waited a while after the massacre in the Colorado movie theater to write a post
about it. I thought things would die down. But the mass murders haven't
stopped. Since that day (July 20, 2012) three more shootings happened in August.
There will probably be more. Why?
Since the theater massacre, firearms sales are booming. During the first four days after the shooting, gun dealers in Colorado, submitted 3,647 requests for state background checks. And that's just Colorado.
"It's not hunting guns they're looking for," said Larry Hyatt, owner of North Carolina-based Hyatt Guns, one of the largest independent gun stores in the U.S. "It's self-protection and military-type firearms." He says that after such incidents people fear legislators will pass stricter gun laws. Another gun shop owner agreed: "When you get mass shootings, people panic and buy guns."
Why all the Hate?
gun killings have dropped 40 percent since 1980. That's the good news. The bad
news: between 1980 and 2008, there have been 965 mass murders and many dead
people. The victim count: 4,685 men, women and children.
According to Jack Levin, a criminology professor at Northeastern University, most mass murderers seek some sort of revenge.
They hate people. Sometimes the people are
known to them. Other times, like the massacre in Colorado, the people are
Here are some mass murders that happened this year. Don't expect gory details or photos of the killers. I refuse to glorify them. But please pay attention to the victims.They're the important ones. Not the killers.
Beware Your Relatives
21, 2012: Jeong Soo Paek killed four of his relatives in their family-owned spa
near Atlanta, GA, and then killed himself. Four dead, plus the shooter.
Target School Administrators and Fellow Students
27, 2012: A 17-year-old student entered a high school cafeteria in Chardon,
Ohio, and began shooting students at random.
Three teenagers died; two more were wounded.
Many others, like those in the photo at left, were severely traumatized.
2, 2012: Like the Colorado theater shooter, One L. Goh was angry at school
administrators, who expelled him, allegedly for bad behavior. Goh wanted to get
even. He went to Oikos University in Oakland, CA, and opened fire. Seven people
died, at least three more were injured.
April 6, 2012: Jake England and Alvin Watts hate African-Americans so they bought some guns and went hunting for them. In separate incidents they shot five black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Three dead; two injured.
5, 2012: Wade Michael Page, a white-supremacist, went to a Sikh temple in Oak
Creek, Wisconsin. There he shot as many people as he could.
Seven died; many more were
wounded, some of them children.
Then the coward killed himself.
I Know You and I Hate You
24, 2012: Jeffrey Johnson had a beef with a former coworker. In broad daylight,
Johnson shot and killed the former coworker near the Empire State Building in
He went on to shoot and injured nine more people before NYC police shot and killed him. One dead, plus the shooter; nine injured.
Why So Many Guns?
let me say up front, this is not an anti-gun law diatribe. If someone wants to
own a firearm to hunt game, shoot at targets for sport, or buy a gun to protect
themselves, that's fine with me.
But I have a problem with people who collect an
arsenal of guns and ammo. Does anyone really need two dozen guns and enough
ammo to kill dozens of people?
And I have a huge problem with thugs who use
assault weapons to kill police officers, not to mention innocent bystanders and
people they don't know.
Like the guy in the movie theater. And there are others out there just like him.
On July 23, 2012 (3 days after the Colorado theater
massacre) Maine State Police seized an arsenal of weapons from Timothy
Courtois, 49. Why? Because Courtois (mugshot at left) brought a loaded gun to a movie theater showing the
same Batman movie that played in Colorado.
The day after the show police
clocked his car going 112 mph on the Maine Turnpike. Inside his car they found
an AK-47 assault rifle, four handguns and several boxes of ammunition.
They also found news clippings about the Colorado massacre. Courtois told police he brought the gun into the theater but didn't use it. When they stopped him, he said he was on his way to Derry, NH, where he planned to shoot a former employer.
Okay, that's enough dreary news. As a reward for sticking with my rant, I'm going to tell you a story and cheer you up. Read on, you're gonna love it.
Save the Bunny!
7, 2012: Michelle Carey-Brown and her 3-year-old daughter, Riley, were taking
an MBTA trolley in Boston. Somehow, when they left the train, Riley dropped her
stuffed animal, as cute a bunny as you'll ever see.
The bunny fell on the
tracks, beyond the reach of Riley's mother. Riley's
mom said she'd get her another bunny, but Riley didn't want another bunny. She
wanted her "friend."
When Riley saw another train coming down the tracks, she got even more upset, fearing the train would squash her beloved bunny.
Then a quick-thinking MBTA worker came to the rescue. Two workers, actually. One called the oncoming train to alert the driver that something precious was on the tracks. The driver stopped the train just short of Riley's bunny, allowing the MBTA worker in the station to safely retrieve Riley's "friend."
next day, Riley and her mother got to thank Fannie Matchette, the
quick-acting MBTA worker, in person. Matchette (photo below) said she was thrilled to have
made the little girl's day.
another day for a public service worker. But not for Riley. She's got her friend back and Machette has a bouquet of flowers.
And take it from me, police officers and public service workers like those MBTA employees are much happier to make a little girl's day than they are cleaning up after the mass murderers.
I expect to get some comments on this post,
some positive, some not, but hey, I can take it. Good or bad, leave me a
comment, I'd love to hear from you. NOPD homicide detective Frank Renzi signing off.
Here's A Timeline of Mass Murders in the U.S. Just This Year, Ashley Lutz,
"Dark Knight" shooting: Mass Murder Up, Even While Gun Violence Down, Huff Post CRIME,
Mass shootings are a fact of American life, James Alan Fox, 1-10-2011, USA Today
Bangor Daily News: Arsenal seized from Biddeford man who saw Batman movie with loaded weapon; Nick McCrea, 7/23/2012
Amazing news blog: Boston transit workers save bunny