America’s Unsolvable Problem
Why are so many of us killed by guns? First this fact, Americans own more than 393 million guns, ranking the US number one in firearms per capita. We have enough firearms for everyone, including children to own one of their own.
Our politicians haven’t done a thing to stop mass shootings. Is it too complex for them to figure out? There’s a United States of America law that protects the right of people to own guns, and some of those people guard their right with the lives of your friends, your kids and yourself.
Let’s start with a timeline since 2000:
Dec. 26, 2000 —Wakefield, Massachusetts
Michael McDermott, 42, shot and killed seven co-workers at Edgewater Technology using several weapons, including an AK-47.
March 12, 2005 —Brookefield, Wisconsin
Terry Ratzmann, 44, shot and killed seven members of the Living Church of God at a Sheraton hotel with a 9mm handgun before committing suicide.
March 21, 2005 —Red Lake, Minnesota
Jeffrey Weise, 16, shot and killed 10 people before turning the gun on himself, including his grandfather and a police officer, using several weapons, including a 12-gauge shotgun.
Jan. 30, 2006 —Goleta, California
Former postal worker Jennifer San Marco, 44, shot and killed seven people, including several former coworkers, and herself.
Oct. 2, 2006 —Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Charles Carl Roberts IV shot and killed five female students inside an Amish schoolhouse using several weapons before committing suicide.
Feb. 12, 2007 —Salt Lake City, Utah
Sulejman Talovic, 18, killed five people at Trolley Square Mall with two weapons before he was shot and killed by police.
April 16, 2007 —Blacksburg, Virginia
College student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech with two weapons before taking his own life.
Oct. 7, 2007 —Crandon, Wisconsin
Sheriff’s deputy Tyler Peterson, 20, shot and killed six people at a post-Homecoming party in an apartment before committing suicide. He used a semiautomatic rifle.
Dec. 5, 2007 —Omaha, Nebraska
Robert A. Hawkins killed eight people and himself using a semiautomatic rifle after entering the Westroads Mall.
Feb. 2, 2008 —Kirkwood, Missouri
Charles Lee Thornton, 52, entered a public city council meeting and shot and killed five people with two handguns before he was shot and killed by police.
Feb. 14, 2008 —Dekalb, Ilinois
Steven Kazmierczak, 27, shot and killed five people on the campus of Northern Illinois University with several semiautomatic weapons before killing himself.
June 25, 2008 —Henderson, Kentucky
Wesley Neal Higdon, 25, killed five people at Atlantis Plastics Factory with a semiautomatic weapon before taking his own life.
April 3, 2009 —Binghamton, New York
Jiverly Antares Wong, a 41-year-old naturalized American citizen from Vietnam, shot and killed 14 people at the American Civic Association with two weapons before killing himself.
August 3, 2010 — Manchester, Connecticut
Omar Thorton, 34, entered a warehouse owned by his former employer, Hartford Distributors, and shot and killed eight people with two semiautomatic weapons before committing suicide.
Sept. 6, 2011 —Carson City, Nevada
Eduardo Sencion, 32, opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle in an IHOP restaurant, killing four people and himself.
July 20, 2012 —Aurora, Colorado
James Holmes, 25, shot and killed 12 people in a movie theater during the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” using several weapons, including a semiautomatic rifle.
Aug. 5, 2012 —Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Wade Michael Page, 40, killed four people with a semiautomatic weapon inside a Sikh temple before turning the gun on himself.
Dec. 14, 2012 —Newtown, Connecticut
Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother and 26 people inside Sandy Hook Elementary School before turning the gun on himself.
March 13, 2013 —Herkimer, New York
Kurt Meyers, 64, killed four people at a car wash and barbershop with a shotgun before he was shot and killed by police.
Sept. 16, 2013 —Washington, D.C.
Aaron Alexis, 34, shot and killed 12 people inside the Washington Navy Yard with a 12-gauge shotgun before he was shot and killed by police.
June 7, 2013 —Santa Monica, California
John Zawahri, 23, opened fire in a home and later at the campus of Santa Monica College, killing five people with a semiautomatic rifle. He was killed during a shootout with police.
July 26, 2013 —Hialeah, Florida
Pedro Alberto Vargas, 42, shot and killed six people with a semiautomatic weapon in his apartment complex before setting fire to his own apartment. He was shot and killed by a SWAT team.
September 14, 2014— Bell, Florida
Don C. Spirit, 51, shot and killed his granddaughter and six grandchildren before turning the gun on himself.
May 17, 2015— Waco, Texas
Rival motorcycle gangs kill nine at a restaurant in Waco, Texas. There were over 170 arrests made after the incident.
June 17, 2015 — Charleston, S.C.
Dylann Roof, 21, walks into a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina and kills nine people.
Oct. 1, 2015—Roseburg, OR.
Christopher Harper-Mercer enters Umpqua Community College in southwest Oregon opens fire and kills nine, wounding seven others before police shot him to death.
November 27, 2015— Colorado Springs, Colorado
Robert Lewis Dear storms in a Planned Parenthood health clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado and kills three people and wounding nine.
December 2, 2015— San Bernardino, California
A man and a woman walk into a holiday party both armed with assault weapons and kill 14 people and wounding 17 others.
June 12, 2016 — Orlando, Florida
Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, 29, killed 49 people and injured 53 at Pulse – a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. President Barack Obama described the horrific event as an “act of terror and hate.”
October 1, 2017 — Las Vegas, Nevada
Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel during a country music concert located at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing more than 50 people and injuring about 200 others.
November 5, 2017 — Sutherland Springs, Texas
Devin Patrick Kelley, 26 entered First Baptist Church during in Sutherland Springs, Texas during service, killing at least 26 people and wounding at least 20.
February 14, 2018 — Parkland, Florida
Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida walked into the school, and killed 17 students, according to federal officials before taken into police custody.
April 22, 2018 — Nashville, Tennessee
Travis Reinking, a 29-year-old man opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant in Antioch, Nashville, killing four people and wounding two. An AR-15 rifle was found at the scene.
May 18, 1018 — Santa Fe, Texas
Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, walked into Santa Fe High School and opened fire, killing at least eight people including fellow students. According to Reuters, the male student entered the school around 8 a.m.
June 28, 2018. — Annapolis, Maryland
At least five people were killed at The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Police and witnesses say the suspected gunman was taken into police custody around 5 p.m. EST.
August 26, 2018 — Jacksonville, Florida
David Katz, 24, was attending a Madden NFL 19 video game tournament and opened fire with two handguns, killing two, injuring 10, before turning the gun on himself.
October 27, 2018 — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Robert D. Bowers walked into the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue shouting anti-Semitic slurs, opened fire and killed 11 people using an AR-15-style assault rifle.
November 7, 2018 — Thousand Oaks, California
A man dressed in all black and carrying a handgun opened fire inside the Borderline Bar & Grill, a country and western dance hall located in Thousand Oaks, California, killing at least 12 people including a sheriff’s deputy who arrived at the scene to provide assistance.
February 15, 2019 — Aurora, Illinois
Gary Martin, a 45-year-old factory worker killed five people at the Henry Pratt Co. manufacturing plant in the suburbs of Chicago with a .40 caliber handgun. He was later killed by police in a shootout.
May 31, 2019 — Virginia Beach, Virginia
DeWayne Craddock, a 40-year-old civil engineer working for the Virginia Beach Public Utilities Department, fatally killed 12 people. All but one of the people fatally killed were city workers. Craddock was shot and killed by police.
August 3, 2019 — El Paso, Texas
Patrick Crusius, 21, from Allen Texas used a rifle to shoot and kill 22 people at a Walmart located in El Paso, Texas before surrendering to police. Prior to the shooting rampage, Crusius wrote a manifesto that was found on the website 8Chan, warning Latino immigrants of danger. In documents found on 8Chan, Crusius said he was defending his country from “cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion” of Latino immigrants.
August 4, 2019 — Dayton, Ohio
A gunman, who was identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts, killed nine people and injured 27 near Ned Peppers Bar in Dayton, Ohio. Officials say the gunman was wearing body armor and used a .223-caliber rifle. The suspect was killed by police.
August 31, 2019 — Odessa, Midlad, Texas
A gunman, who was identified by police as Seth Aaron Ator, 36, was a stopped by police for a driving violation. He then fired at police officers, drove off and went on a shooting rampage, killing at least seven people and injuring 22. Officials say the recently fired gunman was shot and killed by police in front of a movie theater. Police say the gunman was using an AR-style weapon during the mass shooting.
Here is a list of all the mass shootings in 2020, which we didn’t really focus on because of Covid-19, but they are all real. READ HERE.
And that brings us to 2021, which you can see here, but let’s focus on these two for this post.
March 16, 2021 — Atlanta spa shootings
A series of mass shootings occurred at massage parlors in Atlanta and its suburb Acworth, about 30 miles away. Eight people were killed in the incidents and one person was wounded. A suspect was arrested in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta. Authorities said he told them he was planning to continue the spree in Florida.
March 22, 2021 — Boulder Colorado Grocery Store Shootings
10 people killed, including a Boulder police officer and one was injured.
When a shooter is killed by police, we can never know why they did what they did, you know, their motive, but the damage is done. That’s a long list up there. Why did I catalogue those events? Because I want you to think about something. According to the Washington Post, “Public mass shootings are a small slice of gun deaths with ’only‘ 23 deaths in 2021 so far, but in the same time period, we’ve had 4,101gun related deaths, which excludes the roughly 22,000 annual gun suicides, which are not publicly reported in real time.”
How do we define a “mass shooting?” Once again, this excellent Washington Post article explains, “There is no universally accepted definition of a public mass shooting, and this piece defines it narrowly. It looks at the 183 shootings in which four or more people were killed, usually by a lone shooter. It does not include shootings tied to robberies that went awry, and it does not include domestic shootings that took place exclusively in private homes. A broader definition would yield much higher numbers.”
Here we go again, the dance has already begun. We will send along the requisite “thoughts and prayers” and then we will quickly move on. We see these words in our own Constitution, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” but we ignore the “well regulated” part. Why? Probably because it’s not clear how one would regulate a militia.
So, you ask, what’s a militia? You saw one in action at Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021. That militia tried to overthrow the government. Do you think it was well regulated? How is it that 393 million guns are not controlled in any way by the US Government? Those guns do not secure a “free State,” they do nothing but create a less secure feeling among Americans. We have 72 million gunowners dictating the way 330 million people live.
Our government is incapable of changing the Second Amendment and we are impotent to cure a problem that affects and hurts millions of our citizens. Sorry, but Congress is useless, the President is powerless, and the Supreme Court is complicit. FACTS, just the facts, ma’am. Yeah, good luck thinking that any change will take place. It won’t. There is no plan to solve the problem.
EVERYTHING WAS PREDICTED IN THE BOOK… PUT YOUR SEATBELT ON AND READ:
The book that tells it like it is…
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”