Yes NRA, Guns DO Kill People
10.03.06 by Keith Boyd
I can't believe the backwards flow of logic in this country. We're constantly at odds with ourselves. It seems to be that we're a jumble of strong forces so polar opposite and contradictory that we're trying to see how long we can pull until we rip apart. And rip apart we do. The shooting at the Amish school in Pennsylvania this week is just the most recent symptom of an ugly and twisted side of our American life. It's not just the guns I'm talking about. Take a look at almost any major issue playing out in the news and you'll get a dose. We've got a president who won't let scientist use stem cells to find cures for diseases because it violates his religious attitude of "Thou Shalt Not Kill" and in the next second is sending more soliders, guns and bombs to KILL people in Iraq. We've got "Right to Lifers" who in the name of stopping babies from being killed will KILL doctors who perform abortions. It goes on and on! Our current administrations "do-gooder" values wonks go ballistic over Janet Jackson's breast being exposed and they'll spend millions policing the internet, meanwhile they have a sexual predator co-chairing the caucus on exploited and missing children. I'm at a loss as to how we ended up here. Perhaps its' always been this way but I'm not so sure. I think the intensities of feeling and contradiction of motives point to a denial and repression so entrenched and novel that we're almost seeing an evolutionary change in how people exist.
The big deal for me in this article is guns. I've heard every side of this one. I grew up in family of gun people. My Dad was an expert marksman, gunsmith and the safest person I have EVER seen deal with firearms. He never once tried to force me or my opinions on them one way or another. He enjoyed target shooting and found the whole process to be a relaxing part of his life. His approach to shooting was informed by years of being a Marine marksman. He had also been a trainer for the Orange County Sheriffs Department. He had managed a gun club and his last career was as the range officer and firearms trainer for the Santa Ana Police Department. Despite all of this, a gun is what killed my Dad. He wasn't shot by another person. He was helping in an FBI investigation about how weapons were being modified to become fully automatic when one of the firearms did just that. So when I say guns kill people, I know what I'm talking about. Come on folks! Think this through. Don't believe the hype of the NRA when they tell you that it's not the guns. It is the guns. It's the guns and the people. People so conflicted inside that they don't see any other option than violence. Contact your local politicians and let them hear how you feel about it. While you're at it here's a list of the waste of life caused by guns in our schools over the past several years.
Oct. 2, 2006 : A gunman killed at least four people, including himself, and wounded more at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania 's Lancaster County , state police said.
_Sept. 29, 2006: 15-year-old Eric Hainstock brought two guns to Weston Schools in rural Cazenovia, Wisconsin and fatally shot his principal, 49-year-old John Klang, after Klang had given him a a disciplinary warning for having tobacco on school grounds.
_Sept. 27, 2006: 53-year-old gunman Duane Morrison took six girls hostage at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey , Colorado . Morrison used the girls as human shields for hours before he shot and fatally wounded 16-year-old Emily Keyes and then killed himself.
_Aug. 24, 2006: Christopher Williams, 27, went to Essex Elementary School in Essex , Vermont looking for his ex-girlfriend, Andrea Lambesis. He shot and killed teacher Mary Alicia Shanks, 56, and wounded another teacher at the school. Williams also killed Lambesis' mother.
_ Nov. 8, 2005 : 15-year-old Ken Bartley Jr., a high school freshman, is arrested in the fatal shooting of Assistant Principal Ken Bruce and wounding of two other school administrators at Campbell County High School in eastern Tennessee . Authorities did not immediately disclose a motive.
_ March 21, 2005 : Sixteen-year-old Jeff Weise shot and killed five schoolmates, a teacher and an unarmed guard at Red Lake High School on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota before taking his own life. Weise had earlier killed his grandfather and his grandfather's companion.
_ Nov. 22, 2004 : Sixteen-year-old Jalil Speaks was fatally shot and three other students were wounded outside Strawberry Mansion High in Philadelphia . Sixteen-year-old Desmond Keels is set to stand trial on murder charges later this month. The shooting apparently was over a $50 (€40) debt in a rap contest.
_April 24, 2003: 14-year-old James Sheets shot and killed 51-year-old Eugene Segro, principal of Red Lion Area Junior High School in south-central Pennsylvania , before killing himself. The shooting took place inside the school's crowded cafeteria.
_ Sept. 24, 2003 : Fifteen-year-old John Jason McLaughlin fatally shot two fellow students - Aaron Rollins, 17, and Seth Bartell, 14 - at Rocori High School in Cold Spring , Minnesota . McLaughlin was sentenced in August to life in prison. He will not be eligible for parole for nearly 40 years.
_March 5, 2001: Charles "Andy" Williams, 15, killed two fellow students and wounded 13 others at Santana High School in Santee , California , in San Diego County . Williams was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.
_May 26, 2000: 13-year-old Nathaniel Brazill killed his English teacher, Barry Grunow, on last day of classes in Lake Worth, Florida, after the teacher refused to let him talk with two girls in his classroom. He was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving a 28-year sentence.
_Feb. 29, 2000: Six-year-old boy shot and killed 6-year-old classmate at Buell Elementary School in Mount Morris Township , Michigan . Because of his age, the boy was not charged.
_Nov. 19, 1999: 13-year-old girl shot in the head in school at Deming , New Mexico , and died the next day. A 12-year-old boy later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to at least two years in juvenile prison.
_ Apr. 20, 1999 : Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 23 before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton , Colorado .
_ May 21, 1998 : Two teenagers were killed and more than 20 people hurt when a teenage boy opened fire at a high school in Springfield , Oregon , after killing his parents. Kip Kinkel, 17, was sentenced to nearly 112 years in prison.
_May 19, 1998: Three days before his graduation, Jacob Davis, an 18-year-old honor student, opened fire at a high school in Fayetteville , Tennessee , killing a classmate who was dating his ex-girlfriend. Davis was later sentenced to life in prison.
_April 24, 1998: Andrew Wurst, 15, opened fire at an eighth-grade dance in Edinboro , Pennsylvania , killing a science teacher. The boy pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and other charges and is serving 30 to 60 years in prison.
_ March 24, 1998 : Two boys, 11 and 13, fired on their Jonesboro , Arkansas , middle school from nearby woods, killing four girls and a teacher and wounding 10 others. Both boys were later convicted of murder and can be held until age 21.
_Dec. 1, 1997: Three students were killed and five wounded at Heath High School in West Paducah , Kentucky . Michael Carneal, 14-year-old, later pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder and is serving life in prison.
_Oct. 1, 1997: Sixteen-year-old Luke Woodham of Pearl , Mississippi , fatally shot two students to death and wounded seven others after stabbing his mother to death. He was sentenced the following year to three life sentences plus 140 years.
_Feb. 19, 1997: A 16-year-old boy took a shotgun and a bag of shells to school in Bethel , Alaska , and killed the principal and a student and injured two others. Evan Ramsey is serving a 210-year sentence.