Thursday, December 20, 2012

Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People

With the recent tragedy of the Newton 26, the ever present debate of gun control comes up. And as an American I believe in our second amendment rights, to bear arms.

Everyone has their own views on it...but I am going to state my case, by bringing up some of the nation's recent mass shootings, and the people who caused them...

Guns don't kill people.

People kill people.

And in all cases I mention what was "wrong" with the killers, leading them to these acts. None of them were sane people, that snapped. They all had issues, and guns or no guns, would've caused damage.

(In date order, from most recent)

---December 14, 2012 – Newtown, Connecticut – Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting – Twenty children and seven adults, including the gunman, are dead after a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
SHOOTER – Adam Lanza – Shooter had a personality disorder, and had been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.

---December 11, 2012 – Portland, Oregon – Clackamas Mall Shooting – A masked gunman opens fire in a crowded mall, killing two and seriously injuring a third person before turning the gun on himself.
SHOOTER – Jacob Tyler Roberts – Wanted to be a Marine, but a foot injury stopped that dream. Mother died of cancer when he was a child, no father around.

---August 5, 2012 – Oak Creek, Wisconsin – Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting – A white supremacist shoots six people and a responding policeman at a Sikh temple before shooting himself in the head.
SHOOTER – Wade Michael Page – White supremacist.

---July 20, 2012 – Aurora, Colorado – Gunman kills 12 and injures 58 at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises”.
SHOOTER – James Eagan Holmes – He had met with three mental health professionals prior to the attack. Self-claimed to have “dysphoric mania”, and in his words was “stay away, because I am bad news”.

---April 2, 2012 – Oakland, California – Oikos University Shooting – A former student at a Christian college fatally shoots seven people and injures three.
SHOOTER – One L. Goh – Being tracked by creditors (owed tens of thousands of dollars). His brother had died in a car crash a year earlier, and later in 2011 his mother died. He was upset at the school, which has expelled him, for behavioral problems.
---August 7, 2011 – Copley Township, Ohio – A man in a family dispute uses his handgun to shoot and kill his girlfriend and six others.
SHOOTER – Michael Hance – First killed his girlfriend, and then killed her brother, and the witnesses who saw him commit these actions. The fight with the girlfriend started over a home improvement project.

---March 10, 2009 – Geneva, Alabama – Geneva County Massacre – Eleven victims, ages 18 months to 74 years old, are killed by a lone gunman in a violent family feud.
SHOOTER – Michael Kenneth McLendon – Shooter killed his mother, uncle, cousins, grandmother, and others, including relatives of the county deputy sheriff. He also burned down the family home, and had a hit list of others he was going to kill, all due to a legal issue with his family.

---December 5, 2007 – Omaha, Nebraska – Westroads Mall Shooting – A 19 year old man shoots nine people at a department store before cops kill him.
SHOOTER – Robert A. Hawkins – Family history of psychiatric problems, and he had previously threatened to kill his stepmother with an axe (leading to him being hospitalized). He had ADD, mood disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, among others. He left a suicide note, reportedly saying “I’m going out in style”.

---April 16, 2007 – Blacksburg, Virginia – Virginia Tech Massacre – A student at Virginia Tech kills 32 classmates and wounds 25 before committing suicide.
SHOOTER – Seung-Hui Cho – The shooter has selective mutism (a severe anxiety disorder), as well as a major depressive disorder.

---March 21, 2005 – Red Lake, Minnesota – Red Lake Massacre – A 16 year old boy kills 11 people, including his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend, on their Indian reservation.
SHOOTER – Jeffrey Weise – Personal stress and depression led to the shooting. He had twice tried to commit suicide. His father also committed suicide, and lost his mother at a young age, following a car accident.

---December 8, 2004 – Columbus, Ohio – A deranged fan shoots a Pantera guitarist at a concert as he performs onstage, then fires at fans, killing four people.
SHOOTER – Nathan Gale – Shooter was upset over the breakup of the band, and also believed that the guitarist he shot had stolen a song he had written. He also had paranoid schizophrenia, causing delusions that the band was reading his mind, and stealing his thoughts.

---October 2002 – Washington D.C. area – Beltway Sniper Attacks – Two snipers go on a three-week spree, killing 10 people around D.C. and Virginia.
SHOOTERS – John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo – Muhammad had been twice divorced, and had a restraining order from his second wife, after threats to kill her, and reclaim the children. Malvo, who was a minor at the time of the crimes, claims to have been sexually abused by Muhammad.

---April 20, 1999 – Littleton, Colorado – Columbine High School – Two senior students invade Columbine High School, killing 12 students and one teacher and injuring 21, before committing suicide.
SHOOTERS – Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold – The shooters planned this for a year, with the intent of a “Grander end” and to “Terrorize the entire nation by attacking American life”. Those they killed were referred to as “Collateral Damage”.
They also planned a bombing, that would’ve killed 600+ people, had their timers not failed.
Klebold was depressive and suicidal.
Harris was cold, calculating and homicidal.

---October 16, 1991 – Killeen, Texas – Luby’s Massacre – An unemployed man drives a truck through a packed cafeteria and fatally shoots 23 people and injures 20 before killing himself.
SHOOTER – George Hennard – Described as unemployed, angry, withdrawn, and a dislike of woman.

---June 18, 1990 – Jacksonville, Florida – GMAC Massacre – A man angry over a reposed car storms into the agency and over two days shoots 11 of its 86 employees before killing himself.
SHOOTER – James Edward Pough – The shooter was upset after his car was repossessed, and killed nine people at the dealership. The day before he committed a robbery of a convenience store, a hit-and-run and murdered two others.

(credit to the New York Daily News for the list of shootings, and parts of the descriptions of the shootings.)


  1. Psychology speaks of an ego defense mechanism called "introjection," in which the victim does to himself what he wishes he can do to others. Thus, 68% of homicides are followed by suicide.

    Of course it's the person holding the gun who actually pulls the trigger, but if the mentally unstable (or the like) individual didn't have a gun, he would not be able to kill.

    Of course, even with stricter gun control people can get their hands on a weapon and it is simply punishing the law-abiding citizens who will not resort to illegal means to obtain and carry firearms. If we had more lenient gun laws then the victims or bystanders would have been carrying and been able to minimize the amount of casualties by returning fire.

    Seems like a catch-22 to me.

  2. You forgot the killings of 6 and injuring Congresswoman Gabriella Giffords and 12 others by Jared Loughner in Tuscon, Arizona.

    I happen to believe that there is no reason that someone needs an assault rifle to protect themselves or to hunt. An assault rifle should not be permitted without a special license or a psychological background check.

    I think that a way to allow for the freedom to bear arms while allowing for the tracking down of criminals is to have a national registry of ammo, not guns. this way police will be more effective of tracking down criminals when gun-crimes do occur while still allowing the populace the ability to protect themselves from criminals.

    1. You are right, I did forget him, and he too has mental issues.

  3. While I certainly agree that the Constitution should be upheld in some sense, I concur with harry-er than them all- who definitely needs an acronym for his name- that coming up with valid reasons for an assault rifle are hard to come by.

    I think it's hard to argue that the amount of damage that can be done with any weapon aside from a gun is extremely limited. There are some cases where multiple people were hurt by knives, but those are few and far between.

    The range of guns and the level of terror they inspire severely hampers effective reactions versus other weapons. How is that not reason enough to limit their use? Crazy people with guns are extremely dangerous whereas crazy people without guns are significantly less so.

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