Tag Archives: school shootings

Another day, another horrific tragedy

Oh, my! It has happened. Again!

What does one say about this latest spasm of senseless gun violence.

A 19-year-old man opened fire in Parkland, Fla., and killed 19 people in a local high school. Our hearts are broken. Once again!

The man was a former student at the high school. He was expelled for disciplinary cause.

As has been the practice of this blog, I won’t mention the shooter’s name. I don’t intend to give this maniac any more exposure other than to chronicle the incident for which he has been charged by Broward County officials.

I cannot yet fathom how this kind of violent explosion is allowed to continue in this country. The debate over gun control is going to commence in due course, if it hasn’t already.

Fox News’s Shepard Smith today read the list of the shootings since the tragedy that erupted at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. “Since Columbine in 1999, there have been 25 fatal, active school shooting incidents at elementary and high schools in America,” Smith said.

Twenty-five! Since 1999!

For the time being — and as the country continues to digest and process this tale of horror — I am left only to mourn and to pray for the souls of the victims.

Sickening.

Shooting shatters 'profile'

When news broke of the shooting at the Marysville, Wash., high school, and it was known that the shooter was a student, one of my first thoughts became: What kind of loner/outcast would do such a horrible thing?

Then the second shock arrived. The shooter was a freshman at Pilchuck High School who was popular with his peers, an athlete and a young man who’d just been named homecoming prince.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/washington-school-gunman-was-homecoming-prince/ar-BBaYo33

Then I watched a former FBI profiler, Clint Van Zandt, tell MSNBC that this case arguably is the most “baffling” he had seen, given that Jaylen Fryberg was the quintessential non-stereotype we’ve attached to individuals who do these kinds of horrifying deeds. Van Zandt essentially said you could throw the profile book out the window.

Fryberg killed himself after shooting another student to death and injuring four others, three of them critically.

The argument will rage once again over how this young man obtain possession of the weapon he used to bring such destruction to the school just north of Seattle.

***

We’re going to hear from gun-owner advocates that no laws could have prevented this from happening. Gun-safety advocates will argue the opposite.

And look and listen for the National Rifle Association — among others — to proclaim that the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment is so sacrosanct that to touch any part of it would render it utterly meaningless.

Interestingly, Washington state voters are going to decide a referendum on the state’s ballot that expands background checks to include all gun purchases.

It’s fair to ask: Would such a provision have kept the weapon out of Jaylen Fryberg’s hands? Probably not.

It also is fair to ask: Do such laws make it just a little harder for nuts to obtain guns … and do they infringe on legitimate gun ownership?

“Yes” to the first part. Absolutely “no!” to the second.

Antoinette Tuff: America’s newest hero

Do you want to know what a hero looks like?

She looks like Antoinette Tuff, a Decatur, Ga., elementary school bookkeeper who talked a gunman out of doing tragic damage in the school where she works.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/21/us/georgia-school-gunshots/?hpt=hp_bn1

The stunning 9-1-1 call contains a riveting conversation between Tuff and the gunman who eventually surrendered to police. He did fire a shot, but no one was injured.

Pardon my repeating myself, but we use the word “hero” a bit too loosely these days. The term doesn’t belong to athletes or politicians. It belongs to those who put themselves into harm’s way to prevent injury — or worse — from happening to others.

They are police officers, firefighters, military personnel and now, a remarkably brave and calm school bookkeeper.

“Let me tell you something, babe,” Tuff said to the police dispatcher after the crisis had passed. “I’ve never been so scared in all the days of my life. Oh, Jesus.”

That’s quite all right, Ms. Tuff. Heroes are allowed to afraid.