type, addressed communication between schools, mental health providers and law enforcement and school security; never once calling out the school for letting a very troubled history Nikolas Cruz attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas, for expelling him from school, ejecting him out in the community unsupervised, unmonitored and unaided in managing serious psychiatric problems never mind how many times we’ve seen exactly where this goes. Never calling out the child and vulnerable adult services systems who saw Cruz, dealt with Cruz, should have understood the depths of his problems but did not, failed to listen to the school who dealt with him closely and daily when they said he wasn’t nearly as stable as their finding. Accountability would have been keeping Nickolas Cruz under his IEP and in specialized schooling where he was instead of letting him attend regular high school completely unsupported to be uncontrollable unto expelled, then spiral into rage aimed at his former school. From a societal standpoint maintenance services for people with mental illness that would have been able to catch him after his mother’s death; beyond Seung Cho’s school vastly misunderstanding privacy law leaving him in class well passed when he should have been removed and mandated to seek help, beyond the judge deciding whether or not he needed to be committed without his school records indicating he had been in special education services for selective mutism until a senior in high school, had he remained in his school’s special education services through graduating high school he would or should have thus been eligible for support transitioning into college either from Virginia Tech’s health services or those available in the community. Eliot Roger’s parents seemingly did do everything they could to help their son and the public once they realized the latter was in danger; they made the correct decision putting him in therapy from an early age, sending police to his off campus apartment worried about his mental state and, receiving an e-mail providing at minimum and inkling of his plans, raced to the school to stop him. How then did an expert look at manifesto type videos Roger made of himself talking about being shunned by girls/women who wanted nothing to do with him, almost immediately note his clearly on display social ineptitude probably autism, what we’ve now come to understand as a spectrum, and doctors missed it despite Roger’s formative years were at the height of our recognition of an autism epidemic in America? You shouldn’t have to put your child in jail to prevent them from becoming a school/mass shooter nevertheless what one mom did when she uncovered her son’s plan to shoot up a showing of the latest Twilight film trailing years of battling her son’s mental illness and being left with no other option. Accountability for employers to keep employees reasonably safe from a different vantage point, from potential intruders, shooters, mass violence perpetrators, disgruntled particularly former/recently fired employees, not singularly functional equipment, practical operational procedures, occupational hazard level unsafe working conditions; if you don’t have an active shooter, intruder, threat plan, get one, processes, procedures and security measures to deal with returning fired personnel looking to do harm instead of John Neumann wandering back into his awning making job through a back door, Rite Aide lady coming back into her job armed, Midwest software guy opening fire from his cubicle, co-workers none the wiser until bullets began flying, the UPS guy who sprayed bullets at a staff meeting. None of which is a new phenomenon Cedric Ford did the same thing, Radee Labeeb Prince shot up his workplace, A Tennessee man killed 2 of his bosses them himself. Accountability for the owner/operators of public venues like malls the latest public space shooting a packed New Jersey mall, police not ruling out gang related activity since shots were fired in the course of a physical fight, reminiscent of a summer incident at a Nashville mall where 2 men got into a dispute one shooting the other with hand gun; gang related or 2 young men having a beef isn’t the question, the question is how did they get past security with a gun? Mall security who can harass ‘rowdy’ teenagers, watch for theft which usually turns into cases of shopping while black but never counter real threats; just like when your encounter with a school shooter is a parent producing a gun, his dead body lying under a tarp after police used lethal force, students ushered out the back to avoid the body, your problem is where’s the security, how did he get a gun into the school in the first place? Accountability for the United States military and the soldiers they create only to discard them at the slightest mistake, discard them out into society when no longer needed, accountability extending through basics like putting military criminal records into the appropriate database per existing law preventing the likes of Devin Kelly from owning a gun because of his domestic abuse conviction, processes in place to ensure soldiers proven incapable of handling the weapons, associated with essentially what is their job, aren’t discharged only to buy guns as civilians (think Micha Xavier Johnson), exit psychological exams to assess the mental health of outgoing military personnel priority to those who’ve seen combat recently, done multiple tours in warzones like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria; to if they pass boot camp they are your responsibility, regardless their discharge status they should have full access to mental health and job placement services as a matter of public safety. Because if they passed boot camp A- they were deemed psychologically sound enough to continue and B- had all their natural coping mechanisms for dealing with mental strain, psychological stress and emotional turmoil supplanted with the, insert branch of military here—way, a lot of the suck it up and deal, I don’t need no help mentality, if by perception alone; and if you’re going to do that, you are going to deal with the fallout/aftermath and stop setting these human ticking time bombs on the unsuspecting citizenry. Continuing we’ve seen what happens due to the military failing to take these steps, unhinged soldiers wreaking havoc on society going back to the Vietnam war up to present day; had Albert Wong been in a different type of program run out of say the VA, housing a bit more sophistication than the non-profit variety, despite being the largest veterans home nationwide maybe he would have fit in better, received more specialized help, been flagged by doctors and institutionalized, however temporary or permanent, to not be a danger to himself or others and 3 dedicated carers wouldn’t have been taken hostage and killed. Yoga studio ‘incel’ Scott Paul Beierle was additionally a what, military veteran, redundancy coming full circle so was the California bar shooter. Relatedly accountability for local, state and federal governments all, red states that means you too, who can never find funds to allocate toward correcting horrendous backlogs of entries needing to make it into the background check database keeping unsuitable people away from guns, who purposefully, and not so cleverly, defund and underfund such efforts, who perpetuate the Florida login problem forcing officials to use antiquated equipment, operate on skeleton staff on top of razor thin budgets. Who do not outfit their courthouse and municipal buildings with appropriate security including, broken record, stuck CD, i-pod song on repeat bullet resistant glass; we see the news footage shattered door glass laying all over the sidewalk, we have a visual representation of the danger, why do you subsequently have to be told? Federal/local government you too are an employer holding a heightened responsibility to see to the safety of your workers owning to their jobs making many targets; for extremists who are against government like the Bundy ranchers, the FLDS cult, violent protesters of policy X and government worker Y is the face they can get to, to desiring to use them, information they have about operations at secure locations to carry out plots you’d think belong on TV shows to harm people, steal things, generate nationwide panic. Accountability for gun shop owners to pay much closer attention to who you sell guns to mimicking the gun shop owner in video below; adding to that simplicities such as striking up a conversation asking what an 18 year old a-la Nikolas Cruz wanted with an AR-15, if you don’t like the answer don’t sell the gun. At least the shop owner who sold guns to Steven Paddock found him normal, like the whole incident really no red flag behaviors seen in other shootings, exhibited by other perpetrators. Detaching from questions about if a family/family member is potentially enabling a shooter, comprehension you being the loved one/friend of someone who is in crisis, possibly headed for mass violence and mentally ill, have the capacity to convince them to seek help not weapons; Alexander Bond’s sister was the reason he checked himself into a mental health facility he was released from a week prior. How vigorously did family or friends suggest or insist the Thousand Oaks shooter get help; the story of North Carolina man Roger Self’s family who before killing 2 people his daughter and daughter in law, begged them (his son) to take his guns which it seems they did only for him to drive his car into a restaurant taking the mentioned lives. Begging the question why did you stop at removing weapons and talking to him about help 2 months before the incident knowing he was depressed, knowing he was calling himself mentally unwell and asking you to take away means to hurt self or others; why not try to set up an appointment for him to see someone, offer to go with him, take him to an ER, when all that failed, if it did, get him involuntarily committed if necessary to keep him alive, unharmed and others unharmed? The politically motivated bomber who sent explosive devices to prominent democrats and their famous supporters according to a family friend and attorney, Cesar Sayoc, had problems, wasn’t right, was different implication going back to childhood; question, was there ever any effort to get him help, get him diagnosed, if not during his formative years later as an adult, as mental health treatments evolved as stigma lessened? Did his behavior start to change, it usually does before people do things like what he planned, was there any discussion amongst yourselves about him getting help, discussions with him, what was his reaction; at least Nancy Lanza was thinking about committing Adam, John Russell Houser’s family had tried to secure his psychiatric commitment years prior to him appearing at the ill-fated movie theater, Arcan Cetin’s family had been attempting to get him help before he shot up that Washington mall. Accountability for the general public being alert and aware of the kids and teens in your life is how you stop minimally school shootings, what that mother did putting her son in jail is how you stop school/mass shootings; the father who turned in his son, the woman who thwarted a school shooting because she didn’t like the tone of a Facebook post, someone who called in a tip to an available hotline/police sending law enforcement to one more Indiana middle school shootout only engaged in with police. Versus the plethora of comments from community members, co-workers and classmates who didn’t, the 2017 hospital shooter told co-workers he was going to come back and kill people post being fired, nearly every school shooter told people in some roundabout way what they planned to do, Nikolas Cruz posted on social media he was going to become a professional school shooter. American citizens’ collective accountability consisting of educating themselves about mental health, mental health conditions and what to do for/with someone exhibiting signs of mental disturbance; responsibility not foisted on citizens by supposed experts dodging the core issues, core issues deemed astonishing numbers of civilian owned guns, nearly unfettered access to guns, poor access to mental health evaluation and subsequent treatment, ongoing management, poor distribution of those things across the country, but a responsibility believed held by family/friends from the perspective of victims. Enter one victim of the man who shot up an apartment complex while a guest at a birthday party post taking a call from his estranged girlfriend alleging in her lawsuit his family should have reasonably known he was a, her description, ‘walking time bomb’ citing his recent breakup and astronomical debt; dissolving of relationships and financial troubles key sections on mental health questioners assessing psychological stress/strain, but you have to know that then know what to do about it. Accountability for the public in terms of paying attention recall the ATF agent who said people like the Maryland newspaper shooter were everywhere but that they can be identified by law enforcement, mental health professionals, the people in their lives; people just have to do it. Alert people have thwarted school/mass shootings repeatedly over the decades from the mom who didn’t like the feeling she got from that Facebook post threatening her biracial children hoping they hang exc. thus reporting it; penitential perp found with a gun Kevlar vest, hundreds of rounds of ammo and elaborate plans to attack in 2 different school districts in Kentucky, questioned by the FBI about school shooting plots linked him in Tennessee. To the call phoned into to a tip line anonymously sending police to another Indiana high school before the 14 year old gunman could strike anyone but authorities, to the dad who reported his son to law enforcement upon learning he wanted revenge on a teacher after an argument and throwing a chair, then returning to school armed; representative of the latest round of parents willing to turn in their children for community safety. Interesting we can call police on black people doing mundane things, going about their lives and get police to respond but we can’t call police on people who need to be called on and get police to respond effectively, think Kevin Jensen Neal; we need to reverse that.
While video media has largely tracked gun violence in since cataloged school shootings, other acts centering around the chosen weapons being guns, resulting in fatalities or not, print media continues to chronicle violent acts that don’t encompass a gun; including the officer stabbed in the neck trying to remove an evicted tenant from their landlord’s apartment, not a new phenomenon rather a renewed continuation of a resurfacing old one regularly endangering police as well. Dangers not limited to America either judging by the Belgian story depicting the stabbing of 2 police officers by a prisoner on 2 day release visiting his mother (standard practice there) who then stole said officers’ guns and began shooting at passing citizens; gun battles and shoot outs not as unique to America as gun control advocates and progressive politically minded persons here would have you believe, take Brazil and their double digit death toll stemming from a bank robbery involving hostages, 2 of them children unlucky enough to die in the incident, that Brazilian city the world leader in homicides just an FYI. Intriguing rarity, the high school equivalent mass shooting in Crimea Wikipedia update elevating the death toll to 20 wounded 50, the eastern European country most known to American ears for having been annexed by Russia in a dictatorial power grab, also interesting considering the nature of the crime and what we know about Russia, the fact they don’t have civilian gun rights there making the presence of one Maria Butina and her pro-gun group interacting with the NRA, republican operatives/high level politicians all the more odd; resulting in the resounding question where did the student obtain his gun(s), type capable of rendering such carnage? Now readers can almost hear progressive minded persons or even some Fox News personality accuse that the kid is just copying America’s horrible example, looking for global fame; not so fast, well before this almost unheard of mass shooting attacks had been carried out using axes, knives and air guns revealing the underlying problem is what’s making them want to commit the shootings/harm against their fellow students not how they achieve it. There was the speeding taxi deliberately plowing through tourists on a Moscow sidewalk attending the soccer world cup, an accident where the driver fell asleep; a toddler in England doused with acid at a store, the man ramming barriers with his car and attempting to target pedestrians also using his vehicle on the road to parliament suspected of a familiar theme there, terrorism. Toronto Canada who has gun laws, home of the so called ‘incel’ van attacker back in April by July saw a shooter murder 12 in a popular neighborhood, family echoing what many do here, their loved ones battles with mental illness; the man in France wielding a knife killing his mother and sister had a history of what, mental health problems all too reminiscent of the woman who doused American college exchange students with acid in a public place. Yet knowledge readily available the relentless chorus remains, the problem is guns, too many guns, tragedy that ‘only happens in America,’ America is the only westernized capable country who doesn’t effectively treat its psych patients, sadly apparently not; because, if their treatment protocols were what Americans looking from the outside in saw as holding greater excellence, rendering drastically improved/permanent outcomes, such attacks wouldn’t be spreading across Europe. A German man was caught summer 2018 putting a strange powdery substance on his co-workers sandwich discovered to contain heavy metals prompting police to look into 21 company deaths over the last 18 years and 3 living employees possibly victims as well, one having been in a coma for 2 years. Australia’s strawberry spiker putting sewing pins into containers of the fruit told authorities she was motivated by spite/revenge tracing back to a workplace dispute causing several brands and hundreds of containers to be pulled from store shelves continent wide, spiking that could have caused death from intestinal perforation; how police were tipped off to a problem, though the man survived. China’s knife attacks on children are back as a woman school staff member injured 14 in late October; American news reporting on the attack noting the prohibition of fire arms and the prevalence of knives or explosives used in place of them, common causes grudges and mental illness. Belgium’s incident mirroring officers here in Kansas City Kansas shot and killed when prisoners being transported somehow got ahold of their guns. Returning to both U.S. soil and knives, stabbings, sharp, blunt objects, various tools suddenly used as weapons, there was the active service veteran stabbed to death in a road rage incident, there was the caught on video road rage sledgehammer attack suspect still at large as of last media available information, the man who went after his former boss with a hatchet later apprehended. A man shouted ‘Jesus is coming’ before stabbing his own 16 month old toddler, prime suspect more than religious fanaticism mental disturbance; another man, different state who gruesomely interrupted a 3 year old’s birthday party ultimately stabbing 9 people, mostly comprising refugee families, majority of the victims sickeningly children, some with life threatening injuries in Boise Idaho. Arrested individual from out of state and no apparent connection to his unsuspecting innocent targets; though he returned with said knife after being asked to leave the home of a resident he stayed with briefly. Children stabbed at a New York daycare 3 of them infants, 1 critical no motive given; to rephrase a quote from progressives about Hillary Clinton and her e-mails as opposed to the Trump administration doing almost the exact same thing to the commentary sound of crickets…but her emails, to gun control advocates…but guns. The aunt nephew sexual affair might make for titillating gossip partially explaining why it was featured in People magazine, still fact remains the sordid nature of their activities didn’t end there; rather with her stabbing him reportedly after he threatened to reveal the relationship to the family while her attorneys are claiming self-defense. Random stabbing on an Oakland California train killed an 18 year old and wounded her sister; a man pleading guilty in court to stabbing 1 person and being complicit in the stabbing of another killed by his accomplice and putting their bodies in vats of acid to cover his crime allegedly committed because the man abused a teen he was close to, no justification for the 15 year old also killed. The girl who stabbed another in a Detroit school was apparently a rivalry over a boy they both had dated; would be laughable irony if the situation weren’t so serious, US News and World Report’s article mentioning the school’s lack of metal detector. How about the champion college golfer stabbed by a homeless man who told those around him he had urges to rape and kill; little guess as to his problem entailing some aspect of mental illness. There was the stabbing suspect wanted in D.C for a brutal attack on a jogger ending her life; non-gun violence curiously amassing body counts similar to those shootings the media insists on terming mass shootings when the death toll is exceedingly low, only encompass the perpetrator, injuries are nonexistent. An ex-judge accused of, headline using the word viciously, betting his wife while in a car, repeatedly punching her then slamming her head into the dashboard now implicated in her death found stabbed in her driveway. File the next story under W for weird or maybe R for rape taking into account the #metoo movement: the 19 year old women who broken in to her ex’s house, lay in wait for him to come home, holds a machete to his neck, forces him to remove his clothes and have sex, pictures of her naked on the bed wielding the sharp blade corroborate his story; somehow raped at giant knife point doesn’t inspire confidence of a world without massive gun crime does it? Difficult for those who like to put crimes in neat little boxes are those who use multiple types of weapon paralleling school shooters; example, there’s the man who shot his brother, stabbed his brother’s wife along with is niece and nephew then set the home ablaze, finally going to his own home and setting on fire with his own wife and daughter inside but able to escape, allegedly an arson attack over money, potential insurance fraud. The story of a teen nearly bludgeoned to death 10 years ago with a shovel back in the news when a combination of DNA evidence and advanced technology lead to an arrest; teens at a friend’s home often seen together playing videogames were attacked by masked men wielding hammers in the garage while they slept, mirroring the 3 homeless people attacked with baseball bats by a would-be robber looking for valuables. One man attacked his girlfriend with a hammer then set her on fire nearly killing her because she found someone new and broke it off. A huge sticking point with gun control advocates is the victims who live, the noticeably higher survival rate when guns aren’t part of the equation; underscoring in light of incidents such as the bomb maker who sent devices to prominent democratic leaders including 2 former presidents and a 2016 presidential candidate, several democratic congresspersons and donors, vocal critics of president Trump, the need to make it harder to kill people, highlighting the double digit number of bombs sent and that none went off, were built to ignite, implying guns are too available and too convenient. Never fully answered is the question surrounding quality of life after the teen needed surgery to relieve swelling on his brain, how unlikely it is that woman will want to live to endure burn treatments, face the scars forget the pain; utterly forgotten the devastation of the Austin bomber in spring 2018 succeeding in killing people and maiming 75 year old Esperanza Herrera barely alive after losing a leg plus multiple fingers, maybe the young girl attacked with that shovel is happy to be alive, not hard to figure out she could have done without the likely months of grueling rehab to relearn basic functions, does the German worker’s family think living is better with their loved one in a coma, rational people guess not. Speaking of bombers, successful or not, police catching wind of a New York man who planned to blow himself up midterm election day 2018 in D.C. using a 200 pound bomb; foiled when he told a friend in Pennsylvania about his plans, they alerting the FBI who pulled over Paul Rosenfeld, later confessing to his intentions. 40 pipe bombs found in another man’s home when police arrived after lengthy surveillance, the former marine allegedly stockpiling them at the behest of his currently estranged wife fearing the collapse of the government; him being 51 and his wife reasonably guessed in the same age range probably explains their adherence to the conspiracy theory. Findings correlating brain damage to religious fundamentalism, this blog attributing it to racism, can easily be extrapolated to political extremism absent tangible causes like recent loss of job, healthcare, pension exc. even if the data doesn’t exist yet (the next 2 things they should study); especially noting it’s the older generation spreading fake news on social media, highest percentage in the 65 plus category but substantial amounts in the 45 to 64 group too, explaining election day guy at 56, drawing attention to his political beliefs his express motivations according to police documents, and Sayoc also in his 50’s. Residents in that same, what’s going on in Pennsylvania, told to be on the lookout for explosives planted by a man they arrested last year meaning 2017, already rattled from a series of explosions that spring. Relatedly a potential arsonist was being sought in Washington state after a half dozen fires, gun shots and a suspicious device set, found or heard around buildings housing Jehovah’s witness affiliation, the last a kingdom hall (their version of a church); fortunately no one injured or dead, yet being the end of that sentence if he’s not caught. A plethora of instances right here in the good old US of A of people using their cars to deliberately target other people whether it was the Oregon man who rammed into 3 people on a sidewalk no motive communicated to press or the woman plowing through little league game in Maine reportedly killing a lone man 50 years after the man killed allegedly killed a little girl in an identical type accident, the man arrested after repeatedly ramming his truck into a Dallas news station, screaming high treason and unloading stacks of paper; the woman who drove 19 miles with her ex clinging to the hood of her car could have easily turned fatal had he been slightly weaker physically, she’d taken any turn at a high rate of speed, had to suddenly stop for a slower car ahead of her, her erratic driving caused her to be rear-ended, just because it didn’t happened doesn’t negate the seriousness of what she did because it didn’t require a gun. The teen and her younger sister first the older grounded from driving practice for trying to run over their mother then stabbing and shooting her, possible retribution for taking the girls’ cellphones; at least the guy who put his truck though a Utah Starbucks seems to have been having a medical episode. In the rich history of people using various vehicles and things that move to kill or try to harm people demonstrated in this piece alone police spent the height of summer investigating why a pilot stole a jet then deliberately flew it into his own house, family inside; cheaper than a divorce with a side of custody dispute? Maybe it had something to do with the domestic abuse arrest where he made bail, hours later the inferno; maybe he didn’t want to end up like the next man so angry his ex was dating a firefighter he set his own home on fire then waiting outside with a rifle, thankfully no one died and the man’s goal only appears to be property damage now charged with multiple violations of the law. Under utterly exotic ways someone has tried to kill someone that couldn’t be farther from a gun, let’s talk about the woman who tried to poison her husband with eye drops; putting copious amounts of the over the counter solution in his food and water until its common active ingredient reached toxic levels, no explanation accompanying her confession. Another woman who snuck into her ex’s home, no big knives this round but assuredly deadly had it gone on longer; she put anti-freeze into his wine he thought had gone bad little did he know, ratchetting her horrible actions up 10 notches she did so in the presence of her children who told a babysitter, who informed the father, who on the advice of police installed cameras catching her in the act, possibly angry over the custody arrangement granting her only visitation rights. Poisonings a twisted theme in 2018 an Asian college student fulfilling a sad campus trend using heavy metals to try and kill his black roommate, racially motivated based on epithets written on his apartment wall including the n word; that roommate still dealing with the psychical complications of the poisoning regardless being the public litmus test of alive. And paralleling the introduction we couldn’t get through the Christmas and new year’s celebrations absent someone destroying the wonder of yet another Christmas market when shots rang out, this time in France; one more country touted as having stricter, more efficient gun laws seeming to matter very little 4 killed 11 injured thanks to a, are they tired of hearing it yet, terrorist. On a watch list, identified as a potential national security threat but not only allowed to walk around near a crowd and tourist famed hub but somehow permitted to get a gun; sound familiar, oh yeah it’s the same rhetoric thrown at Americans from the progressive left when they howl about our lack of gun laws, except where did it happen again? And the New Year began across the pond with law enforcement there investigating a U.K. stabbing as what else, an act of still more European terror, victims expected to survive and we stop reading. Soon after, a German man driving his car into a crowd apparently attacking foreigners, Syrian and Afghan citizens, likely immigrants from those war torn areas. China got all of 8 days into the New Year before their old nemesis was back another primary school attack by a maintenance worker with a hammer injuring 20. Too many Americans being lulled into the idea guns are the worst thing that can hurt people, independent media during the course of the year calling it deadlier for school children than for military personnel overseas in the middle east; forgetting one guesses the 3 siblings from one family killed trying to board their school bus, a 4th injured, hit by a driver who failed to heed the bus’s stop sign, bus stop placed in such a way embarking students most cross a medium traffic road ignoring long held concerns from parents additionally in the early-morning dark, why the driver has a legitimate case for saying she saw flashing lights but didn’t know it was as school bus unfamiliar with that road. District prudently deciding to move the bus stop going down neighborhood side streets; too late to save twin 6 year old boys and their 9 year old sister. 9 members of one family killed in a Missouri duck boat accident out in near hurricane force winds for a storm forecasters knew was coming, tour ran without mandating participants wear lifejackets or offering them, in fact told they wouldn’t need them, 17 deceased in total, duck boats having an abysmal history of safety concerns to the point some believe they shouldn’t be on the water; 1 killed when a man’s sudden onset medical issue meant plowing his truck into that mentioned Utah Starbucks. The 5 children killed in a fiery highway crash when 2 semi-trucks collided, burst into flames causing a church van returning from Disney world to crash into a truck; 1 of 2 such accidents second killing an entire family of 5 in Kentucky on their way back from holiday vacation struck by a suspected drunk, wrong way driver. Harrowing images of the French bakery show the effects of a gas leak killing 3 and injuring many more, among the dead firefighting personnel; a freak accident in Japan injuring a whopping 42 and leveling the restaurant identical culprit gas. Much hay is made about that 7 year old girl what it says about hate crimes and guns, both valid arguments in their own right, later determined to be a case of mistaken identity believing the people in the car were persons they’d gotten into a fight with; but, did we want it to be a Molotov cocktail, did we want her to live with a whole side of her body burned, the lifelong surgeries and complications, PAIN? Dave, Dave born David Rothenberg known for having been set on fire by his father and surviving died in 2018 complications from phenomena likely brought on by years of living with the after effects of full body burns, another young man dying in 2012 from confirmed complications of his burns after being set on fire by a neighbor in an attempt to kill him post being raped by the older boy; connecting the 3 stories, do we not know, do we not think that a Molotov cocktail could be as devastating or worse than a gun in the described situation, a weapon to paraphrase gun control activists that doesn’t require sophistication to use, could easily have been thrown into that backseat full of children arguably causing more carnage setting the back of the car and everyone sitting in it on fire because the thrower thought someone else was in said car? Subsequently we know a little bit of the recovery required from things that aren’t guns but involve head injuries, broken bones, crush injuries from the new movie Welcome to Marwen based on the story of a man nearly beaten to death, more if you view the documentary Marwencol done well preceding the film; its essentially what awaits those homeless guys beaten with baseball bats if they survived their injuries past the intimal days particularly with little in the way of healthcare, painful, grueling recovery that awaits those teens bludgeoned with hammers, especially the one who had surgery to relieve swelling from his brain. Provides a preview into the life-long after effects of living through a brutal attack physically, mentally, psychologically, also presented in the story of the teen who’s head was bashed in with that shovel; and they are the lucky ones that can relearn how to walk and talk, perhaps hold down a job again someday, fulfill dreams they had of attending college, achieving a career, not the ones who end up in a vegetative state, consigned to a care facility mirroring the one making headlines for the woman who got pregnant while a decade long resident there, staff none the wiser until she began moaning and delivering the child, presumably fathered by one of the male staff. No the American citizen is done with the ‘because they lived’ narrative perpetuated by gun control advocates unintentionally though it may be sending the message because the victim is still alive everything is ok or will be, because they lived people can stop paying focused attention, because it wasn’t gunshot wounds it makes it somehow less bad, less of a priority for society if not the police to zero in on.
So what is the conversation to be had, assuredly Betsy DeVos is an idiot wholly and utterly incompetent for the government job she was hired to as head of the department of education, hardly anyone ignorant enough not to know that was half the point render it dysfunctional, say to the American people look it doesn’t work as reason to disband it; and of course the commission she headed came up with the predictable ‘solutions’ to mass shooter violence. Arguing for highly trained armed school staff, use of more school resource officers alarming people worried about the stress placed on aforementioned school staff if and when they are asked to shoot an armed student, the troubling trend of violence visited upon non-violent students for minor infractions whether it was the student thrown across her classroom or the recently released video of a student body slammed to the ground, punched by the officer and then slammed into an office desk before being handcuffed; but, a study on school safety, spurred by school shootings, absent examining gun violence associated with gun control, the perceived lack of it, counterintuitive though it seems, may be exactly what’s in order. Because certainly again scrutinizing Parkland, shootings after it, school/mass shootings going back to beginning of the term’s wide usage the problems didn’t start with who has access to guns, how many, the viewed glut of guns that are present in society; it began with poor security, poor efforts to address mental health problems in students, poor approaches to handling and combatting bullying including providing help and support to bullies so that they can stop bullying others. I’m thrilled to see someone talk about mass shootings sans the first things out of their mouth being gun control, even surpassing mental health and access to mental health although blaming loneliness and isolation for both Incels and mass shootings remains a step too far. Firstly in this final section let’s address the mental health aspect beyond access, healthcare debates and plans not covering mental health services in the form of shooters who were either in therapy, under the care of a mental health professional or had had mental health treatment in the past; Virginia Tech’s shooter had been evaluated by psychiatric doctors and they noted his flat affect, refusal to accept the idea he might have a thought disorder, plus his problem wasn’t access to psychological treatment rather a judge, really without a complete picture, recommended outpatient counselling over the drastic step of, involuntary commitment, outpatient counseling he never got because it was never a condition of him remaining un-institutionalized or in class. Jared Loughner had come in contact with his community college’s counselor who, despite probable lack of training in dealing with severe mental health disorders, specializing in common college student anxieties, possibility of a first job situation, should have known something was off about him since classmates and teachers knew precisely where he was headed; James Holmes had flitted between mental health professionals before seeing his college counselor, who specialized in schizophrenia, Holmes diagnosed with it or a related disorder and duly medicated during his post shooting incarceration and to this day. Eliot Roger had been in therapy for years before his stint at Isle a Vista community college; his issue poor, misdiagnosis not identifying him as high probably autistic getting him the ABA recommended therapy for persons with autism, the OTR therapy helping the mentally ill learn to handle/cope with everyday scenarios, moderate their reactions to normal allowing him to connect with people, perhaps get and keep a girlfriend sans falling for pickup artist swill. Give him a diagnosis, he can alert people he has a condition explaining why he’s like this prompting at least some people to employ empathy, exercise patients with him, teach him how others would regularly respond; might have been the saving grace for Harper-Mercer and the classroom full of people he shot citing among other things his inability to get a girlfriend had he too been formally diagnosed with what his mother and he both believed they had and gotten the accompanying help. Alexander Bonds had been granted access to mental health services, had been accurately duel diagnosed and prescribed appropriate/effective medication; yet, he did what is common for many psychiatric patients either frequently went off his meds or mixed them with alcohol, others mix them with street drugs, big no, no’s for those taking mental health prescriptions, turning him into a completely different person, a person capable of walking up and shooting a police officer in the head while sitting in a vehicle. Albert Wong had been staying at a veterans home, had attempted to get help; what set him off was being asked to leave the program because he wasn’t fitting in. Neither do we ever consider our policies and how they affect people they never were truly intended for, take Mr. Bonds when his crimes elevated beyond stints in city, county jail deeming him ‘bad’ enough for state prison he was sent to the notorious Attica long legacy of prisoner abuse exacerbating his mental illness and solidifying his hatred of police; hardly surprising under stated conditions when he went off his medications and his paranoia and other symptoms took over he shot the first police officer he came in contact with. Police standoff after police standoff necessitating military tactical gear descending on a neighborhood often stems from desperate people fearing going back to jail or prison for life under their 3rd strike, the law meant for violent offenders inspired to avenge heinous acts like the murder of Polly Klaas co-opted by every ‘looking tough on crime’ politician to country bumpkin sheriff to encompass any triad of crimes above the lowest misdemeanor to throw people behind bars for the rest of their days wondering why an Idaho man in 2014 barricaded himself in the a house MRAP mine resistant military vehicle used to combat the standoff aside. Criminal justice reform: dispensing with mandatory minimums, 3 strikes misapplication, repeated jailing of non-violent drug offenders, disproportionately longer sentences for African American, people of color stretching past the crack versus powder cocaine disparity and that people of color are more likely use the later and white the former to any sentence handed down for any offense, city ordinance offenses seemingly crafted to target communities of color i.e. fines for baggy pants/sagging done by primarily by African Americans and Latinos, frequent topic of conversation on the independent network where the speaker’s video is posted, for whom she logically works. Balancing growing income inequality might stop the robberies and home invasions making the average citizen feel unsafe without a weapon, decrease the circulation of guns in society NRA and gun manufacturers unable to sell what the public won’t buy— Testing the loneliness and isolation theory against shooters Jared Loughner was living with family, Adam Lanza isolated himself refusing to come out of his room for somewhere in the neighborhood of a year, Aaron Alexis had friends, had recently stayed with a couple helping them in their restaurant, John Russel Houser was ‘lonely and isolated,’ estranged from his family because of his increasingly erratic behavior to the point they were afraid of him and tried to have him committed to receive help, nor did he truthfully lack contact with people regularly ranting to his local talk radio show. Robert Dear caught in a web of madness fed by right wing noise leading him to shoot up a Planned Parenthood wasn’t living in a crude outbuilding/mobile home type space because society/financial hardship pushed him there, but because whatever growing mental disease/cognitive decline, that’s kept him in a mental institution to this day, told him that’s what he wanted. James T. Hodgkinson had a wife and nice home in Illinois, told her he was going to D.C. to settle a tax issue, she herself busy at her own tax firm job, only to travel to Virginia for unknown reasons, reportedly living out of his van, prowling around political figures there, culminating in shooting up a baseball field; Steven Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter who killed 58 had a girlfriend, had retired early and spent that retirement living what most would consider a dream of high end gambling complete with fancy rooms and stints on cruise ships. Arthur DaRosa had family, had a child, unknown what set him off about the child’s soccer game that made him stab people at the local mall or if it was the car crash he got into on his way back from said game. Dionisio Garza III traveled from California to Texas to meet up with a buddy and attempt to find work; no indications he did not meet his friend or was in the state long enough to get discouraged about job prospects before something set him off triggering the rampage. The Thousand Oaks shooter again, enabling conversation aside was living with family, had contact with friends enough for them to be concerned he suffered from PTSD and blatantly wanted to send a message about the reoccurrence of mass shootings undercurrent seemingly less concerning how lonely and isolated he was and more security, mental health or our collective obliviousness. Certainly having a spouse, significant other, living relatives, children, even close friends doesn’t preclude feelings of loneliness, isolation things you can feel in a crowded room, in the midst of a family gathering; absolutely, suffering a mental illness, even a well-managed one, can multiply feelings of loneliness and isolation, too often magnifying symptoms. If sufferers feel family relations and romantic partners, adolescent and adult children don’t understand their diagnosis, how their disorder effects them individually, what they need from loved ones, friends and co-workers around them to thrive despite their issues it only exacerbates the toll mental health problems take on a person, but to try and sell the idea a kinder, gentler, at least friendlier, world would prevent mass gun violence to any degree borders on absurd. While America has much to learn about inclusivity, how to treat their fellow human beings, not being cruel to people who are slightly different, have a myriad of diseases, disorders or disabilities, these people were not isolated and ostracized by society in any fashion, minimal indications they felt lonely or isolated because of their mental illness. Where instances of adult breakups in relationships preceded shooter’s rampages (we’ll discuss teens in a moment) there is the specific, common thread why those relationships dissolved— variations on domestic abuse; Cedric Ford returned to his workplace shooting indiscriminately after being served with a restraining order from his girlfriend details of which describe him as in desperate need of medical/psychological help, Cedric Anderson’s short-lived wife separated from him because he was abusive, the Washington mall shooter was ordered to a diversion program and to abstain from several things after his domestic abuse charge so was Esteban Santiago in Alaska before wandering into an FBI field office rambling about being forced to watch ISIS videos, 4 days under mental health evaluation eventually opening fire on the Fort Lauderdale airport, Devin Kelly had a history of hurting women he was in relationships with, was described by an ex as someone with a lot of demons, a darkness in them, also possessed a track record of harming animals, Kevin Janson Neal killed his wife days before opening fire and that rural California elementary school believed to be the catalyst for the rampage. They, to the extent they were shunned frim society were shunned because society should shun misogynists and wife beaters, domestic abusers of all shapes and sizes; incels are isolated because functional, confident women find them wholly unattractive on character, personality grounds, not because our societal structures make people isolated and alone, incapable of relating to our fellow human beings. The problem with many of these earlier listed cases is they had profound and untreated mental illnesses, experiencing variations on psychosis hearing voices, paranoia believing people were out to get them, conspiracy theories; the latter veteran cases not encompassing domestic abuse, harassment/battery of women probably stemmed from people avoiding their violent tendencies, PTSD sufferers who have varying levels of difficulty with open air public or crowded places. Solution help, sometimes biggest obstacle convincing the sufferer of that fact. As alluded to teens a different adolescence is fraught enough with physical and mental changes without adding in possibilities of mental illness, the pressures of social media amplifying peer pressure, fear of missing out, isolation/loneliness that comes with this period in life, first experiences with girls/boys, awakening of sexuality, realizations about sexual orientation; worth dispelling then is another set of suppositions about what does and doesn’t cause mass shootings the ones providing backlash to possible explanations for teens seeming to snap sighting rejection by a girl, a history of teen stalking of a classmate saying no girls don’t cause mass shootings, part of a title in a Salon.com article linked early on here; but, outside, never gets it right Fox News saying the sexual revolution led to incels, and oddball defacto men’s rights activist Jordan Peterson blaming shootings on a lack of romantic partner, when people citied the girl who rejected Dimitrios Pagourtzis they were not blaming her, they were saying his bad, extremely negative reaction to the rejection pushed him, along with other factors to do what he did. References to girls expected to be nice to their teen stalker, the guy who makes their hair stand up and could be statistically potentially fatal isn’t disregarding established truths about stalking but advising girls/women not be direct and clear not cruel recognizing women in the past who have been, lying about pregnancies to stay in relationships, cheating and passing off someone else’s child as their partners, dumping a man for someone farther up the economic ladder, teen girls who act like a cross between the movies Mean Girls and Cruel Intentions, few and far between though they are. Dido similar articles on peer rejection stating it doesn’t cause mass shootings, this likewise Salon article a little more objective saying essentially it is a part of a larger mix of factors making up a school shooter; but again, who said it was a singular factor that ever created a school shooter other than gun reformers talking about the gun, usually with a side of the lesser damage they would have been able to do if forced to use something else. Remembering even their reference of the Columbine shooters purposefully shot Christians, not to hear the religious community tell it because of the devil, but because they felt rejected or bullied by that group; Harper-Mercer shot Christians in his writing class because he felt he was putting them out of their misery, sending them into the arms of a loving god. One of the things society, school can do is help particularly young men form healthy relationships and handle breakups in a healthy way; maybe instead of asking about the Maryland high school shooter’s father’s gun storing habits, Dimitrios Pagourtzis’ father’s gun cabinet key and how he knew where it was, we should be asking where both of these present, involved fathers were in guiding their sons through presumably their first breakup with a girlfriend, the first such person they cared deeply for, how to handle rejection from the opposite sex, the person you’re interested in? Where was any male mentorship, for kids who don’t have fathers, don’t feel comfortable talking to them about it telling these young men so much as once in their lives that yes it hurts and that’s ok but you’ll survive, maybe she wasn’t meant for you, it’s teen love it was bittersweet-ly never supposed to last take the good memories from it and learn. What we can do is promote letting people be who they are as human beings, individuals, man or woman, child, teen or adult, LGBT or straight deemed ‘odd’ or ‘normal’ and stop putting people in too many boxes, too many labels, stop thinking boyhood trauma and man up are normal positive ways to raise young men. Across the board showing men in our society how to handle these things in a productive way not violently going after their wife, girlfriend or ex; putting up with bosses, co-workers or getting fired sucks but the answer isn’t to kill your bosses then yourself, isn’t to come back to your job opening fire, shooting people execution style in the back of the head. Staggering the number of school and mass shootings, murders that have happened because of severe relationship malfunctions, destructive romantic relationships recall the Arizona killing spree was perpetrated by a man exacting revenge on anyone who had anything to do with his divorce, the Chicago hospital shooting began in the parking lot when a man tried to retrieve the engagement ring from his ex-fiancé, discovering she wouldn’t return it he shot her 3 times in the chest and turned the gun on others, common denominator broken relationship, the high school football player who stabbed his girlfriend after finding out she was 6 months pregnant, too late to get an abortion, recurring theme relationship stress; the Utah college athlete who was on the phone with her mother when shot was shot by her boyfriend, the in Atlanta just held at gunpoint inside a home began as a domestic dispute AKA relationship trouble. Who could forget the despicable likes of Chris Watts who strangled/ stabbed his wife and children respectively putting them in oil drums and her in a shallow grave so he could continue his affair with another woman; the Colorado fiancé arrested in connection with a woman’s thanksgiving day disappearance just days before Christmas strongly suspected in his future wife’s death, the man who told authorities he bludgeoned his wife for nagging him about money discovered after a losing streak at a Kansas casino and running out of gas on the side of I-35, him pulled over, arrested on another state’s warrant and repeated family requested welfare checks by local police lead them to her body, the man so upset his wife was awarded the house in their divorce/separation agreement he tried to shoot her to death before or after killing his elderly parents. What we can do as a society is not completely write off racist persons rather use the techniques implemented by originations getting individuals out of gangs, white supremacist groups, ISIS to disabuse persons of their racism, look into developing similar programs for reducing misogyny, buzz phase toxic masculinity, domestic abuse. What we can do is develop targeted efforts geared toward older Americans educating them about mental health, adding simple mental health and cognitive screenings to primary care appointments then getting them necessary more extensive assessments for either as needed. We can stop talking about guns and gun control like it’s going out of style, stop thinking signs of mental illness are personally quirks in the young while thinking of bizarre old people behavior as normal.