That too many people have died?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind."
- Bob Dylan, Blowin' in the Wind
In "High Cost of Willfully Misinterpreting the 2nd Amendment" we touched upon the price the American people have paid in lives, injuries and grief, as measured against the extraordinary profits of U.S. small arms manufacturers whose domestic sales of increasingly sophisticated weapons, including the AR-15 and AK-47 styled assault rifles, similar to the one used in the mass shooting in Newton, CT last Friday, climbed to 14 million guns in 2009 alone --- greater than the total number possessed by 21 of the world's standing armies combined.
As the nation reels in the wake of the latest horror at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, it seems a worthwhile task to take a quick look at a partial history of mass shooting events in the U.S., starting with the 1966 University of Texas massacre so that we can take stock of what our nation's strange fascination with guns and ammo has truly wrought --- with increasing frequency since the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004...
Aug. 1, 1966 Austin, TX. Charles Joseph Whitman, a 25 year-old engineering student and former Marine, killed 13 people and an unborn child, wounded 32 others from a barricaded vantage point atop a tower inside the University of Texas. He was armed with multiple weapons. It took 90 minutes for police to break through the barrier and gun Whitman down.
Nov. 18, 1966 18-year-old Robert Benjamin Smith, sporting a bag containing 200 ft of nylon cord, a package of big plastic sandwich bags, two hunting knives and a .22 cal revolver, entered the Rose-Mar College of Beauty in Mesa, AZ. His plan was to tie up the student beauticians, place the bags over their heads and watch them suffocate. After firing a round into a mirror, he herded the women into a backroom at gunpoint, where he used the nylon cord to bind them. To his dismay, the bags were too small to get over their heads, so he shot them in the head at point blank range. He murdered four women and a three-year-old daughter of one of the women.
Dec. 30, 1974 17-year old Anthony Barbaro, an honor student at Olean HS in Olean, NY, shot and killed three people and injured another using a Remington .30-30 rifle with a telescopic sight, a 12-guage shotgun and a smoke bomb. Barbaro hung himself in his prison cell on Nov. 1, 1975. Barbaro was a member of the school’s rifle team – something to think about when you hear NRA supporters advocating the arming of school administrators.
July 12, 1976 37-year old Edward Charles Allaway, a paranoid schizophrenic custodian at Cal State Univ. Fullerton, using a semi-automatic, .22 cal rifle, killed seven people and wounded two others.
Jan. 29, 1979 16-year old Brenda Ann Spencer, opened fire from the window of her home on students at the Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, CA using a Ruger 1/22 semi-automatic .22 cal. Rifle with a telescopic sight and part of the 500 rounds of ammo her father had given her for Christmas. She killed two people, including the school principal, and wounded eight children.
Aug. 9, 1983 Former postal worker Perry Smith, using a 12-guage shotgun, murdered the postmaster and wounded two employees in the Johnston, SC post office.
Dec. 2, 1983 53-year old postal worker James Brooks killed the postmaster of the Anniston, AL post office and wounded his supervisor with a .38 cal. pistol.
July 18, 1984 James Oliver Huberty, who told his wife he hated “children, Mexicans and the United States” opened fire inside the McDonald’s Restaurant in San Ysidro, CA using a Browning P-35 Hi-Power 9mm pistol, Winchester 1200 pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, and an Israeli Military Industries 9mm Carbine (Uzi) – all legally acquired. He killed 21 and injured 19 before he was shot dead by police.
March 6, 1985 12-year postal worker, Steven Brownlee, killed a supervisor and a co-worker and wounded another inside an Atlanta, GA post office, using a .22 cal. pistol
Aug. 20, 1986 Patrick Henry "Crazy Pat" Sherrill, a disgruntled US Postal Service employee, sealed off exits of the Edmond, OK Post Office, then murdered 14 co-workers, including a supervisor who had disciplined him, and wounded six using two Remington M1911 .45 cal. semi-automatic pistols and a .22 cal. Ruger semi-automatic pistol. Sherrill then committed suicide.
Following that attack, a new phrase was coined: "going postal."
Nov. 26, 1985 14-year old Heather Smith, after breaking up with her 14-year old boyfriend, returned to school with a .22 cal. Rifle to Spanaway Jr. HS in Spanaway, WA. She fatally shot her boyfriend and also shot his friend, who later died. When later confronted by police, she shot herself in the head.
Jan 17, 1989 Bearing a grudge against Asian immigrants, Patrick Edward Purdy opened fire inside the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, CA using a legally acquired AK-47 assault rifle and two pistols. He fired a total of 106 rounds, killing eight and wounding 30 before he took his own life.
Aug. 11, 1989 John Merlin Taylor, a 52-year old, 27-year veteran of the postal service with no disciplinary record murdered his wife and drove to his place of work, the Orange Glen post office in Escondido, CA where he shot and killed two co-workers with whom he normally drank coffee in the mornings, before shooting himself in the head.
Sept 14, 1989 Using a Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifle, two MAC-11 assault pistols, .38 revolver, and a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, all legally acquired, Joseph T. Wesbecker , a man with a history of mental illness, killed 8 people and wounded 12 inside the Standard Gravure Corp. printing plant in Louisville, KY before taking his own life.
June 18, 1990 James Edward Pough, upset that his Pontiac Grand Am had been repossessed, murdered nine and wounded four employees and customers of the General Motors Acceptance Corp. in Jacksonville, FL using a .30 cal M-1 carbine and a .38 revolver. He then killed himself.
Oct. 10, 1991 Former postal worker James Harris, after stockpiling automatic weapons, grenades and ninja swords, killed his former supervisor with a 3-foot samurai sword in her home, shot her fiancé, and then drove to the Montville, NJ post office where he shot and killed two postal workers.
Oct. 16, 1991 35-year old George Hennard, an unemployed merchant seaman, rammed his pickup truck into the Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, TX, and then murdered 28 people and wounded 20 others using a Glock 17 and a Ruger P89. After exchanging gunfire with the police, Hennard committed suicide.
July 1, 1993 Gian Luigi Ferri, a 55-year old failed entrepreneur, entered an office building at 101 California St. in San Francisco, sporting two Intratec TEC-DC9 semi-automatic handguns and a Norinco M1911 pistol. He took the elevator to the 34th Floor office of the law firm of Pettit & Martin, where he murdered eight people and wounded six before committing suicide.
Dec 7, 1993 Colin Ferguson, a native of Jamaica, opened fire on commuters inside a Long Island Railroad Train with a legally purchased Ruger P-89 9 mm pistol in Long Island, NY. Six people were killed; 19 wounded.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, named after President Ronald Reagan's press secretary who was almost killed during an assassination attempt on the President, went into effect on February 28, 1994 and provided for background checks before the purchase of some firearms sold by dealers (but not at gun shows). The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was signed into law later in the same year, on September 13, 1994.
Nov. 22, 1994 Armed with an illegally acquired Cobray M-11 assault pistol, Bennie Lee Lawson entered the homicide “cold case” office of the Metropolitan Police HQ in Washington DC, where he shot and killed two FBI agents and a police sergeant, while wounding another FBI agent before killing himself.
March 21, 1995 Christopher Green, a 29-year old former postal worker shot and killed two co-workers and two customers, leaving a third customer with a critical head wound inside the Montclair, NJ post office.
April 28, 1995 Armed with a Grizzly .50 cal. sniper rifle, SKS 7.62 assault rifle, .32 pistol and a 9mm pistol, Albert Petrosky murdered three people, including his estranged wife and a sheriff’s deputy, and wounded one inside the Albertson’s supermarket in Lakewood, CO.
Nov. 15, 1995 Angry over poor grades, 17-year old Jamie Rouse, using a .22 cal. rifle shot and killed a teacher and a student and wounded another teacher at Richland HS in Lynnville, TN.
Feb. 2, 1996 14-year old Barry Dale Loukatis at the Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, WA, using a .30-30 rifle, a .357 cal. Pistol and a .25 cal pistol, killed his algebra teacher and two stundents; then held his classmates hostage for ten minutes before he was subdued by his gym teacher. He reportedly told classmates: "This sure beats the hell out of algebra, doesn’t it?”
Feb. 9, 1996 41-year old, African-American Clifton McRay former city beach worker in Ft Lauderdale who had been fired two years earlier, returned to the site of his former employment and gunned down five former co-workers with a glock 9mm Glock pistol. He said he intended “to punish some of the cowardly, racist devils.”
Feb. 8, 1997 16-year old Evan Ramsey, using a 12 gauge shotgun killed two and wounded two at the Bethel Regional HS in Bethel, AK
Oct 1, 1997 After he murdered his mother with a kitchen knife, Luke Woodhan drove to Pearl HS in Pearl, MS where he shot his ex-girlfriend and then opened fire on other students with a legally acquired .30-30 rifle. Three dead; seven wounded.
Dec 1, 1997 High school student, Michael Carneal, opened fire on students holding a morning prayer circle at Heath HS in W. Paducah, KY using a Ruger .22 pistol. Three students were killed and two wounded. Carneal also had two rifles and two shotguns, but he did not use those.
Dec. 18, 1997 After being fired by Caltrans for alleged theft, Arturo Reyes Torres, an avid gun collector, returned to the Caltrans Maintenance Yard in Orange, CA where he opened fire with a legally acquired, Chinese-made 7.62mm AK-47 assault rifle. Firing 144 rounds in just over two minutes, he shot and killed four people and wounded two before he was shot and killed by police.
March 24, 1998 Using a false fire alarm, 14-year old middle school students, Mitchell Scott Johnson and Andrew Douglas Golden killed four female students and a teacher and wounded nine students and another teacher, using two semi-automatic rifles, a bolt-action rifle and four handguns which they’d stolen from Golden’s grandfather’s house. The attack took place at the Westside Middle School in Craighead County, AR.
May 21, 1998 Kip Kinkel, who had been suspended from Thurston HS in Springfield, OR after a loaded .32 pistol in his locker, allegedly murdered his parents then drove to the school where he opened fire inside a crowded cafeteria, killing two students and wounding 25. He was armed with a Glock 9mm and both Ruger .22 rifle and pistol, which were believed to be legally purchased by his father.
July 24, 1998 Russell Weston, Jr., using his father’s legally acquired Smith & Wesson .38 revolver, shot and killed two people and wounded two more before himself being wounded by police inside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Weston had a history of serious mental illnesss and believed he was being pursued by government agents.
April 15, 1999 Sergei Babarin shot and killed two people and injured two more inside the LDS Church Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT, using a Ruger .22 pistol. Although he had a history of depression and dementia and was on probation for a prior misdemeanor weapons charge, the Ruger was legally acquired.
April 20, 1999 High school students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Kleebold, 17, opened fire at Columbine H.S. near Littleton, CO, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others. Their weapons included the Intratec TEC-DC9, a Hi-Point 995 Carbine, shotguns, explosives and knives.
July 29, 1999 Using a Glock 17 9mm pistol and a Colt 1911A1 .45 pistol, both legally purchased, 44-year old day trader murdered thirteen people, three at home (his wife and two children) and nine inside two brokerage houses in Atlanta, GA.
Aug. 10, 1999 White supremacist Buford O. Furrow, Jr., fired 70 rounds with an Uzi-type submachine-gun inside the lobby of the Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, CA wounding three children, a teenage counselor and an office worker. He then carjacked a woman’s Toyota at gunpoint, dumped it behind a motel and murdered US Postal Worker Joseph Santos with a Glock 9mm handgun.
Nov. 2, 1999 Armed with a Glock Model 17 9mm postol, Byran Ayesugi, an avid gun enthusiast, entered the Xerox building in Honolulu, HA where he murdered seven people. Police later discovered a collection of 11 handguns, five rifles and two shotguns at his home.
Dec. 30, 1999 43-year old Sylvio Isquierdo Leyva, a Cuban immigrant housekeeper at the Radisson Bay Harbor Hotel in Tampa, FL opened fire inside the hotel, killing four co-workers and then shot and killed a woman while trying to take her car during his escape. He had been arrested two years earlier in AL for stabbing an acquaintance. Leyva obtained the gun used in the hotel rampage at a flea market gun shop. The two firearms dealers, charged with violating federal firearms record keeping regulations were acquitted.
March 20, 2000 Robert Wayne Harris, using a 9mm pistol, shot and killed five people at the Mi-T-Fine Car Wash in Irving, TX after the manager refused to rehire him.
April 28, 2000 Immigration lawyer Richard Baumhammers, using a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver, went on a two-hour, 15 mile shooting spree in Pittsburgh, PA, killing five people.
Dec. 26, 2000 Michael "Mucko" McDermott, an application support employee at Edgewater Technology in Wakefield, MA shot and killed seven co-workers using an AK-47 variant, 12-guage Winchester 1300 shotgun, and a .32 cal Retolaza pistol. He was later found guilty of seven counts of first degree murder and is serving life without the possibility of parole.
June 21, 2000 Armed with a Beretta 9mm pistol and Walther .389 pistol, Stuart Alexander shot and dilled three sanitation inspectors at the Santos Linguisa sausage factory in San Leandro, CA.
Feb. 5, 2001 William D. Baker, a former employee of Navistar International Corp. in Melrose Park, IL was scheduled to serve a five-month prison sentence of stealing truck engines. Instead, he forced his way inside the plant, killing five and injuring four, before committing suicide. He was armed with an SKS 1954R rifle, 12-guage shotgun, Winchester .30 cal rifle and a .38 revolver.
March 5, 2001 Charles ‘Andy’ Wiilliams, a 15-year old high school student fired 30 rounds from an eight-shot revolver, stopping to reload three times, killing two classmates and injuring 13 others inside Santana HS in Santee, CA
Sept. 24, 2003 15-year old John Sason McLaughlin, using a .22 cal pistol murdered two fellow students at Rocori HS in Cold Springs, MN.
The rest of these took place after the moderate 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban on the sale of some semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines was allowed to expire...
March 21, 2005 16-year old Jeffrey Weise, armed with a .40 Glock 23 pistol, Ruger .22 pistol and a Remington 870 shotgun, murdered his paternal grandfather, a Sergeant with the Red Lake, MN police department, and his grandfather’s girlfriend, drove to the Red Lake HS where he shot and killed seven people on campus and wounded five others. He then committed suicide.
Jan. 30, 2006 Former postal employee Jennifer San Marco, using an S&W Model 915 semi-automatic pistol, shot and killed a neighbor and then drove to the mail processing plant in Goleta, CA where she murdered six employees before taking her own life.
March 25, 2006 28-year old Kyle Aaron Huff, armed with a Winchester 1300 Defender shotgun and a Ruger P944 .40 cal handgun, opened fire on a rave afterparty in the southest part of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, where he killed six people and wounded two. He killed himself when police arrived.
Oct. 2, 2006 Charles Carl Roberts IV, a 32-year old milk truck driver, murdered five Amish girls and injured five others before killing himself at an Amish school in Lancaster County, PA. Roberts used a Springfield XD 9mm handgun, a Browning BPS 12 gauged shotgun and a Ruger M77 .30-30 bolt action rifle.
April 16, 2007 32 people died when undergraduate Seung-Huyi Cho went on a rampage at Virginia Tech with a Walther P22 semi-automatic handgun and a 9 mm semi-automatic Glock 19 handgun. The mass shooting remains the nation's worst to date, even after the shootings in CT on Friday.
Dec. 5, 2007 19-year old Robert A. Hawkins, using a Century WASR-10 (a semi-automatic variant of the deadly, fully automatic Kalashnikov assault rifle) murdered eight people and wounded four in six minutes inside the Westroads Mall in Omaha, NE before taking his own life. In that time he fired more than 30 rounds.
Dec. 9, 2007 After being refused admission to the Youth With a Mission Training Center in Arvada, CO, 24-year old Matthew J. Murray murdered two people and wounded two with a semi-automatic pistol. Later, the same day, Murray, then armed with a Bushmaster XM15 .223 cal. Rifle, a Baretta .40 cal. Handgun and a Springfield Armory pistol, murdered three people and injured three inside the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO. before being shot and wounded by a former Minneapolis police officer, at which time he took his own life.
Feb. 14, 2008 Steven Kazmierczak, armed with three handguns, a shotgun and a knife, entered a lecture hall at No. IL Univ. where a lecture class attended by approx. 120 students was in progress. He murdered five, injured 21 and killed himself.
July 27, 2008 Former U.S. Army private, Jim David Atkinsson, who hated Democrats, liberals, African Americans and homosexuals, using a Remington Model 48 12-guage shotgun, murdered two people and injured seven others inside the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN.
March 10, 2009 Geneva County, AL: 28-year old Michael Kenneth McLendon, using a Soviet-made SKS, a Bushmaster AR-15 (made by the same company which manufactured the assault rifle used in the CT shootings), 12-guage shotgun and a .38 cal. handgun murdered 10 people, including two children, before engaging police in a shootout and then taking his own life.
April 3, 2009 Jiverly Antares Wong, a 41-year old, naturalized U.S. citizen, murdered eight people inside the American Civic Association immigration center in Binghamton, NY using a 9mm Beretta 92 FS Vertex Inox semi-automatic pistol and Beretta Px4 Strom .45 cal. pistol.
August 4, 2009 48-year-old George Sodini, who was upset that women wouldn’t give him a second glance, entered an L.A. Fitness center in Collier Township near Pittsburgh, PA while a women’s aerobics class was in session. He opened fire with two 9mm semi-automatic handguns, a .32 cal semi-automatic handgun and a .45 cal revolver. He fired a total of 52 shots, killing three women, wounding nine and killing himself.
Nov. 5, 2009 Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army Major, who was serving as a psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded 29 others inside Fort Hood, a military installation near Killeen, TX using an FN Five-Seven Pistol and a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver.
August 3, 2010 34-year old Omar Shariff Thornton murdered eight people inside a beer distribution warehouse in Manchester, CT before shooting himself in the head. He used two Ruger SR9s.
Jan. 8, 2011 22-year old Jarold Lee Laughner killed six people, including a judge and a nine-year old child, and wounded 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), using a 9mm Glock 19 pistol during a public meeting in a supermarket parking lot near Tuscon, AZ.
Oct. 12, 2011 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, who had been engaged in a bitter custody dispute with his ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, an employee of the Salon Meritage hair salon in Seal Beach, CA murdered eight people (seven inside the salon and one man who was seated in a Land Rover outside the salon); injured one other. Dekraai used a 9 mm Springfield, a Heckler & Koch .45, and a Smith & Wesson .44 magnum.
Feb. 22, 2012 59-year old Jeong Soo Paek, using a legally purchased .45 cal pistol murdered four relatives inside the Su Jung Health Sauna in Norcross, GA.
Feb. 27, 2012 17-year old T.J. Lane killed three and wounded three others using a .22 pistol inside Chardon H.S. in Chardon, OH.
April 2, 2012 43-year old One L. Goh, armed with a semi-automatic handgun and 4 magazines of ammunition, killed 7 people and injured 3 at the Oikos University in Oakland, CA.
May 30, 2012 40-year old Ian L. Stawicki, using two legally purchased, .45 semi-automatic handguns, allegedly murdered four people inside a Univ. of WA-Seattle café, then shot another woman at a town hall and stole her SUV, which he abandoned when surrounded by police before fatally shooting himself in the head.
June 9, 2012 22-year old Desmonte D. Leonard, allegedly shot and killed three people, including two football players, and wounded three others, at Auburn University. Leonard, who was indicted by Lee County. AL after turning himself in was recently refused bail by the court.
July 20, 2012 James Eagan Holmes, a 24-year old graduate student, wearing body armor, entered the Century Theater in Aurora, CO, set off tear gas grenades before murdering 12 people and injuring 58 more using a variety of assault weapons, including two Glock 22 handguns, a tactical shotgun and a Smith & Wesson M&P rifle --- that manufacturer’s version of the AR-15. He also used a 100-round capacity drum magazine.
Aug. 5, 2012 Wade Michael Page, a 40-year old white supremacist and U.S. Army veteran murdered six people and wounded four others inside a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI with a Springfield XD(M) semi-automatic pistol.
Sept. 27, 2012 After losing his job at Accent Signage in Minneapolis, MN, Andrew J. Engeldinger returned with a 9mm Glock handgun where he shot and killed five people and wounded three others, before taking his own life.
Dec. 11, 2012 22-year old Jacob Tyler Roberts, wearing a load-bearing vest, opened fire with a stolen AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle inside a Clackamas, OR shopping mall, killing two people and injuring one in a hail of bullets before he died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Dec. 14, 2012 20-year old Adam Lanza murdered 27 people, including 20 children, aged six and seven, inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT using a .223 Bushmaster AR-15 and two handguns, all said to have been legally purchased and registered by his mother, Nancy Lanza, whom he also murdered, before carrying out the carnage and taking his own life at the elementary school.
Dec. 21, 2012 44-year old Jeffrey Lee Michael shot and killed three people and wounded a state trooper, before he was killed by return fire, in rural PA.
Here's a video of a .223 Bushmaster AR-15, similar to the one confirmed to have been used in the killing of 27 in CT last Friday, firing at 100 yards...
A question for U.S. arms manufacturers
This article began with Bob Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind. It will now end by posing a question to the U.S. arms industry and their propaganda outlet, aka the National Rifle Association (NRA) from Bob Dylan's Masters of War...
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul."