Gun Rights: Gun Violence, Gabrielle Giffords, and Christina Greene - Change in America: Child Kill Clock: 20,744
8/1/18 - IN 2009, ACCORDING TO THE CDC, 354 children, ages 0 - 14, died from the discharge of a gun, that is basically one child per day is killed with a gun in America. If the 15 - 24 year old category is added, that number jumps to 6,581, or 18 young deaths per day. According to the Illinois Council on Gun Violence, 2811 children 19 years old and younger were killed by guns in 2009, nationwide, roughly 8 deaths a day. (Last update 1/19/2020
The Kill Clock started December 14, 2012.
THINK HARD ABOUT THIS DEAR READERS - THERE ARE MORE THAN 11,000 AMERICAN KIDS, 19 YEARS AND YOUNGER, NOT ALIVE TODAY SINCE I STARTED THIS HUB BECAUSE A GUN WAS MISUSED OR USED ON PURPOSE TO KILL. DEPENDING ON THE INCREASE IN THE AVERAGE STRENGTH OF GUN REGULATIONS ACROSS AMERICA BROUGHT ON BY NEW LAW, THAT NUMBER WOULD BE NOTICEABLY SMALLER.
2/27/2019 - The Democratic House just passed a comprehensive background check bill. It is expected to die (along with many more kids) in the Republican controlled Senate.
In the title I say many of these murders were "preventable". How do I come to that conclusion? Simple logic really. You see, in 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which banned certain semi-automatic weapons; the same kind of semi-automatic weapons used in most of the mass murders in the United States.
Unfortunately, it had a sunset clause which would let the ban expire in 10 years if Congress didn't act. In 2004, conservatives were in charge and they let the ban expire. As a result, I assert that hundreds of adults and children would be alive today if conservatives had acted morally and responsibility and renewed the ban.
The logic is clear. Had assault weapons remained banned, even though those already on the street could remain there, it would have been extremely hard for these shooters to get guns of mass destruction. Consequently, even if these maniacs decided to carry out their killings, it would have been with slower firing weapons which carry many fewer bullets.
Violence in American Primary and Secondary Schools
- April 30, 2019 - University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Charlotte, PA - 2 Students killed and 4 injured by gun
- May 7, 2019 - STEM School Highlands Ranch - Highlands Ranch, CO - 1 Kid killed and 8 Kids wounded by gun.
- February 15, 2018 - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL: 15 children (14 - 18 yrs old) and 2 heroic adults were gunned down by an expelled student using a legally purchased AR-15 semi-automatic assault weapon.
- November 14, 2017 - Rancho Tehama Elementary School, Rancho Tehama Reserve, CA, 2 children wounded as part of a larger shooting spree. A total of 5 people killed and 18 others wounded from semi-automatic assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols.
- April 10, 2017 - North Park Elementary School, San Bernardino, CA: 3 people died, 2 special needs kids and the a teacher, the target in a domestic dispute. The killer used a semi-automatic pistol.
- October 24, 2014 - Marysville Pilchuck High School, Marysville, WA: Fellow student lured friends into the school cafeteria and, using a semi-automatic pistol; killed 4 kids (14 &15) and wouldn't 1.
- December 14, 2012 - Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, CT: 20 Kids (6 - 8 yrs old) and 6 Adults Killed by guns.
- February 2, 2012 - Louisiana Schnell Elementary School, Placerville, CA: 1 Adult Killed by guns
- October 8. 2010 - Kelly Elementary School, Carlsbad, CA: 2 Kids Wounded by guns
- November 26, 2010 - Birney Elementary School, Tacoma, WA: 1 Adult Killed by guns
- February 7, 2008 - Notre Dame Elementary School, Portsmouth, OH: 1 Adult Killed by gun and stabbed, 1 Adult stabbed and wounded
- August 4 2007 - Newark Schoolyard Killings - 3 college students killed, 1 wounded by gun at an elementary school
- October 2, 2006 - Amish school shooting, Lancaster County, PA: - 5 girls killed, 5 wounded by gun:
- August 30, 2006 - Essex Elementary School, Essex, VT - 1 Adult killed, 1 Adult wounded by gun
- April 24, 2003 - Red Lion Junior High School - Red Lion, PA - 1 Adult killed by gun
- April 14, 2003 - John McDonogh High School - New Orleans, LA - 1 Kid killed and 3 Kids wounded by gun
- October 28, 2002 - University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ - 3 Adults killed by gun
- January 16, 2002 - Appalachian School of Law - Grundy, VA - 3 Adults killed and 3 injured by gun
- January 15, 2002 - Martin Luther King, Jr. High School - Manhattan, NY - 2 Kids killed by gun
- May 7, 2001 - Mountain View Elementary School, Anchorage, AK - 4 Kids wounded by knife
- March 22, 2001 - Granite Hills High School - El Cajon, CA - 5 people injured by gun
- March 5, 2001 - Santana High School, Santee, CA - 2 Kids killed by gun
- February 2, 2001 - North Hopewell Winterstown Elementary School, Red Lion, PA - 3 Adults, 10 Kids wounded by machete
- September 5, 2000 - Bidwell Porter Elementary School, Bidwell, OH - 1 Adult killed by gun
Since 1964 (where it looks like more world-wide coverage began) there have been a total of:
- United States: 28 events leading to 25 Kids, 3 Young Adults, and 11 Adults killed; 39 by gun
- Europe: 6 events leading to 13 Kids, 8 Adults killed; 4 by gun, 7 by knife, 10 by flamethrower
- Russia: 1 event leading to 186 Kids, 169 Adults killed; guns, fire (accidental), and explosives were involved.
As I start this section, I am not sure what the subtitle should be; I am not sure where I am going with it yet; the ending is not in my mind yet; maybe I won't have a subtitle.
Massacres such as what happened Saturday, January 8, 2011 in Tucsan, Arizona are not new to America or Americans. There have been times when more people have been killed and there have been times when elected officials have been wounded or killed. But none in my memory, save one, seems to have united America in such a somber, sober, beneficial way as this terrible tragedy has. Not even the seismic bombshell America endured after being awakened from its self-induced stupor by the terrorist of September 11, 2001 seems to have had the profound effect on the American psyche that we may be experiencing today.
After the shock of 9/11 wore off, America wasn't somber, we weren't introspective, we were angry, we wanted revenge and rightly so! I don't believe America had this kind of reaction after the attempted assassination of President Reagan either. Again, I remember the mood being more angry at Hinkle on one side and at easy access to guns on the other, This is different. This is more like what America felt and thought when President Kennedy was assassinated and Governor Connolly was wounded. America was stunned, then America was sad and America was introspective. Even in the middle of the Cold War, America had nobody to get angry at for this abomination; there was nobody to point a finger at; nobody to go after; we were overwhelmed that Camelot had died.
Why is this tragedy different? What is so special about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords or 9 year old Christina Greene? Nothing really, they were just people. And everything. One was a person who was one of the few voices of moderation in Congress but, unbeknownst to her, apparently set off a chain of events in the mind of a madman that led to that fateful day with an interaction she had with the gunman years earlier. The other, born on the day that America had been attacked on its own soil for only the third time in its history, September 11, 2001 and had just been elected to the student council for her class; who, in her death, saved the life of another by donating one of her organs.
Surrounding all of this is an environment of political, if not hatred, then maybe disgust where the two parties haven't been so polarized since the late 1700s nor has the political rhetoric been so ... unyielding since that time as well. What is strange is that this unbecoming environment really didn't have anything to do with the Tucson tragedy yet the Tucson tragedy appears to be trying to bring America out of its coma and back to it's senses as Congresswoman Giffords is struggling to come out of hers. It is this surprising metamorphosis in American conscience that is so wondrous and fascinating to experience, if it continues
I hope it does because America desperately needs it. Christina and Gabrielle, I am sure, would want whatever it is about their and the other 18 victims pain and suffering and deaths that has started moving America in the right direction toward civility; something we haven't known since 1994. Wouldn't it be stupendous to have Congresswoman Giffords awake and watching President Obama giving his State of the Union address to a Congress where the Congressmen and women are no longer sitting one party next to the other but instead with one friend sitting next to the other, regardless of party, as is appears is going to happen for the first time.
I think what has captured America and is holding it and motivating it is the juxtaposition of the death of young Christina Greene and the struggle for life of Gabrielle Giffords. With nine-year old Christina, you have the symbolism behind the auspicious day of her birth, her election to the student council, her hopeful attendance at the Congress on the Corner event and the hope of the future she represented that was destroyed in the blink of an eye. We clearly see how hatred can overpower good, if we let it, and how fragile our future can be if we do not take heed and nurture it; protect it; secure it; make it grow strong and healthy.
The struggle of Gabrielle to beat all odds holds our attention and inspires us. It is this desperate fight that we hear everyday on the radio and see everyday on the television and read everyday in the news media or Internet that is changing America! It is setting the tone and quieting the rhetoric; at least for awhile and what a wonderful respite it is. Her recovery is unbelievable and hopefully will continue at the same pace as it has so far but only time will tell. She doesn't know it yet but America is depending on her to pull through.
She is a moderate and the politics of America need to be pulled back toward the center f both the left and the right. That is what she has fought for in her political career and that is what she will continue to fight for if given the chance for she knows that is the only way America has moved forward in the past and will be the only way America will move forward in the future. And that is what she is doing for America right now from her hospital bed. Each time she opens an eye or sits up or, hopefully, when she breathes on her own or says her first word it is pulling America back from the abyss.
Even though Gabrielle and Christina have been the most visible victims, there were 17 others, five of which died along with Christina Greene. Their stories are an integral part of what is happening to this nation as well and deserve to be remembered. The five who died are: Judge John Roll ,63; Dorthy Murray, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; Phyllis Scheck, 79; and Gabriel Zimmerman 30 The 12 others who were wounded are: Susan Hileman, 58; Mavanell Stoddard, 75; Pamela Simon, 63; Ronald Barber, 65; James Tucker, 58; Kenneth Veeder, 75; George Morris, 76; James Fuller, 63; Randy Gardner, 60; Mary Reed, 52; Kenneth Dorushka, 63; Bill Badger, 74
While I am not a God-fearing man, I am a Spiritual man and I pray that the change toward civility this tragedy in Tucson has started in America won't stop.
One Year Later
ON DECEMBER 2, 2014, THE CONNECTICUT STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL is supposed to release the definitive report on what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School; which has since been torn down and a replacement being built. It won't give a definite motive but suggests one when viewed through an extremely troubled young mind. That Adam Lanza was suffering from severe mental illness, which since the anti-mental illness revolution that began when Ronald Reagan was Governor of California (one of his landmark achievements was shutting down most of California's state-run mental health facilities because government has no business tending to the health of its citizens and it would save money to boot), is clearly documented in the report and is hugely troubling. It also points out that his mother, an avid gun enthusiast herself and the first to die in his rampage, used guns as the only avenue she felt she had to bond with her isolated son. The report further describes Adam's obsession with death and especially massacres such as the one Columbine High School.
Even so, most people, including doctors, were surprised when Lanza went off the deep end for he apparently never exhibited, outwardly anyway, any signs of violent behavior. I am sure this report is going to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb to try to determine what went wrong with Adam Lanza.
© 2011 Scott Belford