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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mass Murders in America 2

Just about everyone is familiar with Charlton Heston’s infamous boast that they could have his guns when they pry them from his cold dead hands, but much has changed in the 15 years since he uttered them. Chief among the changes has been the rise in mass shootings and the absolute abdication of the National Rifle Association and members of Congress who refuse to take action as America is decimated by gun violence.


I’m not taking about guns used in the commission of a crime. Criminal activity is a complex and difficult problem that needs to be solved, but conflating guns used criminally with mass shootings is disingenuous. Each issue needs to be tackled, for they are inherently different. Pointing to one as evidence of the other is dangerous and short-sighted.
I spent some time researching in the wake of the shooting last week in California. We now know that the shooters were bent on carrying out a terrorist attack in the United States and our gun laws allowed them to amass an arsenal that raised no red flags. This is outrageous. Equally outrageous is allowing those on the “No Fly” list the ability to purchase unlimited quantities of firearms. You can’t on one side decry terroristic violence and on the other give them unimpeded access to carry out their attacks. There’s a name for that; it’s called hypocrisy.
During my research, I found some truly frightening numbers:
Through Dec. 3, 2015, there have been 353 mass shootings, 62 school shootings, 12,223 people killed in incidents involving guns and another 24,722 people injured in gun incidents. (Source: Shooting tracker, gun violence archive)
These numbers reflect all gun-related incidents and don’t differentiate between known criminal activity and spontaneous acts of violence with no prior criminal activity.
For the purpose of this column, I focused on shootings that involved four or more victims that did not, at first glance, include known criminal activity or take place in the commission of a crime. Well, other than the fact that people were murdered in cold blood. The youngest victims were 5-month-old twins shot while sleeping in their cribs. The oldest, Violet Taylor, was 82. Much has been written about the gunmen, for in almost all instances, these shootings were perpetrated by men, but I want to focus on the victims.
The majority of the people on the following list died at the hands of a loved one. The overwhelming cause of mass shootings in the U.S. is murder/suicide. Interviews of many people who survived the suicide portion of murder/suicides show that if they didn’t have access to a gun they would not have committed the murder part of their schemes. We can only wonder at how different things would be had their loved one not had such easy access to a firearm. It should be noted that the majority of these deaths occurred in states with lax gun control regulations.
The following list is not exhaustive, but I think it helps but into context the cost that too many have paid so those who demand unfettered access to guns can have it. Try to think about them next time you talk about your cold dead hands. I bet most of these folks would trade places with you.
Jan. 24, 2015 – Queens, New York – Jonathan Walker, 34; Kayla Walker, 7; Shantai Hale, 31; Viola Warren, 62. Murder/Suicide.
Jan. 29, 2015 – Troup County, Georgia – William Burtron, 69; Sheila Burtron, 68; Christie Lee, 33; Bailey Burtron, 16; Iiaonna Green, 18. Domestic Violence.
Feb. 4, 2015 – King, North Carolina – Coleton Tarpley, 35; Amanda Tarpley, 34; Charlie Tarpley, 6; Coleton Tarpley, 9. Murder/Suicide.
Feb. 7, 2015 – Douglasville, Georgia – Latoya A. Andrews, her boyfriend Joseph Terry Brown, and two of Prather’s children, London Prather, 9, and Jeremiah Prather, 7, Cedric Prather. Murder/Suicide.
Feb. 22, 2015 – Kileen, Texas – Atase Giffa, 30; Dawn Giffa, 28; unidentified female, 31; unidentified male, 40. Murder/Suicide.
Feb. 27, 2015 – Tyrone, Missouri – Garold Dee Aldridge, 52; Ann Aldridge, 47; Harold Wayne Aldridge, 50; Janell Arlisa Aldridge, 48; Darrell Dean Shriver, 68; Carey Dean Shriver, 46; Valirea Love Shriver, 44. Murder.
Feburary 28, 2015 – Tarboro, North Carolina – George Lee Dickens Jr., 36; Ventura Sanchez, 36; Ana Marlen Cruz-Franco, 28. Unknown.
March 24, 2015 – Indianapolis, Indiana – Davon Whitlock, 18; Tiara Turner, 41; Terri Betiies, 48. Unknown.
March 30, 2015 – Tulsa, Oklahoma - Sudheer Khamitkar, 42; Smita Haval Khamitkar, 38; Arnav Khamitkar, 10; and Arush Khamitkar, 6. Murder/Suicide.
April 16, 2015 – Phoenix, Arizona - Dodi Fayed, 56, and Reda Diaeddinn, 38. Kenza Benzakour, 76, 26-year-old Meriem Ben Yahia. Domestic Violence.
May 3, 2015 – Menasha, Wisconsin – Jonathan Stoffel, 33; Olivia Stoffel, 11; Adam Bentdahl, 31. Domestic Violence.
May 12, 2015 – Tucson, Arizona - Christopher Carrillo, 25; Raul Carillo, 58; Karen Saari, 53; Erik Carrillo, 32; Isela Rodriguez, 17. Murder/Suicide.
May 13, 2015 – Anchorage, Alaska – Curtis Young III, 24; Desiree Leandra Gonzalez, 27; Zaiden E. Young, 4, Zarielle A. Young, 17 months. Domestic Violence.
May 17, 2015 – Waco, Texas – Daniel Raymond “Diesel” Boyett, 44, Wayne Lee “Sidetrack” Campbell, 43, Richard Matthew “Chain” Jordan, III, 31, Richard Vincent “Bear” Kirschner, Jr., 47, Jacob Lee Rhyne, 39, Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, 65 Charles Wayne “Dog” Russell, 46, Manuel Issac Rodriguez, 40, Matthew Mark Smith, 27. Mass Shooting.
June 7, 2015 – Deer Lodge Montana – Arie Arlynn Lee, 37; Arie Lee Bournes, 1; Woodrow Lee Bournes, 4; Augustine Lee Bournes, 5; Michael “Augustine” Bournes, 59. Murder/Suicide.
June 13, 2015 – Columbus, Ohio – Michael Ballour, 41; Angela Harrison, 35; Daniel Sharp 36; and Tyajah Nelson 18. Unknown.
June 17, 2015 – Charleston, South Carolina - Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lee Lance, 70; Depayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Clementa C. Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Daniel Simmons, 74; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45; Myra Thompson, 59. Mass Shooting.
June 21, 2015 – Roy, Utah - Russell Smith, Shawna Smith, Tylae Smith, 6; Blake Smith, 2. Murder/Suicide.
June 27, 2015 – Greenacres, Florida – Nilda Sheffield, 53; Elizabeth Flores; Xavier Neff, 7; Sofia Chiddo, 2. Murder/Suicide.
July 5, 2015 – Rock Hill, South Carolina – Randy Moore, 55; Anna Moore, 50; Jason Lockamy, 31; Lora Young, 31. Murder/Suicide.
July 15, 2015 – Holly Hill, South Carolina - Krystal Hutto, 28; Tamara Perry, 14; Shamekia Sanders, 17; Jerome Butler, 50. Domestic Violence.
July 16, 2015 – Chattanooga, Tennessee – Carson Holmquist, 25; Randall Smith, 26; Thomas J. Sullivan, 40; Squire K. “Skip” Wells, 21; David A. Wyatt, 37. Mass Shooting.
July 22, 2015 – Forsyth County, Georgia – Jacob Smith, 9; Jared Smith, 8; Matthew Kyle Fields, 32; Rebecca Manning, 37. Murder/Suicide.
Aug. 7, 2015 – Barre, Vermont – Lara Sobel, 48; Rhonda Herring, 48; Regina Herring, 43; Julie Falzarano, 73. Workplace Violence.
Aug. 8, 2015 – Houston, Texas – Valerie Jackson; Dwayne Jackson, 50; Nathaniel Jackson, 13; Honesty Jackson, 11; Dwayne Jackson, Jr., 10; Caleb Jackson, 9; Trinity Jackson, 7; Jonah Jackson, 6. Domestic Violence.
Sept. 1, 2015 – Long Branch, New Jersey – Lyndon Beharry, 35; Amanda Morris, 29; Brandon Beharry, 7; Brian Beharry, 4. Murder/Suicide.
Sept. 8, 2015 – Manson, Washington – Edgar Cisneros-Costumbre, 24; Jose Luis Leyva, 58; Benito Caro Sedano, 56; Maria G. Sedano, 50. Murder.
Sept. 8, 2015 – Minneapolis, Minnesota – Brian Scott Short, 45; Cole Short, 17; Madison Short, 15; Brooklyn Short, 14; Karen Short, 48. Murder/Suicide.
Sept. 13, 2015 – Baker, Lousiana – Perry Allen, 55; Joseph Allen, 57; Mark Allen, 51; Rodney Chemin, 60. Murder/Suicide.
Sept. 17, 2015 – Platte, South Dakota – Nicole Westerhuis; Kailey Westerhuis; Jaeci Westerhuis; Connor Westerhuis; Michael Westerhuis; Scott Westerhuis. Murder/Suicide.
Oct. 1, 2015 – Roseburg, Oregon - Lucero Alcaraz, 19; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18; Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Dale Johnson, 33; Lawrence Levine, 67; Sarena Dawn Moore, 44. Mass Shooting.
Oct. 31, 2015 – Colorado Springs, Colorado – Andrew Myers, 35; Jennifer Vasquez, 42; Christy Gallela 34. Mass Shooting.
Nov. 11, 2015 – Pendelton, South Carolina – Barbara Scott, 80; Cathy Scott, 60; Violet Taylor, 82; Michael Scott, 59. Unknown.
Nov. 4, 2015 – Oakland, Maine – Amanda Bragg, 30; Michael Muzerolle, 29; Amy Derosby, 28; Herman Derico, 42. Murder/Suicide.
Nov. 13, 2015 – Jacksonville, Florida – Hayden Hiatt, 5 months; Kayden Hiatt, 5 months; Travis James Hiatt, 49; Gawain Rushane Wilson, 28. Murder/Suicide.
Nov. 15, 2015 – Anderson County, Texas - Thomas Kamp, 46; Hannah Johnson, 40; Kade Johson, 6 Nathan Kamp, 23, and Austin Kamp, 21, Carl Johnson, 76. Unknown.
Nov. 17, 2015 – Murray, Kentucky – Bulmaro Arellano, 29; Marison Hernandez, 24; male juvenile, 5; female juvenile, 18 months. Children died from smoke inhalation. Domestic Violence.
Nov. 23, 2015 – Columbus, Ohio – John E. Anderson II, 31; Christina Chaffin Anderson, 30; Landon Anderson, 7. Unknown.
Dec. 2, 2015 – San Bernardino, California – Robert Adams, 40; Isaac Amanios, 60; Bennetta Betbadal, 46; Harry Bowman, 46; Sierra Clayborn, 27; Juan Espinoza, 50; Aurora Godoy, 26; Shannon Johnson, 45; Larry Daniel Kaufman, 42; Damian Meins, 58; Tin Nguyen, 31; Nicholas Thalasinos, 52; Yvette Velasco, 27; Michael Wetzel, 37. Terrorism.
There are many people doing the important work of formulating sensible action on guns and I suggest you seek them out to understand that no one is advocating taking all the guns away and melting them down for arts and crafts. OK, some people are, but both sides have there extremists. It’s time for the reasonable people to take over the discussion.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Cold dead hands Barbara Mulvey-Welsh Dec. 11, 2015

Man killed 7-year-old girl, shot mom in murder-suicide December 5, 2015

Family killed in murder-suicide November 29, 2015

Mass Murders in America November 20, 2015



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