Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sad state of affairs

This has nothing to do with my typical content, but something I feel compelled to write about.

Today I received several links to an article by an anti-gun group stating that there had been a whopping 74 school shootings since Newtown. I was genuinely saddened by this, but also puzzled because I certainly haven't heard of 74 shootings and, since Columbine, school shootings are something that make national, if not global news. 

I read through the list, then came across an article disputing the 74 shootings figure reported by the one group. Never being comfortable in trusting someone else's word entirely, especially when it comes to controversial topics like gun control, I did my own research. I was shocked at what I's my list of just the first sixteen shooting on their list, and a few from the end of the list. I did not research the list in it's entirety because I was pressed for time...

Milwaukee girl caught in crossfire at 7 PM on playground

A suicide attempt in a parking garage on college campus

Occurred in front of the church attached to the school, something personal between shooter and victim. Victim was taking his kids to daycare.

Man upset over financial aid shoots advisor...gray area, not necessarily a "school shooting"

Quoted in the article that it had nothing to do with the school, it was a domestic dispute...occurred at 6 PM when people were exchanging a child

Fight broke out at 9:20 PM after a basketball game

Two males, altercation, one started shooting the other, collateral damage but no deaths, gray area...

Guy shot sitting in his car NEAR but not ON campus-he was at an intersection.

Reports around town of man brandishing a gun-hit and run-man and police exchange gun fire in parking lot after 4pm

Man killed in field BEHIND school after playing a game of dice with others...

17 year old girl accidentally shoots herself in her thigh with a .380 during school hours (GA)

Gunman had plans to kill fellow students, but ended up shooting himself after midnight.

Boy commits suicide in school bathroom before classes started, left a suicide note

Off-campus shooting of student by two teens

Shooting in the evening outside of dormitory, shooter not a student, I couldn't find motive

These are all being reported as "school shootings" which, in my book, all of the incidents in my list have nothing to do with school shootings from MY point of view. When I think school shootings, I think Columbine and the terror that rang out across nearby schools. It was scary. Believe me, I was in a school twenty miles away from Columbine when it happened, delivering passes and doing errands for my school office when we got word to "lock the doors, there's been a shooting at Columbine". I was immediately pulled out of the hall and was told to stay in the office until further notice-we didn't know if a shooter was loose or if there were several attacks planned or what was going on. So please, do not preach to me about my lack of understanding of the gravity of school shootings...I get it. 

I don't know, 13 of the first 16 incidents reported in the article had almost nothing to do with what I would classify as a "school shooting", which to me means alarmist reporting and SCREAMS "this organization has an agenda". This is why I always recommend one do their own research, and to never take anything reported by an organization at face careful what you read, believe, and what you put your stock in. How many people are going to read this and believe every single incident reported had something like Sandy Hook happen? 

Does something need to be done about violence? Yes it does, but unfortunately I don't have any answers. Do I think tougher gun laws are the answer? No, I don't...bad guys don't follow laws. I am saddened to hear of each and every shooting where innocent people are targeted, where they die at the hands of a sick person. I wish I had answers, I wish it would stop. Sadly, skewed reports and misleading lists are not the way to being about change.