Thursday, October 01, 2015

School Shootings Since Newtown

Here, 142 of them.

 The idiot today? TOLD people online he was going to do this and got advice on how to do it.  (Pick a class with girls; they won't fight back.) What happened to "see something, say something?" Oh wait, that's for foreign, not domestic, terrorists (and that's what these guys are).

President Obama seems pissed and disgusted.

“So tonight, as those of us who are lucky enough to hug our kids a little closer are thinking about the families who aren’t so fortunate,” the president said in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, named for a man severely wounded by a would-be assassin’s bullet, “I’d ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change these laws, and to save these lives and let these people grow up.”

He said that he knew that "there were parents across the country who are scared because it might have been their children." 


Except there was a guy - there's always someone the media manages to find - in Roseburg who said "things like that don't happen here."

News flash - every town IS everytown in the U.S.A.  Down the street from Roosevelt High School, up I-5 in Marysville, Seattle U, community college campuses, university campuses and yes, elementary schools.  Oh yeah, don't forget your movie theaters and churches.

Don't anyone think that any one of us will be safe from this carnage.  Don't for one minute think your kids are safe because really, they aren't.  It's a sad thing to be glad that my sons are done with school because it appears that school just may not be the safest place for a young person to be.

Did you grow up like this? I didn't.

Do you ask your child's friends' parents if they have guns in their homes?  I did and you should.

Do you secure -absolutely secure - the guns in your own home?  Because if not, understand that like O.J., if something happens with your gun, if you can't be held criminally responsible, you can be held civilly responsible and you could see everything you've worked for taken from you.  Go ask O.J. who is rotting in jail because all he had worked for in his life was taken from him and he got desperate.

Think "nothing" can be done?  Bullshit.  This is NOT normal life - go ask nearly any other country in the world because they don't have this issue.  I was in Scotland - by Dunblane in 1996 - where a manic mowed down 16 children and a teacher.  This is what happened there:

Public debate about the killings centered on gun control laws, including public petitions calling for a ban on private ownership of handguns and an official enquiry, the Cullen Report. In response to this debate, two new firearms Acts were passed, which effectively made private ownership of handguns illegal in Britain. 

No mass shooting there since then.

Ditto when it happen in Australia.

So yes, do kiss your children goodnight.  Look into their beautiful faces and ask yourself: when will it matter to me?

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence 
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
Moms Demand Action


Anonymous said...

Appreciate the posting of this. I followed the link and joined Moms Demand Action.

I have to be honest that for many years I thought of school gun violence like a fluke, like something that just happens randomly.

But as this article points out, 1 school shooting a week is not an accident.

Something is wrong with our thinking, somehow the well has been poisoned.

I feel lost with how to be a constructive voice on this issue but hopefully the Seattle chapter will help transform my concern into action.

WS Mom

seattle citizen said...

Let's remember the heroes in these horrible situations, not the shooters. One hero here was Chris Mintz, an army vet who charged the shooter, was shot many times (but is expected to survive.)

A story my favorite author, Portland University professor Brian Doyle, wrote after Newton exhorts us to remember the heroes...and keep our memories of these tragic events fresh so we can do something about them: Dawn and Mary, by Brian Doyle - The Sun Magazine

Anonymous said...

A friend who teaches in another district said they actually just had an "active shooter" class at her middle school. The police officer who taught it said the thinking now is a)run run run and b) if you can't run, fight back. She said it broke her heart to see those little 6th graders scared out of their minds, and she wasn't sure what to tell them today when she went back to class.

What bleepin' kind of world is it that we have to teach such a thing to our kids.... something has to change, though I'm at a loss for the what and how of that...


Anonymous said...

It is indeed shocking and dismaying and perplexing all at once, the seemingly endless stream of these mass murders, particularly in our schools. You start to wonder when the next shoe will drop at your own school(s). But there are things that can, and must, be done by all of us. Pres Obama has it right; let's change our laws, our culture, and our world so this craziness is no longer our sad and sorry and pathetic reality. Vote out electeds who won't stand up to gun rights extremists. Let's really start holding ourselves accountable for making this a safer world for our kids. Here's some advice I respect:

Yes, Moms Demand Action is a great place, so is here in Seattle.

Brian in Ballard

Lori said...

I'm glad to see people mention Moms and thanks to Brian for mentioning the Center for Gun Responsibility.

I'm a long-time blog reader and used to be a regular poster, but after Sandy Hook, I've turned my activism to gun violence prevention. That day, I read a quote that said something like "it's not what we do in the aftermath of a mass shooting - it's what we do in between that matters" and that spoke volumes to me. And there is a real groundswell of people in our state doing the long, hard work that comprises the "in between" - changing culture, advocating for stronger laws, building alliances with every community touched by gun violence.

The Center for Gun Responsibility, a 501c3 organization, recently hired its first full-time Executive Director, who had an insightful and informative piece in the Seattle Times just this very week. You can read it here:

The WA Alliance for Gun Responsibility, the 501c4 that ran the successful I-594 campaign, developed a state lawmaker score card earlier this year that grades our legislators on their gun responsibility voting record. This is a ground breaking tool that can help each of us engage with our representatives on this issue, whether it's thanking them for past support (and yes! that's important to do) or asking for support in the future, or quite frankly, considering their record next time you vote. You can find that here:

But most importantly, if you clicked on this thread, then you care, and if you care, please get involved. Whether it's with Moms, CGR, WAGR, the Brady Campaign, Everytown.... They are all making a difference. And they all need support.

Anonymous said...

The even scarier thing to me is how there isn't much security at SPS, especially in the older buildings. I love my kid's school, I'm so grateful for the teachers and the program, but it is so scary to me that anyone could walk in to their elementary school at anytime and start shooting. There is literally nothing to stop them. Most parents at our school want the freedom to come and go, so they have voted down temporary security. I'm worried all the time and only feel safe when my kids are home. It's madness.

Mag mom

Anonymous said...

You are not alone Mag mom, I too worry about my kids safety at school for those reasons. Anyone could enter our school building and go directly to classrooms - the entrance is not even visible from the office. It's all very well to tell parents to stop in and get a volunteer or visitor badge but who is policing that? There is nothing to stop any random stranger coming off the street and wandering around inside the school building. I worry about a gunman everytime I hear about another school shooting but really it could just as easily be a child molester hanging out in the bathrooms or something 'less dramatic' like that. And to be fair, it seems most school shooting are not perpetrated by Adam Lanza type strangers but an actual student, so it's more about access to guns at home or ability to easily acquire guns elsewhere, and any amount of school security short of metal detectors at the entrances is not going to prevent it. That said, every time there is a mass shooting, which is about every couple of weeks here, I just want to pack up and leave the US. I wish it were that easy. I fear even more for the days when my kids will hit high school or go to college because this is when it gets really risky.
I fear for my kids growing up in this society, this culture, where people just somehow accept that a certain (large) number of children at school, adults at work, police, folks having a night out at the movies or peacefully worshipping at church, people who are depressed, women who are breaking free from an abusive partner and so on, are just the inevitable collateral damage of a so-called free society that ensures free access to any number and kind of firearm by almost anyone. Other western nations are just as 'free' (if not more so) but accept that certain things must be restricted. But even those with relative high gun ownership rates don't have these kinds of mass shootings - what is it about Americans - more specifically, the usually young, white, American males that makes them want to go out in a blaze of (misguide) glory taking as many people with them as possible? Is it movie/TV/game violence which glamorizes shooting (but other western countries all watch the same Hollywood blockbusters and play the same video games), Is it the American obsession with having their 5 minutes of fame (because the perpetrators certainly become infamous)? Is it mental health (but other countries have similar rates of mental illness - though not the financial barriers to treatment as we do here, besides most shooters are not certifiably mentally illl anyway)? Has it just become the typical thing that guys do when they feel isolated/powerless/angry/depressed - easy to get guns and mass shootings are so routine, so highly publicized. It used to be that newsmedia didn't report suicides for fear of destigmatizing it/causing copycats - yet the publicity surrounding mass shootings is huge (maybe for a certain kind person it has been sort of "normalized"). I don't know how we can address those factors that are to do with the American male psyche - the only thing we can do, is what other countries have successfully done, and that is restrict the number and type of firearms out there and the ease of acquisition.
While I very much admire Lori and others who are actively trying to make a change I fear that it is futile - this country is too divided and and the political power rests with the side that will never be swayed by rational arguments, scientific research, the experience of other countries etc. There is no evidence strong enough, nor no mass shooting horrific enough to bring these people around.

thanks NRA'holes

Anonymous said...

NRA'holes, very poignant points and well said; I appreciate that feeling that it seems futile sometimes; however, I believe we must actively, and stalwartly contest that ground; the cynics may hold the upper hand now, but that doesn't mean that it must or always will be so, particularly if we all step up to make it not so through robust and sustained political action and advocacy. We don't need to convince everyone (as you point out, many are impervious to all reason, evidence, and common sense), just the majority of lawmakers, and the majority of people at large to make culture change happen. We need courage and faith in the possibility of better reality attainable if we pull together and do the hard work of organizing and persuading and holding our electeds accountable. You are needed in this effort; I hope you don't throw up your hands in disgust and dismay only, but that you afterwards get back on the horse, as it were!
Brian in Ballard

Anonymous said...

NRA'holes, I believe it's partially the substitution of internet/chat room interactions for actual human connection or even what used to be the alternative -- actual isolation). Nameless and faceless exchanges, bolstering fringe ideas and's just getting worse.