The Gun Violence Holocaust: The First 60 days of Gun Violence 2014. Two Part Series (January 2014)

Ok! At first I was going to call this post: American Gun Violence-The First 60 days of 2014. But after looking over the victims and suspects of the Gun Violence that I have listed? There’s only one word that keeps coming to my mind: Holocaust. Among the victims of Gun Violence in the First 60 days of 2014 are a 17-year-old Providence, R.I. High School Football player, a 5-year-old Omaha, Nebraska little girl eating a bowl of cereal. Both hit by stray bullets. There’s 4 college students on the list.The students were all in their early, early twenties. They are students from Michigan State, Purdue, South Carolina State, and Virginia Union. Two from the Big 10 and two Historic Black College Universities. There’s 5 twenty year old victims in all. The 5th was an innocent girl stocking shelves at a Grocery Store in Elkhart, Indiana for a company called Martins by a 23-year-old. Who also shot an innocent 44-year-old Grocery store shopper at the wrong place wrong time. Two teenagers were killed coming from a Boys and Girls Club in Oakland. One victim was 13 years old and the other was 15 years of age. There’s are 6 teenagers on the list. A surprising number of the suspects are young black teenagers. Two of the victims had not reached the first decade in their lives. One was the little girl from Omaha and the second was a 9 year-old from the Mattapan section of Boston, Mass. The 9 year-old was shot by his 14 year-old brother on a Friday afternoon at around 11:30. And no it wasn’t Good Friday. All the victims in this post were killed by Gun Violence. Where does a teenager get a GUN? Can someone explain that to me? And why in the greatest country in the world? Are so many young people so willing to throw their lives and their peers lives away over a Gun and Senseless Gun Violence?

Lee Weathersby, 13. Lamar Broussard, 19

Lee Weathersby, 13. Lamar Broussard, 19

Lee Weathersby 13 and Lamar Broussard on New Years Day and January 19th:

Channel 2 WTVU on Lee Weathersby 13 shot on New Years Eve.
:

“The last phone call I got from him was 5:47 p.m. He said ‘Mom, I’m on my way home. I’m going to stop at the taco truck and get me a burrito’,” New said.

Police found Lee less than a mile from his home about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. He was at the corner of 104th Avenue and Walnut Street. The boy was bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds.

The family said witnesses told them Lee was with two other boys, when a dark four door car pulled up and two young men jumped out and fired shots. The family says witnesses saw Lee’s two friends ran away and the car left the scene.

Lee died at the hospital at 4:42 Wednesday morning.

Dinyal-New--Lamar--Lee--jpg

Three Weeks later Lee Weathersby’s 19 year-old brother Lamar Broussard was shot and killed.

Then, three days after Lee’s funeral, on January 19, she asked Lamar to run an errand for her, to pay her cell phone bill. He was two blocks from home when friends started calling her phone.

There had been gunfire in the neighborhood, they told her.

New ran towards the corner, and spotted the yellow police tape.

“I see my son’s car shot up. And I just broke down crying.” She couldn’t approach the car. She could see from 20 yards away what had happened.

“The suspect stood on top of the car and just shot into the car. Just shot into the car.”

She called Lamar repeatedly from her cell phone. “He never answered. He never answered.” There was no logic in it, she says, because she already knew in her heart that Lamar was gone.

On January 8th, Atlantic City 13 year-old Angel Mercado-Santiago and a 15 year-old friend were shot after school.

Atlantic City 13 year-old Angel Mercado-Santiago

Atlantic City 13 year-old Angel Mercado-Santiago

Thomas Benjamin, an Atlantic City resident who knew Mercado-Santiago, said, “Only 13…like when does stuff like that happen?” “You know, a 13-year-old kid who didn’t even make it to high school – it’s not a good thing when children can’t feel safe just walking home from school,” said Councilman Marty Small.

Residents who live in the area say an argument amongst the teens started in the Cedar Food Market VIII and then spread into the street outside. Johnson explained, “We were on the 2nd story, so the windows were open, and we heard arguing going on over there at the store on the other side of this building. We heard arguing and screaming and then we heard five to six successive gunshots and then we looked out to see if we could see what that was going on and we just see 20 to 30 kids running down Pennsylvania Avenue and back there behind the church.”

Atlantic City police say that another student was shot in the leg during the incident. Benjamin told NBC40, “To hear it was Angel and a couple of other kids, somebody got shot in the leg, and whoever did the shooting – I don’t know what happened to him. It’s nerve-racking….especially when you know him, it kind of racks your nerves.”

Atlantic City 14 year-old Jerome Ford is accused in the shooting death of Angel Mercado-Santiago.

Atlantic City 14 year-old Jerome Ford

Atlantic City 14 year-old Jerome Ford

Omaha, Nebraska 5 year-old Payton Benson hit by a stray bullet while eating a bowl of cereal.

Omaha, Nebraska 5 year-old Payton Benson hit by a stray bullet while eating a bowl of cereal.

On the morning of January 15th, Omaha 5 year-old Payton Benson was hit by a stray bullet while eating her morning bowl of cereal. Payton’s 4 year-old brother watched as Payton was hit while eating cereal.


20 year-old Vincent Hicks is accused of shooting Payton Benson.

Payton Benson

Payton Benson

On Wednesday morning January 15, Omaha 5 year old Payton Benson was shot. But Wednesday night in a small town in Indiana called Elkhart. 22 year old Shawn Bair was about to go on a shooting spree in a Martin’s Grocery Store. There 20 year-old Krystle Dike was stocking shelves. 44 year-old Rachelle Godfread was shopping. Neither ladies knew the shooter.

krystle_dikes_rachelle_godfread

krystle_dikes_rachelle_godfread



WGNChicago on the Elkhart, Indiana Martins Grocery Store Shooting:

Police say Bair pulled out a .44 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and shot and killed 20-year-old Krystal Dikes. Police say she had just started working at the store stocking the shelves. Friends say she was a caring, compassionate person.

“I don’t know what his goal was, I don’t know what his aim was, mad at the world. There’s definitely a family grieving for her. Definitely. And lots of friends,” said Dikes’ boyfriend Kyle Barnett.

After firing at another employee and missing, police say Bair shot and killed his second victim, 44-year-old Rachelle Godfread, who was there along with about 15 others shopping.

The Elkhart, Indiana community have created a Facebook page in honor of the Krystle Dike, Rachelle Godfread, and the community. The page is called Elkhart Strong.

On January 18, a little after midnight Rocky Mount, N.C. 15 year old Brian Tyrik Freeman was shot in a drive-by.

15 year old Brian Tyrik Freeman

15 year old Brian Tyrik Freeman



WTVD Raliegh ABC 11 on Brian Tyrik Freeman:

Although Freeman was hit, his friend was able to run for cover. Freeman’s aunt says the teen was too upset to march with the family.

“He’s not doing well at all, he feels like he let Brian down because Brian got hit, and to avoid the bullets he had to keep going. He’s having a really hard time,” said Gloria Deans.

Family members say the violence is nothing new in Rocky Mount and that random gunshots rang out in the same neighborhood just a month ago. The victim’s older cousins hope the community learns from their pain.

“Kids, young, shouldn’t have to worry about those type of things when they’re walking home,” said Robert Freeman.

“You just never imagine them going before you,” added Brandis Freeman.

On January 21st, Purdue Engineering Student Andrew Boldt 21 was shot at Purdue’s electrical engineering building.

Purdue University's Andrew Boldt 21

Purdue University’s Andrew Boldt 21

Heavy.com on Purdue University’s Andrew Boldt:

Boldt was a TA for the ECE 362 Lab — a microprocessor system design and interfacing class — and was scheduled, along with his partner, to work from 11:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. The shooting occurred during that class, just before noon in Purdue’s electrical engineering building. Police believe he was individually targeted and that the shooter, whose identity was also initially withheld, was a student. It is now being reported that the shooter is engineering student Cody Cousins.

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9 comments

  1. How about some facts? Crime and homicide have been on a steady decline since the 1990s. The FBI just issued a report that the trend is continuing. We are approaching levels of crime and homicide not seen since the 1960s when I was a kid.

    lwk

    1. Which is why we need to put guns in the hands of good people in our schools – to protect children from crazies and criminals. We protect our money in banks with guns. Saw a Brinks truck with armed men picking up money at Walmart. Upscale jewelry stores have people with guns to protect those valuables. Slimy politicians often have armed men to protect them. Rich people have armed people to protect them. And the President has tons of armed Secret Service to protect him and his wife and kids.

      So why did we decide some time ago that kids weren’t worth protecting with guns and Congress passed a law called the Gun Free School Zone Act to make it illegal for people to protect kids with guns in schools. Is our money _more_ important that kids? Seems like it because no one is saying to not have armed guards in banks. But a lot of people seem to go apoplectic at the idea of guns in schools to protect kids.

      If that principal at Sandy Hook had had a locker in her office with a loaded AR-15 rifle then I don’t Adam Lanza would have made much of a headline.

      My guns are to protect my family.

      And as I said before actual gun violence is approaching historic lows not seen since the 1960s (despite the media trying to make it look otherwise). A very large part of the gun violence is in inner cities and there are good reasons for it – mostly reasons that come from stupid (or evil, take your pick) Democratic politicians.

      Finally we didn’t have these schools shootings, at least in any significant number _before_ it largely became illegal for citizens to have guns in schools to protect kids.

      regards,

      lwk

  2. I don’t worry about owning a gun. I put my faith in God. If that Principle had an AR_ 15 more people would’ve been killed. I appreciate your comments. But how about as Americans we respect each other. Respect the rights of our children to be secure in school. To many Americans worship guns! Thanks for your input.

    1. “I put my faith in God.”

      I understand it a little differently. Different discussion. Not that I don’t put faith in God, but I think maybe we are expected to do for ourselves what we can.

      “If that Principle had an AR_ 15 more people would’ve been killed.”

      With any luck Adam Lanza would have ended up dead. Do you have some prejudice against women, teachers, or female principals such that you believe they can’t wield an AR-15 effectively at close range after a little instruction? Well the fact is there are plenty of ladies who can handle an AR-15 or M16 just fine – a lot of them serve in our military.

      “Respect the rights of our children to be secure in school.

      Ok, so if you want kids safe in schools do you have a problem with arming responsible adults in schools to keep them safe? Do you somehow believe that taking guns away from responsible law abiding folks will make you, or those children safer?

      When I was a little kid (in the 1950s) kids sometimes brought .22 rifles to school and no one thought it all that odd. No one freaked out. They had a reason to do so (when I was in a country school they might hunt for something to add to their families dinner – they were poor, or later in a city school they might be on the shooting team, when they still had them). We didn’t have school shootings back then and we didn’t have a “Gun Free School Zone Act” either.

      “To many Americans worship guns!”

      Americans worship a lot of things that perhaps they shouldn’t. For myself I don’t worship guns. I understand what they are good for (and I have a pretty good idea what they can do in the wrong hands too). What I “worship,” if that is the right word, is the ability a firearm gives to a good person to stop a bad person from victimizing them. I don’t expect you will read it, or sympathize with it, but maybe if you did it might give you a really different point of view. I am talking about article called “A Nation of Cowards” by Jeffrey Snyder that I have posted on my blog:

      http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/a-nation-of-cowards/

      The bottom line for me is that there are some bad folks out there who use guns for evil. I am all for either putting them in jail, or here in Texas, on death row if appropriate. But there are a lot of decent people out there who own and use guns and they don’t cause problems for anyone. There will always be stupid people who will kill others with guns, or cars, or other things, and more often than not there is not “test” to figure out who they are beforehand.

      Going back to schools. My wife teaches very young and very vulnerable (“special needs”) kids in Texas. If her school district ever allows she will consider getting a concealed carry permit to protect her kids. We have a couple school districts in Texas doing that now with no problems whatsoever (they used state laws to override Congress’ stupid law). She loves those kids and she has said to me that if some active came into the school here kids are incapable of hiding and keeping quiet.

      I am for protecting kids. I have three. One is a serving U.S. Marine right now.

      regards,

      lwk

  3. I feel safe without a gun. I may be naive. It’s not guarantee you’ll be able to get to your gun. The mother of the Sandy Hook elementary shooter. (Im not going to type his name) owned an arsenal of firearms. But her son was still able to shot and kill her with the weapons she bought him. I will definitely checkout your blog. Thanks for your input.

    1. “I feel safe without a gun.”

      I highly recommend the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. He is definitely not a pro-gun advocate (probably the opposite). The value in his book is that it tells you to trust your feelings and intuition. Often, according to him we could easily avoid incidents where we might be unsafe if we were fully tuned in to the clues we get, but ignore. I read his book _because_ I do carry a gun, and my mission is to try to never have to use it, to see and avoid the situation that might require it.

      “It’s not guarantee you’ll be able to get to your gun.”

      Nothing much in life is guaranteed except death and taxes, someone once said. One thing that is however 100% certain is that you won’t be able to get a gun if you don’t have one to get.

      “The mother of the Sandy Hook elementary shooter. … owned an arsenal of firearms.”

      I don’t know if we will ever know exactly what went through her mind for sure. I read somewhere that she was in the process of trying to get her son committed involuntarily to a mental institution. However that is incredibly hard to do today and I expect that has had a considerable effect of enabling mass killers (a number of them I believe had “crossed the radar” of mental health professionals who decades ago might have had them committed for observation and study to determine if they were a risk to public safety due to severe mental illness). The other thing of course about our schools that enables them is the fact that many are totally without any decent protection and we have signs even advertising that fact (like “Gun Free Zone”).

      My guess is that his mother was negligent and if she was scared enough of her son to try to get him committed she ought to have been scared enough to at least temporarily store her guns somewhere else. She made a mistake and it cost her life, and unfortunately contributed to the deaths of many innocent people. With decent protection at that school she might have ended up being the only victim though. I personally consider it only common sense to realize that if we value our kids, then we need to be willing and prepared to defend them with deadly force.

      It does not make me happy that the world is like that, but not liking it does not in itself change anything. My bottom line view though is that “gun violence” is merely a symptom of deeper problems in society. Taking everyone’s guns away will not solve the underlying problems. People who are psychologically enabled to kill will kill, regardless of what means are available. I often recommend that people read the book “On Killing” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (available on Amazon). According to him most people are not psychologically enabled to kill and many will not kill even to save their own life. If they do manage it most people will suffer a great deal. This is one of the reasons why the vast majority of uses of a firearm in self defense only involve displaying to the bad guy that one has a firearm and the bad guy leaves the area (and these are often not reported to police – in some places doing so might get you arrested).

      Grossman’s conclusions might encourage one a little. I find it encouraging that most people are not “natural born killers” and find it very hard to do (no matter how macho they pretend to be). Movies do not really portray reality in this respect. That is why I don’t think guns in the hands of many people pose an inherent risk (except by accident, the risk of which good training can at alleviate). The other side of the coin though on Grossman’s findings is that there are some folks who can and will kill without the least reservation and suffer no guilt whatsoever. These seem to be roughly evenly divided between those who are sociopaths and those who become very successful businessmen and politicians. That last is an interesting, if somewhat disturbing conclusion.

      Thanks for reading my long winded dissertations. 🙂

      regards,

      lwk

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