A friend just posted this on Facebook:
“This week (since Monday):
-A 1 year old accidentally shot and killed himself
-A 14 year old held his entire class hostage at gun-point
-An armed man was shot down in a Philadelphia courthouse
-A Kentucky man was shot while selling a firearm
-An 8-year-old accidentally shot another 8-year-old in school
-A toddler and his father were both shot outside their home in Louisiana
-A reporter and her camera-man were both fatally shot while giving a live news report
And besides those wonderful highlights in the last 48-hours in America, there have been 166 separate shootings. Still think the problem is we don’t have enough guns?”
I wrote yesterday about several shootings in my state of Minnesota but today I add one more. 4 people were shot and injured in what appears to be a home invasion in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. That is very scary at the least. More information will likely be coming out about this one.
But what I want to talk about is what happened today. An angry man just gunned down 2 journalists on live TV as they were interviewing/filming someone. Today was a first for the most part. A shooting happened right before the eyes of TV viewers in a town near Roanoke, Virginia. This is the real life horrific effect of our American gun culture where just about anyone can buy a gun and take it anywhere they want. And when someone is angry over a lost job or has a beef against a former or current employee, just bring a gun because we all know that guns will do just what they were designed to do- kill people.
This is disgusting and disturbing. More is coming out about the shooter as the day wears on. We are hearing that he claimed that Charleston shooting did him in so he bought a gun 2 days later. He was inspired by the Virginia Tech shooting, bringing back memories of that horrific day to the victims and survivors. He made some claims about racism against the young reporter Allison Parker. From this article:
ABC News reported that it received a fax containing a 23-page manifesto from someone named Bryce Williams, according to a tweet. The document was handed over to investigators, ABC said.
The network posted a short story reporting some of the manifesto’s contents. They show
Flanaganalleging that he had been the victim of bullying and discrimination because he is gay and black.
He also said that he was compelled to respond to
Dylann Roof’s massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in June and he was inspired by Seung Hui Cho, who orchestrated the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.
“You (deleted)! You want a race war (deleted)? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE …(deleted)!!!” ABC quoted from the manifesto.
Two videos posted on a Twitter account under the name, Bryce Williams, show someone walking up to the WDBJ news crew and pointing a gun at them.
*(names crossed out by me) #nonotoriety
Alison Parker– a 24 year old young aspiring and vibrant reporter- just beginning her professional life and in a new relationship. Now she won’t get married. She won’t get that new job. She won’t have children. Her parents won’t get to know grandchildren who won’t be born. Her siblings will never be able to call her again and hear her voice.
Adam Ward– 27 years old. Graduate of Virginia Tech (coincidence?) Engaged to be married. He won’t get married now. He won’t have children. His family will be burying him soon and never hear his voice or see his face again.
Vicki Gardner, being interviewed by Allison Hunter, was shot in the back and is recovering. She will never forget this day. Her life will never be the same.
The staff at WDBJ who are mourning the loss of their colleagues will never be the same either.
The shooter was allegedly “off kilter”. Why did he have a gun? In America, we would say “why not?” He has rights to own a gun. That’s more important than anything else to the corporate gun lobby and those who use the rights thing as their excuse to stop all reasonable measures to change our gun laws and our gun culture.
He shot himself. Now he, too, is dead.
So much violence. Such a ripple effect. So many people missed. Memories of past shootings called up by survivors every time another one happens. I feel sick today because I remember the day I got the phone call about my own sister’s shooting. I talked to a friend who felt the same way when she heard about her sister’s shooting death- she feels sick. On social media, survivors like myself are sharing the same feelings. Anger. Grief. Sadness. Helplessness. Sympathy. Empathy. When will it end?
Have we had enough yet? What’s enough for the elected leaders who are shirking their duty to at least try to protect us from this daily horror? What’s enough for the gun rights extremists? Is this the one? Or will we wait for another 10,000 victims which will happen before the end of 2015 by the way.
And the politicians? Shocked? Why be shocked? Thoughts and prayers? We’ve had enough of those. We need action. Hillary Clinton is at least saying that she will “take it on” and act. She’s heartbroken. We are all heart broken. Thank you Hillary Clinton. At least one politician has some courage.
Where is common sense?
In memory of 2 young journalists just out doing their jobs this morning. Rest in peace.