Details have started to emerge from the smoke and chaos in Sparks, Nevada. Yes, yesterday was just another lovely autumn morning during which someone tried to kill a bunch of people because--well, we don't know exactly why yet--although the obvious reasons were he was pissed off, crazy, and had access to a loaded semi automatic pistol.
For those of you unfamiliar with them, semi automatic pistols are designed to do one thing and one thing only. That is kill human beings as quickly and efficiently as possible. They serve absolutely no other purpose. Americans buy them at what we call, sporting goods stores.
Math teacher, Michael Landsberry, a former marine and a member of the Nevada National Guard was shot and killed when he tried to stop a student at Sparks Middle School from firing at classmates outside the school building before the morning bell rang. He was married and a step father of two girls. He had survived two tours of duty in Afghanistan, which is a war zone.
The shooter, who has yet to be identified, reportedly killed himself before police arrived. He was 12 years old. He wounded two fellow students who are in stable condition and expected to survive. Physically that is, there is no telling how many psychiatrists will be deeply involved in their lives for quite some time. That is what happens when you have to recover from gun shot wounds received while waiting on home room to begin and you're not located anywhere near a war zone.
One witness interviewed by NBC News said, Landsberry intervened after the shooting began, told the kid to stop, and held out his hand for the pistol. The shooter yelled, "No," then gunned him down. Other witnesses say that during the deadly spree the shooter yelled, "Why you people making fun of me? Why you laughing at me?"
There is no word regarding where the shooter got the weapon. Presumably Nevada state law doesn't allow a 12 year old to walk into a gun shop and buy one, but given the current power of the NRA, that fact will have to remain unconfirmed at this moment. In all probability he snatched the weapon from a parent, relative, or neighbor who had bought it for self defense. At least that is the usual excuse following acts of madness like this. When Adam Lanza ran amok barely 10 months ago in Connecticut every weapon he used at Sandy Hook Elementary was legally bought and paid for by his mother.
Not long after the gun fire began in Sparks, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the International Association of Police Chiefs in Philadelphia. He told the gathering the number of active shooter incidents in this country has tripled since 2009. He defined an active shooter as an individual who engages in killing people in a confined and or populated area. You know, like a school yard, or a movie theater, or a naval headquarters. In his speech he said so far in 2013 there have been 12 active shooter episodes in the United States, although it was unclear if that total included Sparks, or not. In any event, the number of people shot and killed during this sort of craziness has risen 150%.
In the next couple of days look for some dreadful NRA wanker to make a statement along the lines of, if we would just allow more people to carry guns, acts like these would cease. It is bull shit so far fetched it makes the Obama was born in Kenya theory look utterly plausible.
Everyone already has a gun for God's sake and the bodies are piling up faster than ever. Why don't we just tell all the drunks who are driving themselves home tonight to have another shot of tequila before hitting the road? Indeed, "Go ahead pal, knock one back--it will steady the nerves and clear the ol' noggin' right up."
For those of you keeping count, Slate and @GunDeaths now say there have been 9,693 media reported gun deaths since December 14th of last year. The last time I checked the statistic the number was 9,199. So in 11 days an additional 494 people have been killed by guns in the United States. The study claims if you throw in unreported gun deaths, things like accidents and suicides among others, CDC statistics indicate the actual number of gun related deaths in the nation is a little over 28,000.
You can say many things about Americans, but you'll never be able to accuse us of being bad shots.
How long, oh Lord? How long? This insanity has to stop.
sic vita est