There's been another police officer shooting in my home state. An officer in Cold Spring, Minnesota was shot to death in an ambush by a suicidal man :
A misdemeanor does not prohibit someone from carrying a gun in Minnesota. From another article:"Decker, 31, was shot and killed late Thursday night after responding to a call about a man thought to be suicidal, authorities said. They described the incident as an ambush.On Friday, Decker was remembered as a jokester and a "great kid" who was serious about his job."He was a chief's dream," said Cold Spring Police Chief Phil Jones at a news conference Friday morning. "We're going to miss him."Cold Spring Mayor Doug Schmitz told MPR's The Daily Circuit that many people in the community didn't hear about the incident until Friday morning."There's a lot of people in shock wondering how we could lose such a nice young officer," Schmitz said. "Tom was a very well-liked kid."(...)Schmitz said Decker led firearms training for the city's fire department, and would often joke around with the participants."He kept everybody loose, you know, took his job serious but was kidding around to keep the people feeling like they're just loose, you know, they're not stressed out," Schmitz said.He was a Rocori High School graduate, and a 2002 graduate of Alexandria Technical College, receiving an A.A.S. Degree in Law Enforcement. Decker served as a police officer first in the City of Isle, in Mille Lacs County, in 2002. He moved to Watkins in Meeker County in 2003, and then to the Kimball Police Department in 2004. In 2006, Decker joined the police department in Cold Spring and Richmond. (...)Larson had lived in nearby Rockville recently, and the BCA and a crime lab were in town Friday afternoon. Authorities said they were conducting interviews around the state in connection with the case.Larson has had some other run-ins with the law, including a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge from 2009. A spokeswoman for St. Cloud Technical & Community College told The Associated Press that Larson was a second-year machine tool student.""
It turns out that the shooter was a "law abiding" gun permit holder. Or was he? You decide:A Cold Spring police officer was fatally shot late Thursday when he and his partner were answering a call about a suicidal person at an apartment near a Main Street bar, Stearns County authorities said Friday morning.Authorities identified the shooter as Ryan Michael Larson, 34, of Cold Spring.Tom Decker, 31, was the officer who was killed, said authorities, who described his death as coming during an ambush.Decker, a father of four, was wearing a protective vest.
Cold Spring was the site of another high profile shooting in 2003 when a student brought a gun from his own home (where his law enforcement father admitted to having 20 guns) to school and shot and killed 2 students. Why was that gun so accessible to a teen-ager? I have another question. Should people like Larson, with a misdemeanor charge for disorderly conduct and a protective order be able to get a permit? Isn't it time to take a new look at the laws that allow people like this to get permits to own and carry guns? "He liked guns, but he's very cautious with them,.." "He's not the type of person who would go out there like a monster." Really? How many times do we hear that about shooters? And yet, they do go out there like monsters and they aren't so cautious after all. Guns make it too easy.Ryan Michael Larson, 34, is being held in Stearns County jail on suspicion of murdering a police officer. Larson was known to carry a handgun, though there had been only hints of violence in his past. Several guns have been located that belonged to Larson, authorities said.It's the second time in a decade that violence has jarred this town of 4,000. A 2003 shooting left two students dead at Rocori High School, Decker's alma mater."With the school shooting not that many years ago, and now this, it's hard on a small town," said Kurt Kubasch as he loaded groceries in his car outside Teal's supermarket.Late Friday, the slain officer's mother, Rosella Decker, was still busy receiving visits from reporters and grief-stricken relatives and friends at the family's 200-acre dairy farm, where she and her husband, John, raised their eight children."We just want people to know how good Tom was," she said, smiling through tears. "He was such a good husband and so good with his kids -- even-tempered, cool."The farm, with its white clapboard house and barn, is where Tom Decker grew up and still stopped to visit, lend a hand with work or have a piece of his mom's meatloaf, one of his favorite foods.While the town grieved the loss of a popular young officer, some details began to emerge about Larson. In 2009, court documents show, an ex-girlfriend requested a protective order after "he got very angry and aggressive and agitated," charging and spitting at her and bruising her arm. He paid a $383 fine for disorderly conduct in that misdemeanor case.Jeff Scoles, who with his parents owns Winners bar, said Friday night that Larson had a permit to carry a handgun and regularly carried a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Larson rented an apartment above the bar and acted as fill-in bartender while going to school to be a machinist."He liked guns, but he's very cautious with them," said Scoles, who added that Larson also owned an AR-15 assault-style rifle. "He's not the type of person who would go out there like a monster.
The officer was wearing a protective vest but was allegedly shot in the face. Now 4 more children are without a father and another officer is down. The shootings just keep coming. In a shocking incident, a Utah 9th grade student shot himself at school in front of his fellow students.
The student likely got his gun from a locked cabinet in his own home. Even locked, guns at home when children are in the home can be dangerous and potentially deadly. We have a gun problem in our country. Too many people have access to guns who shouldn't.A Utah town is in mourning after a teen shot himself on the campus of his junior high school in front of other students as they left school on Thursday.Shellshocked students at Bennion Junior High, in Taylorsville, 20 minutes south of Salt Lake City, said the friendly, polite boy was tormented by bullies, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.The ninth-grader wasn’t named in local press reports."He was one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever known," said Hunter Evensen, a classmate, told the newspaper.Authorities said the boy left school at around 1:30 p.m. with his mom, but returned at around 3:00 p.m., just as classes were letting out.After meeting up with some other students on a bridge near campus, the teen pulled out a gun and shot himself, cops said.He was pronounced dead later at Intermountain Medical Center. (...)Local police were still investigating how he got the gun, but they believed he may have taken it from a locked case at his home, according to local reports.Classmates said the boy didn’t show any signs of trouble on Thursday."I was talking to him today," ninth-grader Brandon Newby told Deseret News."We were joking at lunchtime, and he seemed happy. I wouldn't have expected it."At a candlelight vigil on Thursday night, hundreds of students gathered on the bridge to weep and pray together for both the victim and the students who witnessed the tragedy.
Speaking of students with guns, this article was also in my local paper today:
This bears repeating from the article: "Scarbrough said a repeated pattern of assaults or violation of weapons rules are the main reasons students are expelled." Really? Is this acceptable? Where are kids getting their guns? Why are they bringing them to school? Check out the Kid Shootings blog if you want to gain a better understanding of how ubiquitous the problem of kids and guns really is. What are we doing about it? The Cloquet school district was lucky that the student didn't act when violating that weapons rule. We all know how often that happens.At a brief meeting of the Cloquet School Board on Monday night, the board voted in closed session to expel a student for a violation of the district’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons.The student, identified only as “Student 112612” because of minor status and data practices concerns, was suspended for up to one year.“The incident that led to the expulsion involved a weapon,” Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said. “We also want to note that students were never in danger at any time.”Scarbrough added that expulsion can happen for any number of offenses, but they are rare.“We average an expulsion or less each year, and it’s usually less,” he said. “They are very rare. I don’t think we average one a year.”Scarbrough said a repeated pattern of assaults or violation of weapons rules are the main reasons students are expelled.“It also could be any one of a number of things,” he added. “Repeated indolence, tardiness or absence, all those things carried to the extreme where warnings have been issued.”“Each event is going to stand on its own and it has to be severe enough to warrant that action,” Scarbrough added. “If there is an offense that warrants expulsion we make sure the student is informed of the charge, and they have a right to know what the charges are and who is making them.”
And then there's the Kansas City Chiefs football player who killed his girlfriend and then showed up at the Chiefs' office and shot himself in front of others. One has to wonder why suicidal people with guns shoot themselves in front of others? It is a tragic and violent thing. From the article:
Here's another article identifying the player:A 25-year-old Kansas City Chiefs player fatally shot his girlfriend early Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager, police said.Police spokesman Darin Snapp said the player killed his girlfriend and then went to the team practice facility, where he shot himself. He did not identify either the player or his victim.Before turning the gun on himself, the player thanked Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel for all they had done for him, Snapp said.Authorities received a call Saturday morning from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times at a residence about five miles away from the Arrowhead complex."When we arrived, a lady informed us that her daughter had been shot multiple times by her boyfriend, by the daughter's boyfriend," Snapp said. "She identified him as a Chiefs player."
And the nightmares continue. Are we going to sit back and watch this continue or are we going to put our heads together and do something about these senseless shootings? Is the NRA going to start talking differently about guns in light of these tragedies? Or are they going to continue to encourage so many people to buy guns as they have during and after the recent election of a Black President? Why does the NRA tell lies about what President Obama is going to do as President? (They spent a lot of money and lost big in 2012 in spite of the lies). Why else is this President the most threatened of any in American history? Why so much hate, fear and misinformation? It's enough to make us despair about our country.Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend Saturday, then drove to Arrowhead Stadium and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager, thanking them for all they'd done before turning the gun on himself.Authorities did not release a possible motive for the murder-suicide, though police said that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had been arguing recently. The two of them have a 3-month-old girl who was being cared for by family. (...)Kansas City Mayor Sly James said that he spoke to Pioli after the shooting.''I can tell you that you have absolutely no idea what it's like to see someone kill themselves,'' James said. ''You can take your worst nightmare and put someone you know and love in that situation, and give them a gun and stand three feet away and watch them kill themselves. That's what it's like.''It's unfathomable,'' James said. ''It's something you would love to wash away from your mind, but you can't do it. There's nothing like it. I don't what else to tell you. Think about your worst nightmare and multiply it by five.''
Before I go, let me end with this account from Ohh Shoot about a tragic accidental shooting- one that should never have happened:
Did you read that line in the last paragraph? A gun is a deadly weapon designed to kill someone, not to pass around a room full of young people to show it off. And kill they do. If you read more posts in the blog you will see many more incidents like the one described above. It is time for the gun rights extremists to admit that their own are causing more than a few shootings. It's time to put our heads together to find solutions for this national public safety problem. If we don't, we will continue to live with the daily carnage and incidents like those I write about on this blog. Ramping up irrational fear is not the solution to this problem. And it is definitely time for NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre to stop his ludicrous rants.18-year-old Patrick Goddard, of Strafford, Missouri, was hanging out with a group of friends Monday night. According to Brockwell Rostam, one of the teens present, "We were in my room and he [Patrick] had a little handgun. He starts showing us it and passing it around and it was scaring Haley, because she doesn't like guns. So I threw it down on the table because she was so upset about it. And when I did, it just exploded; I didn't even see where it hit him. And everyone just freaked out and we thought he was faking or something."Patrick was hit with the single bullet and died at the scene.Police are investigating the incident but no charges in the death are filed."I always thought guns were to protect you," said Brockwell. "But all they did was take away our best friend and so I'll never touch another gun as long as I live. That's a promise."
Mr. LaPierre, I have an idea. Start speaking up for victims of gun violence and stop your rants. There are too many victims. Name calling, paranoia, demeaning and attacking victims ( daily occurrences on gun blogs) is just not the way out of this problem. I'm waiting for the gun rights extremists to come up with some solutions that don't involve more people having access to guns and carrying them in more places. That is just not working. Meanwhile, while I'm waiting, I will be blogging about incidents like those above because they just keep coming. Let me review for my readers, again, the incidents in just this post alone (many others I didn't write about): 1 Minnesota police officer killed by a gun permit holder; 1 Utah 9th grade student shoots himself in front of his class; 1 NFL football players shoots and kills his girlfriend, the mother of his child, and then shoots himself in front of his management team; 1 Minnesota student violates a school district weapons rule and is suspended from school; and last but not least, 1 18 year old is shot and killed when a loaded gun is casually passed around a room full of young people. Does any of that matter to the gun rights extremists? Surely we are better than this. I mourn with the families of the victims of the latest shootings. Their lives will never be the same.