Gun deaths since Sandy Hook

I don’t know how many of you follow the “crime” headlines in your towns, cities, and counties, but it’s something I watch closely. I suppose my obsession with real-life cops and robbers is deep-rooted due to my background and the fact that I, like other unfortunate officers, have been in situations where it was shoot back or be killed. However, the whole gun control/no, or limited gun control issue has greatly enhanced my interest in situations involving death by gunfire, especially here in coastal Georgia.

Slate Magazine, an online publication I’ve contributed to/consulted for in the past, is keeping a running total of gunfire deaths in the United States. As of yesterday, Slate reported 1173 people killed by gunfire since the Sandy Hook school shooting. Unfortunately, this enormous total of senseless killings is not all-inclusive. These are only the deaths they were able to record through various searches and other research methods. And, their graph of stick figures doesn’t include names or faces, such as the pretty young Savannah, Ga. college student, Rebecca Foley, who was gunned down Monday night in the parking lot of her apartment building on White Bluff Road.

Rebecca Foley – Facebook photo

Rebecca Foley was killed when a bullet traveling at a speed of approximately 1,500 feet per second (nearly 700 miles per hour, or so) penetrated the rear window of her car, shattering the glass, and then struck her body, fatally wounding her. And just like that, someone’s precious daughter was dead. Her body was later found lying in a wooded area 100 feet from her beloved red Volkswagen Beetle. Police have no suspects and no motive. This was Monday night in Savannah.

On Tuesday, in the Windsor Forest community, less than a mile from where Rebecca Foley was murdered, 17-year-old Evan Colquitt was shot multiple times, mostly in the chest. He died on a gurney at Memorial Hospital. Another death not included in the Slate tally. Another set of parents who won’t be able to see their child graduate, or grow into an adult.

Last night saw more gunfire. And, again the shots rang out less then a mile from Rebecca Foley’s apartment building—this time in the Turtle Creek apartments just off White Bluff Road. The victim had been arguing with a man and had turned to go inside his home, closing the door behind him. The suspect fired through the door, striking the victim in the upper torso. Police are still searching for the shooter.

Of course, I should mention the fight between two women in Forsythe Park. The altercation started with hair pulling and ended with one of the women pulling a gun and firing. Luckily, she didn’t hit her target.

Oh, and let’s not forget the shooting on 39th Street, or the 8 people shot at the local fair. The latter was a gang-related shooting that occurred in the midst of innocent men, women, and children who were enjoying a fun-filled night of rides and cotton candy. Sadly, some of the innocent were wounded by stray bullets.

Then there was the shooting that happened at the Fred Wessel Housing Complex. Luckily, the victim survived.

Needless to say, city residents are scared. And, normally, they’d merely avoid “trouble spots,” however, the latest shootings occurred in the better, “crime-free” neighborhoods. As a result, a meeting between city officials and the local police has been scheduled for this week to discuss the latest wave of shootings.

The good news to come from all this murder and mayhem is that Savannah police chief Willie Lovett’s latest crime report indicates that violent crime is substantially down from past years.

*By the way, the Savannah Police Department is under currently fire regarding several allegations of “numbers fudging” on their crime reports to make the stats seem better. One of the people to come forward is a former Savannah police officer who says he actually witnessed the cover up on several occasions. Altering police crime reports is a felony. The case may soon be turned over to federal authorities for further investigation.

Anyway, y’all pack a bag and come on down. It’s a great place to visit! (P.S. – you might want to wear body armor under your Hawaiian shirts).

How are things in your neck of the woods?

It’s delightful here…

  1. Laura Manuel
    Laura Manuel says:

    Check it out: gun deaths are higher in the south (where there are more guns) than anywhere else in the U.S. In a typical year for cop deaths there will be as many in the south as in the other 3 quadrants combined. Meanwhile, arming everyone does not help when the assailant shoots first. Check out the Reagan attempted assasination: about 10 highly trained, armed men to protect 1 man and they didn’t exactly do it. Hinckley got off 6 shots in 1.7 seconds and the Secret Service did not return fire for a lot of good reasons. A civilian tacked him. And so it goes…they know who you are, you don’t know who they are, and they get to shoot first. In most situations, you’re kidding yourself about your gun protecting you. (Ex-cop, 21 years).

  2. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Well, I fear that the stats for a homeowner’s gun being used against him/her, was stolen, or he/she was never able to get to the weapon in time to use it, are probably higher than those who were successful in defending themselves with a firearm. Add to that the accidental shootings and suicides, and, well, the numbers grow to an alarming state. Still, a responsible gun owner will do fine…as long as they train to use their weapon in shoot/don’t shoot situations. Shooting paper targets is not the same as sending a bullet toward a human being. And, it’s one thing to have a gun in your home, but to use it against a living, breathing person…well, that’s another thing entirely. I’ve actually been in that situation, where it was either shoot or be killed, and I’ve lived with the dead kid in mind for many years. It’s not a good thing.

    Still, we must defend ourselves when/if the situation arises, and we must do whatever it takes to survive the situation.

  3. Lynn D.
    Lynn D. says:

    Thank you for your response Mr. Lofland. I’ve always said that the true success of responsible gun ownership is never having to use it on another human being. I would like to see some statistics on how many crimes were stopped just by the proposed victim having a gun. Defending yourself with a knife or bat won’t help you. It’s my opinion that a “gun free zone” sign is an invitation to a criminal. A criminal will think twice about robbing a place if he knows that the chances of being shot by a trained citizen is possible. The situation on Monday may not ever be explained, a gang-initiation murder like those by the Jivens Gang in the 80’s-90’s, a car-jacking gone wrong, or any number of things. I pray for her family and friends. I also pray that the Savannah PD solves this soon.

  4. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Thanks for writing, Lynn. I’m sure you’re extremely concerned and frightened for your daughter’s safety, and rightfully so. Please ask her and her friends to all use caution when venturing out. Walk in groups, or pairs. Be aware of her surroundings. Don’t answer the door unless she knows who’s on the other side. And definitely use common sense. If something doesn’t feel or seem right, then it probably isn’t.

    And, I’m sure you’ve already told your daughter, but if not, please tell her to be sure what she’s aiming at if she should ever be placed in the position to discharge the weapon. We certainly wouldn’t want to see any accidents. And, remember, there’s only drywall and other flimsy material separating the apartment walls. Rounds could easily pass through to another residence.

    One last thing to remember, a permit is required to carry a concealed weapon, and that includes inside handbags, backpacks, glove compartments, and beneath the seat of a car.

    Finally, while details are still sketchy about Rebecca’s murder, I have to wonder if she’d had a gun with her at the time she pulled into the parking lot, would it have done her any good? Would she have been able to defend herself?

    Oh, and to answer your question…criminals who use guns to commit crimes will never follow the gun laws.

    *Feel free to contact me if you or your daughter has further questions or concerns.

  5. Lynn D.
    Lynn D. says:

    Mr. Lofland, I am currently sitting in my child’s, a college stundent, apartment which is located less than 10 yards from where Rebecca was murdered. Criminals do not follow the laws, why would they follow gun laws? I brought my child one of my guns that they have been trained to use today. If someone is going to join the statistics for gun deaths it will not be my child. As President Obama said, ““If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

  6. Jason Leisemann
    Jason Leisemann says:

    Good questions, Lee. And, actually, my brother and I both fit the school shooter profile *so* well that we had multiple conversations with the administration on the topic, along with some of our few friends.

    I do see what you mean about those who *do* have more severe psychological issues, especially those who go off their meds. And I *am* of the opinion that some groups out there, like the NRA, carry their drives a smidge too far. But when you start trying to regulate content because of what a very small minority of content consumers might do, you open up a *very* nasty can of worms.

    My position is just that, since we’re not going to be finding a “silver bullet” solution, what we really ought to look for is the real root of the problem. We’ve had terrible atrocities long before such violent media was available, and when guns were even more commonplace.

    Leopold and Loeb are a good example. The two of them were sociopaths with no regard for human life that they considered “beneath” them. They were also homosexuals, which I’ve actually heard modern-day theorists propose as a contributing factor to the murder that they committed. But obviously, the fact that they were homosexuals isn’t what made them murderers, and banning homosexuality wouldn’t have prevented future sociopaths from adopting their Sadeian worldview and becoming more accomplished killers. Addressing the conditions that lead to people who have no regard for human life would, or at least would help to reduce the aberrations.

    Similarly, I was brought up around violent media. I was also brought up with a very strong understanding of the difference between real, and not-real (an amusing story, but not one for here). I’m firmly convinced that’s a big part of why the “desensitizing” that people talk about didn’t really happen with me.

    And I understand that you’re not pointing at one thing and claiming it’s the problem. I hope it didn’t come across like I didn’t understand that. I’ve just got a thoroughly ingrained response to respond when people start talking about the role of X, Y, and Z (which I’ve been intimately involved with for much of my life) in causing violence.

    As for the statistics, I actually would like to explore that a little farther. The stats that I was using were the numbers collated by the FBI, WHO, and other national/international organizations. Do you really think that fraud in the statistics is so widespread that it would have a material impact on national/worldwide figures?

    This is something of particular interest in my line of work. I handle some of the economic reporting for my state, and I actually hear a lot of “that’s BS” when my numbers come out and contradict people’s personal observations and/or political preferences. I’m not sure if I’m actually *allowed* to talk about some of the specific examples, honestly.

  7. Les Edgerton
    Les Edgerton says:

    Lee, great post and for sure even though you didn’t want it, there’s a dialog going on about guns, etc. 🙂

    I believe in a thing called common sense and “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck”… it’s probably a duck. I was talking recently to a mutual acquaintance, Scott Morales, a police officer, and I brought up what I thought was a silly image–those “ghetto” dudes who are shooting automatic weapons but holding them sideways. I told Scott that my experience with handguns that it was hard to hit anything past ten feet and that’s when you used the proper grip, stance, etc., and I didn’t see how they could hit anything the way they were shooting. Scott laughed and said, yeah, that started after the movie Boyz in the Hood came out and suddenly, all these kids in the gangs were imitating them. He said in a way that was good as most couldn’t hit a barn door so while the movie glorified the violence in a way it reduced it because it taught them piss-poor mechanics. But, the overall point is that the movie definitely triggered behavior and almost immediately. I think, like you, that it’s very complex. There are the desensitizing video games and violent movies, there is the drug culture, there are the meds and mental state of most of these mass killers, there is the lack of a family unit (father missing) and a lot of other factors. It seems though that to focus on guns is the wrong focus. At least sans focusing on the other elements as much. And, I see in Britain now they’re talking about outlawing household knives past a certain length… Wonder how that’s going to work out… I just hope there isn’t a rash of killings by fingernail clippers as I’d really miss those! Just sayin’…

    Hey, Maegan and Mary keep raving about your school!

  8. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Thanks for stopping by Dale. Thanks, too, for your comments. I would like to point out that drug crimes do not create more police officer positions. What it does is stretch thin the already short-handed departments whose budgets are already so lean that, well, as an old southern gentleman used to tell me, “they’re so poor they can’t pay attention.”

  9. Dale C.
    Dale C. says:

    I know Lee from a crime writers Yahoo Group and respect him and his abilities very much. I understand that he didn’t setup this Comment section to start a gun control debate. Lee I contend that you didn’t stars the debate, James Madison and others did that back in the late 1700’s. Like Lee I am appalled at the amount of murders here in the good old USA. I see it as a society gone awry. We seem not to care about one another, in the gun debate forums like on CNN where they comment areas I see insult after insult to anyone that offers a different opinion. The only law that I would like to see is a law that a firearm may not be shown on TV, in videos, movies or news stories. You can add cigarettes, cigars, pipes, marijuana being consumed as well as a dead person. It is not going to happen as the media would loose the ability to titillate the viewers. It would most likely either stop or greatly reduce copy cat killings.
    I can not agree with more gun laws as there are already hundreds of gun and criminal laws available to the police without much help. Sure we send drug users to prison without any real win in the war on drugs, although it does employ a lot of police in pursuit of drugs, but it is violence that we are dealing with here. Somehow we need to relearn the respect that we once showed to our fellow Americans. If we cared, I mean really cared about our fellow American we would have no one living under a bridge or some abandoned building. We would have no one hungry or in need of medical care. This list stops at violence, when we decide to injure someone we are performing the ultimate in self destruction as a nation and as a person. But the criminal rarely thinks about how he is injuring the USA as a society.
    I was shot once several years ago. Perhaps it was a road rage incident, I will never know for sure. One thing is for sure the two criminals were trying to kill me for whatever motivation they had. I know I went from an outgoing extrovert to an introvert and a conservative, NRA member, in an instant, in one shot!

  10. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Thanks, Jason, and I certainly understand what you’re saying. I also agree with much of it. However, I’d like to ask you something since you brought it up. You say you, like many others, were brought up playing the violent video games yet have no tendencies or desire to hurt others. But, do you personally suffer from severe psychological issues? Are you on powerful medications that alter your rational thought process? Those are the people, the one’s under psychiatric care, or those who should be, who are the people that seem most likely to commit mass killings and other extremely violent crimes. As for the everyday, run of the mill street-thug killers and shooters, well, I believe that the games, TV, film, and their lifestyle/way of life (as I mentioned above) are major contributors that influence their decisions to use violence to solve issues small and large.

    As to murders committed with weapons other than guns, well, that’s another topic entirely. This piece was strictly about gun deaths. And, I urge you to take notice of my comments in the article regarding police crime reports, which include violent crimes of all types. This is not an issue that’s isolated to any one location. Not by any means.

    Also, please don’t misunderstand my comments. I do not think that any of these things I’ve mentioned are the sole cause that triggers an individual to kill. It’s a complex problem with multiple factors that quite possibly cause a synergistic action ending in violent behavior.

  11. Mary B.
    Mary B. says:

    I live in Australia and we don’t have the level of violence you have in America. We also don’t have the tragedy of children shooting themselves or others with Daddy’s gun. There is crime, of course, but I’m not afraid to go to a shopping centre or McDonalds. Our schools are safer than yours. I’m not being naive. We do have violent video games, TV and movies. But … access to guns is difficult. I do agree that drugs, including prescription drugs, can cause a person to do violent things. I’m just grateful that anyone who has a violent urge is limited in how they express it here. Knives are deadly, but they don’t have the high multiple fatality potential that guns do.

  12. Jason Leisemann
    Jason Leisemann says:

    I’m not a police officer, and I’m not as seasoned as some of the individuals here. I guess that’s my way of saying that I’m a relatively young pup, who grew up with a lot of those violent movies and violent video games. I also grew up around guns.

    Something that I’ve noticed a lot of lately is the focus on *gun* violence, as though dying by gunshot is more horrific than dying by stabbing or other means. It is easier to kill somebody with a gun than a knife, granted, but if you’re swapping deaths with bullets for deaths by other means by reducing gun ownership, I don’t know that it’s too much of an advantage.

    On that subject: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

    Hopefully that link works. It’s certainly a paper worth some food for thought.

    As for the violence in media, again, I’ve grown up with that media. Terminator is only two years younger than I am; I grew up where my own name (Jason) was tainted by association with Friday the 13th. I grew up joking about the “automap” feature in Wolfenstein 3D (the trail of bodies telling you you’d already been in a room before.) So have millions of other kids, supposedly being trained into being murder machines. And yet, nationwide violent crime rates have generally *fallen* in the decades since the Playstation came out, and the ‘hyper realistic murder simulators’ became so popular. As a matter of fact, violent videogames have become so commonplace among the population as a whole that blaming violence on them is like arguing that eating meat drives people to commit murder. And while I’m sure PETA would appreciate the that statement, most other people wouldn’t.

    Meanwhile, in the UK, violent crime rates have skyrocketed since ever-stricter gun bans have been put in place, and British film/game censorship hasn’t helped things either. Neither has Australia’s, which is even more zealous than Britain’s.

    I’ve been saying to people, lately, that the problem is that we’re so focused on the “with a gun” part of “homicidal nut with a gun” that we’re forgetting that “homicidal nut with a knife” or “homicidal nut with a bomb” is just as dangerous. We need to solve the “homicidal nut” part of the equation, and not by looking at other homicidal nuts and asking what they have in common with each other. We need to look at them and ask what they *don’t* have in common with the overwhelming majority of gamers, action movie fans, and gun owners who *don’t* go out and kill somebody.

    Unfortunately, it’s a much harder question to answer, and it takes a long time to solve that problem. And taking time to solve problems doesn’t help when you need ratings, or something to base a re-election campaign on, *now*. So nobody really *wants* to ask it.

  13. Coco
    Coco says:

    Sally,
    If someone has a mindset to kill his parents and siblings
    because of a lack of serotonin in the brain,
    or uncontrollable anger, or lack of respect for
    humanity, it is just as easy to find another way to
    to fulfill his paranoia with other weapons.
    We need much more emphasis on mental health
    which may very well be exacerbated by
    those senseless ruthless video games.
    The word respect should be obliterated from
    the dictionary, as it no longer exists.

  14. Sally Carpenter
    Sally Carpenter says:

    From what I’ve been reading in the newspaper, many gun deaths are not caused by “criminals” but regular citizens with legal guns who are mad at the world or get in a fight with a pal. This week a 14-year-old boy took the legally purchased rifle from the home closet, sat in ambush for his dad, and shot and killed both parents and two siblings. Then he went to his girlfriend’s house where he talked about shooting her parents and then going on a rampage at WalMart to shoot up a bunch of people. Fortunately he was caught before the bloodbath occurred. My guess is that more people are in danger of getting shot by a hothead than a career criminal. Sure, crooks have guns but so do too many idiots who shouldn’t have the temptation of a weapon in easy reach.

  15. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I agree, Les. We come from similar backgrounds, by the way – lots of guns back in the day. Everyone had one for hunting and/or target practice. It was a big thing for the men to attend weekend turkey shoots (actually, they shot at targets, not turkeys) to win a frozen turkey or smoked ham. Lots of the older boys drove pickup trucks with rifles and/or shotguns perched on gun racks in the back window. Very few murders, though. And the ones that did occur were rarely committed by young people.

    Younger kids played outside in my day. Sure, they played pretend army or cops and robbers, using sticks and other makeshift implements as guns. But there was no actual bloodshed to see. No gory visuals. And there were no screams of pain. No realistic audio.

    Then along comes Mortal Kombat with over the top gore and death. Medal of Honor is a game where kids venture into the war zones of Afghanistan. There they shoot and kill enemy soldiers with extremely realistic and graphic results. Let’s not forget Call of Duty: Black Ops, the game where wounded enemies gush blood, soaking their uniforms and surrounding earth as they die. And the list goes on and on and on. Death and killing is a game to our youngsters. They see nothing wrong with it. In fact, they see it as a viable means to settle differences and problems.

    Young people, children, are indeed learning that it’s okay to kill. Actually, they’re learning that it’s FUN to kill someone. I’ve seen the games my grandson and other kids play, and in my day they would’ve been banned, especially from such adolescent, impressionable minds.

    The senseless murders that occur as part of some people’s lifestyle (and that’s what it is these days, a lifestyle) has got to stop. We are on a fast track for a futuristic wild west with everyone carrying 60 shooters instead of 6 shooters, killing any and everyone who says a cross word, or in the event something doesn’t go their way. Add to that a cocktail of antidepressants and/or anti-anxiety medications, along with the other drugs du jour and a couple of guns, and you’ve got one heck of a ticking time bomb on your hands.

    You know, I’ve stood toe-to-toe with the nastiest of the nastiest and the meanest of the meanest, and I’ve never backed down from anyone or anything. Never. Nowadays, though, I don’t even want to venture out to the mall. Sure, if need be, I’d defend myself and my family, if possible. But killing someone in self-defense is certainly no joy. For some, the after-effects can mean dying a slow mental death.

    I hear so many people say, “I’d have no problem shooting a bad guy if they broke into my house.” Well, my friends, chances are you wouldn’t have the gun near you at the time, and if you did manage to shoot, and if you managed to hit the guy, believe me, there’s no joy in sending another human being to the grave. Take that from someone who knows.

  16. Les Edgerton
    Les Edgerton says:

    Interesting post. I’ll be 70 in a few weeks and when I grew up everybody I knew owned several guns. Most of us boys had guns in our cars when we went to high school. I grew up in the “bad part of town” in Freeport, Texas and ate all my meals in the honkey tonk tavern my grandmother owned.

    In all that time, I saw one person killed by a gun. Heard of one other.

    There are far fewer guns today. So I wondered what we have today that we didn’t have then.

    Two things. Violent video games and violent Hollywood movies. The worst movies we had when I was a kid was Lash LaRue whipping the bad guy’s gun out of his hand with a whip. Most westerns (the most violent movies then) had the hero shooting the guns out of the bad guy’s hands.

    In WWII, the military found that something like 15% of all combatants could shoot an enemy. In the Civil War it was like close to 10%. They found many instances of soldiers firing guns into the air but not at someone. The ones killed were by a relative few.

    When they found out the numbers who could actually fire on another human, the military began training soldiers with video games. Just in time for Viet Nam, when the percentage who could aim and fire at another (trained by videos) rose to over 80%. They found that video games desensitized the soldiers so they could do their jobs.

    Every single mass murderer at the schools, malls, etc., was found to be players of violent video games. Why isn’t this ever mentioned? Also, all were on medication or had shortly before the attrocity they committed, had just stopped taking their meds.

    Again, don’t see much about this in the media…

    Just sayin’…

    We had plenty of guns. Very few shootings, even accidental. We were taught how to use and respect firearms. Only things we didn’t have were video games and Terminator movies. I’m probably imagining a correlation…

  17. Jodie
    Jodie says:

    Great photo, Lee. Makes me want to visit even though I don’t own body armor. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll even end gun violence. Like drugs issues/problems, I’m afraid it’ll never go away.

  18. SZ
    SZ says:

    San Francisco in 2012 is 68 up 18 from 2011. Cant find 2013 numbers yet.

    What is really alarming is 1173 gun deaths in a bit over a month ? This does not include knives, strangled . . . Remember, guns were not used in 911, or even bombs. They used planes.

    I disagree that an armed society is a polite one. Clearly, we are not being polite ! The amount of homicides Lee is reporting in his home town alone most lately is alarming. (is it homicides or murders ? need to reread that one !)

  19. M W King
    M W King says:

    I meet Lee at Midwest Writer’s Conference a few years back. He spoke of how a shooting affected his life. Keep in mind that Lee Lofland was a trained police officer. Some suggest that all citizens be armed, and yet I wonder when an untrained citizen fires his/her weapon how their lives will be affected.

    We are protected by the Constitution to carry have guns, and yet the Founding Fathers could never have imagined how gun would evolve from muskets to assault rifles.

  20. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Bob, I haven’t yet heard of anyone trying to force citizens to give up the right to defend themselves by taking away their guns. That’ll be the day when lots of shots will be heard around the world… 🙂

    I didn’t post this article to start a debate on gun control. That wasn’t the intention at all. In fact, I really prefer to stay away from gun control arguments on this site because they never end pleasantly. Instead, the message is that lots and lots of people have died, and are still dying, senselessly, at the hand of bad guys with guns. And that the shooters are far too quick to turn to gun violence when attempting to settle disputes.

  21. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    I don’t know, Pat. If I’m remembering correctly, when the 1994 law went into effect (magazine capacity restriction and assault rifle ban) it did not apply to law enforcement officers. All we had to do was present our badge, department ID, and I believe an authorization letter from the department, to purchase the expanded capacity magazines. Anyone else out there remember this, or is my memory clouded (that’s a nice way of saying I’m getting old and forgetful).

  22. Bob
    Bob says:

    Lee, you have a lot better chance of being on the wrong end of that gun if you give up your right to defend yourself.

    The criminals will always have guns no matter what the law says. That is why they are “Criminals”.

    That said, the 2Nd Amendment is not about criminals. It is about defending ourselves from our own Government.

    History shows that before any totalatarian govenment evolved, the first step was registration of all guns and then confiscation.

    The best example I can think of would be Nazi Germany.

    The country with probably the strictest National gun control is Mexico. It is also the country with the highest gun murder rate in the world. Last year alone more people were shot to death in Juarez than in the entire United States. Mean while accross the border in El Paso Texas, where virtually everyone carries a gun legally, they have one of the lowest violent crime rates in the country.

  23. Pat
    Pat says:

    I’ve read various groups claiming to speak for LEO’s support private ownership of guns but haven’t read anything about multiple round clips and assault weapons.

    What does the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) have to say on this matter.

  24. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Nike – the Slate stats have nothing to do with gun control or politics. Nor do they separate legal or illegal gun ownership of the shooters. Instead, the total is simply an overall picture of how many people died by gunfire. Dead is dead, no matter which side of the aisle the victims fall on.

    Personally, it makes no difference to me who’s firing the guns, republicans or democrats, legal gun owners or illegal gun owners. I just don’t want to be on the receiving end of the gunfire. As they say, been there, done that, and it’s not fun. The way I see it, I’d be just as dead if the bullets and guns were purchased legally as I would by rounds fired by a gang-banger who stole his gun and bullets.

  25. Bob Mueller
    Bob Mueller says:

    By contrast, using the lowest estimation of defensive gun uses (160,000 per year), there have been almost 18,000 defensive uses of a gun since Sandy Hook. That doesn’t count the numerous times law enforcement officers have drawn their weapons in the course of duty.

    Guns are not the problem. It’s a lack of respect for life. It’s feeling that because you’re rude to me, I have the right to kill you.

    Nike, the problem with current law is that there’s no way to lift the prohibition WRT mental health care. Currently, if you’ve EVER been ADJUDICATED (sent in by a court) mentally incompetent, you’re forever banned from owning a gun. And some people want to expand that to anyone who’s ever seen a shrink. Minor depression? No more guns for you. Mandated counseling after a clean police shoot. No more guns for you.

    My concern right now is the seeming rush to DO SOMETHING NOW without carefully considering the consequences of our actions first.

  26. Nike Chillemi
    Nike Chillemi says:

    Who are responsible for these deaths? Are they legally licensed gun owners or are the weapons illegal?

    What states have the highest death by gun fire? States w/strict gun bans or states w/no gun bans.

    This is not clear. One side shouts out stats and then the other side shouts out opposite stats.

    This is a political issue and when it’s political both sides will do whatever it takes to win…muddy the water, whatever.

    I support the 2nd Amendment…but with reason. I want effective background checks. I’d like to see more doctors, school officials, etc. report when they have solid criteria indicating an individual may be dangerous. I’d like to see our laws changed on mental illness so medical professionals can evaluate those individuals. Perhaps if they could be hospitalized for even 48 hours for an eval, they might calm down and it would pass.

  27. Coco
    Coco says:

    Is it guns? Or is it people? Criminals can find guns anywhere, but what happens to the well meaning innocents? Gun control?
    At the age of 35, I drove into a Pharmacy parking lot,when suddenly, out of nowhere, a young man appears at my partly opened window,his hand touching my head, and demanded that I hand over my purse.I said fine, opened my concealed compartment, and pulled out my Ruger.I never saw anyone take off so quickly. Unfortunately this happens far too often. I suggest responsible citizens take courses to protect themselves and their families, like the Police Academy Course.Educate yourself not to be afraid.
    “An armed society is a polite society.”

  28. Melanie Atkins
    Melanie Atkins says:

    I live in central Mississippi in a Jackson suburb, and almost every news report contains stories about new shootings, carjackings, and murders… mainly in Jackson, but not confined there. It’s getting ridiculous.

  29. Larry Marshall
    Larry Marshall says:

    Thanks for speaking up on this, Lee. What baffles me is how silent the police community has been on this issue. Why aren’t they involved in the debate? If more guns make people safer, why isn’t the US the safest country on the planet? It’s not, by a long shot (pun intended).