A gun is NOT discharged in a US school about once a week

A gun is NOT discharged in a US school about once a week

In the wake of last week’s shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California, a gun control advocacy group is once again making hyperbolic claims. Tragically last week, Cedric Anderson shot and killed his estranged wife Karen Smith, and two students, killing one, before killing himself. Now this week, Everytown for Gun Safety has come out with the claim that a gun is discharged in a US school about once a week. This is not surprising as previously they have claimed that there have been 200 school shootings since Sandy Hook. Again, the devil is in the details.

Much like their definition of a school shooting, their definition of ‘school’ itself is quite vague and open to a lot of interpretation.

The list tracks “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds,” which could include suicides, accidental discharges, and criminal activity, such as gunfire related to an armed robbery.

So basically, one could interpret that anytime a gun is discharged within earshot of a school, Everytown considers that gun being fired in a school. Now I have no problem with gun control groups, they have their right to seek gun control as they see fit. What I do have a problem with is the distorting of facts. Everytown would have had a better and more logical argument if they had said a gun is found in a school about once a week. While I’m only going by anecdotal evidence of news articles that I’ve read in my research, that seems way more plausible than their wild claims of guns being fired in schools.

With every one of these wildly unrealistic claims, Everytown for Gun Safety becomes less of an advocacy group and more of a parody of one. In my opinion they’re the PMRC or Jack Thompson of guns. They are so out of touch with the facts that they never really had any credibility to begin with.

Headmaster in The Alexis de Tocqueville High School shooting received France’s highest honor

Headmaster in The Alexis de Tocqueville High School shooting received France's highest honor

Herve Pizzinat was the Headmaster at Alexis de Tocqueville High School in Grasse, France, who tried to reason with shooter Kylian Barbey while suffering from a bullet wound. Mr. Pizzinat was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor, for his actions. The Legion d’Honneur was established by Napoleon in 1802. The newly honored Headmaster returned to the school earlier this week.

Meanwhile, it seems the shooter’s parents did have concerns about their child’s behavior…

The teenager’s parents had previously expressed concern about his attraction to weapons and violent video games, however a psychiatrist said he was “quite normal and there was no need to worry”, his lawyer told journalists.

Before I get to my main point, as a gamer I wanted to point out that violent video games do not make someone a killer, however, a number of school shooters have been avid fans of the first person shooter genre.

My questions are, how much were the parents aware that their son was a columbiner, and if they were aware did they make this obsession known to the psychiatrist? If they did make it known, did the psychiatrist say that was normal? Because I don’t care what country you’re in, having a form of hero-worship for a pair of cowardly mass murderers is not normal under any circumstance.
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Sandy Hook truther no-shows court date for death threats

Sandy Hook truther no-shows court date for death threats
Lucy Richards

57-year-old Lucy Richards was expected to appear in court today, in order to enter into a plea agreement that would spare her jail time. Richards was accused of harassing Lenny Pozner whose son Noah was killed at Sandy Hook. She is a conspiracy theorist who is said to believe that Sandy Hook never happened and was made up by the government in order to take the guns of citizens. Please allow me to refresh your memory as to what Richards is accused of saying to Mr. Pozner.

Richards is accused of telling the parent “you gonna die, death is coming to you real soon,” according to federal court documents. The statements were made in January. She also wrote, “Look behind you it’s death,” according to the documents.

The last we had heard from Richards, she was expected to enter into a plea agreement that would see her plead guilty and would only receive house arrest as a sentence. Instead she decided to just not show up to her court date. She allegedly told the Federal Court in Palm Beach County, Florida that she would not be attending today’s hearing with no reason being given.

“Miss Richards called my investigator and said she’s not coming,” Assistant Federal Public Defender Robert Berube told the judge. “That’s all I have.”

“Did she give a reason?” the judge asked.

“No,” said Berube. He told the judge his office gave Richards a written and verbal notice of the court hearing.

Now she has a warrant out for her arrest and prosecutors could possibly back out of the deal. If she is found guilty, she could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

If you were to ask me why I thought she no-showed her court appearance, I would say that she is going to mount some conspiracy theory-laden defense that will try to draw attention to her supposition that Sandy Hook never happened. If I had to hazard a guess, she is going to try to force the federal government to prove that Sandy Hook happened, because why should she enter into a guilty plea when the instigating incident ‘never occurred’? To be honest, I hope she does try this defense as it usually never works out well in court for these conspiracy theorists. If that happens, I really hope the judge throws the book at her and makes an example out of her. These nutjobs need to be shown that there are repercussions for absurd actions.

UPDATE 4/3/2017: Richards was arrested again over the weekend. She offered no explanation for the no-show other than she doesn’t want her fate to be in the hands of a judge, indicating that she now wants to go to trial. She is now in the custody of the FBI and will appear in Federal Court within the next few days.

My mind is running wild at the possibilities of shenanigans that could happen during trial.

The Alexis de Tocqueville High School shooting in France

The Tocqueville High School shooting in France

I’m sorry I’m over a week late in posting about this, I’ve been dealing with some minor inconveniences that have put my non-existent posting schedule into a backlog. Then again, when it comes to stories like these, it’s always better to wait until getting all the facts. Maybe not nine days of waiting, but here we are. So let’s get on to it.

On March 16th, 16-year-old Kylian Barbey stormed into Alexis de Tocqueville High School, or as it’s locally called, the Alexis de Tocqueville lycee, with a shotgun and ‘training’ grenades. (Flash-bangs maybe?) Barbey is accused of injuring three people at the school, including the Headmaster, Herve Pizzinat. Mr. Pizzinat is said to have not been the intended target, while two other students were struck by ricocheting bullets. Barbey reportedly told Mr. Pizzinat that “It’s not you I’m after.” The wounded Headmaster was said to have tried to talk Barbey into disarming even after being shot. Barbey was said to have been quickly apprehended by police. One witness had said that Barbey “seemed to be a student and not very big. He shot in the air and ran away.” That seems about right, a coward acting in a cowardly way. One witness said that Barbey had been allegedly bullied by classmates, but then the question remains, was he bullied because he was already an antisocial school shooting fanatic? While there were reports of a second gunman, as there usually are, this turned out to be untrue.

What comes as no surprise to me is that Barbey was a columbiner, or a school shooting fanboy for lack of a better word. Barbey is so much of a columbiner, that he’s almost a parody of what people think school shooters are. Reports say that he changed his name to Killian on his Facebook page and that on his Facebook page he had a picture inspired by the crass video game Hatred. On his YouTube page he only had a video of the movie Zero Day, which is a ‘found footage’ movie about a fictional school shooting. While it’s actually a good movie, it’s also become a hit among the cult-like columbiners. He is also said to have subscribed to the YouTube channel of Marilyn Manson. Manson was incorrectly blamed for having some type of influence on the Columbine shooting. I’m surprised he wasn’t subscribed to Rammstein’s YouTube channel since that was who the Columbine cowards actually listened to. He also had a playlist on Youtube entitled ‘Columbine’ that included saved videos about US school shootings. You might be surprised about how many of them are on YouTube, but that’s a rant for another day, especially considering YouTube’s latest controversy about hate speech and advertising, but I digress.

A day after the shooting, both Barbey’s best friend and his friend’s brother were arrested for allegedly assisting Barbey. The 17-year-old friend was also said to have been a columbiner. The friend was said to have sent a letter to “an American prisoner in the state of Ohio who is serving a sentence for committing three murders at a high school.” It’s not hard to surmise that they must be talking about T.J. Lane, who killed three students during a shooting spree at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio. After the shooting in Ohio, Lane amassed a number of his own misguided followers.

The guns used in the shooting were said to have belonged to his parents and grandparents which allows me to bring up one of my usual points. While Barbey’s father is described as a right-wing municipal councilor in the town of Grasse, I’m more curious to know who was actually checking up on his son’s behavior as it doesn’t appear to be something that just started overnight.

What also gets me is that this punk is only 16-years-old. He wasn’t even alive when Columbine happened, yet he still encapsulates the same sense of selfish entitlement that his cowardly heroes imbue.

Now that I’m tuned in to the story, I’ll be posting more updates as they become available and as time allows.

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20 years after Bethel High School shooting gunman makes no excuses, but the media does

20 years after Bethel High School shooting gunman makes no excuses, but the media does

I haven’t posted much about the Bethel High School shooting that happened in Anchorage, Alaska, back in 1997. Back then a 16-year-old Evan Ramsey took a shotgun to the school and opened fire killing Principal Ron Edwards and student Josh Palacios. Ramsey was tried as an adult and was sentenced to close to 200 years in prison. Back in 2008, Ramsey gave an interview to Nightline where he blamed the shooting on everyone but himself. He blamed everything from video games, to bullies, to the kid who taught him how to shoot a gun. He even tried to claim that he didn’t think death was permanent at the time of the shooting.

Now, with the 20th anniversary of the shooting having just passed yesterday, the Alaskan media have spoken to Ramsey and he seems to have changed his tune.

From the Alaska Dispatch News

Ramsey said he is not making excuses or blaming video games, rock music or anything else, unlike how it sounded years ago in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. He is not looking for sympathy. He said he is speaking up to say how wrong he was and to help others, like school counselors, understand the rage that took hold.

“I can’t say that I am sorry enough,” Ramsey said. A correctional officer announced time was up. He said he hopes everyone he hurt will find closure, peace.

From KTVA

“There’s a part of me that will always be sad,” Evan Ramsey said. “Sad for what I did. But the small amount of sorrow that I have, others feel more.”

Evan Ramsey says he’s sorry for his crime and wishes he had known then that his high school years would pass quickly and his frustrations over bullying would be over.

So for once it seems that we have a school shooter that’s finally owning up to the responsibility of his actions. However, that hasn’t stopped the press for making the excuses for him. For example, the ADN headline reads “Evan Ramsey’s tattered life filled him with rage. Then he brought a shotgun to school.” Both articles I link to spend more time going over Ramsey’s childhood then they do about the victims of the shooting. They spend paragraphs on Ramsey’s father being sent to prison for his own attempted mass shooting and how his mother became an alcoholic. They talk about the bullying he suffered at school ad nauseam. Both articles are written in such a way that Ramsey’s childhood is supposed to somehow excuse the double homicide he committed.

If Ramsey is willing to accept responsibility for his crime the press is doing a major disservice by playing up his childhood issues. By doing so, they’re not only excusing his actions but they make them seem acceptable by potential school shooters.

SPU shooter sentenced to 112 years

SPU shooter sentenced to 112 years

Seattle Pacific University gunman Aaron Ybarra was sentenced to 112 years behind bars for his 2014 attack that left student Paul Lee dead.

Prior to the sentence being handed down Ybarra had this to say

“I realize I have damaged more than just innocent people,” Ybarra said. “I’ve damaged the community, maybe the world … I wish I could take back what I did.”

Again, probably more sorry that he got caught, and wasn’t able to join his heroes in the cowardly halls of hell.

Ybarra had also previously claimed that his plan was instructed to him by God and Satan. However, the prosecution noted that Ybarra didn’t make any such claims until he had already been in detention and heard talk of ‘God’s plan’ through ministries in jail.

There has been a lot of speculation that Ybarra is somehow representative of the failure of mental healthcare in this country. Let’s not forget that Ybarra was receiving treatment, but not only did he discount the treatment from day one, but also went off his meds so he could ‘feel the hate’.

So don’t shed a tear for Ybarra, he’s going exactly where he belongs for the rest of his natural life, away from society where he can’t hurt anyone anymore.

Shots fired at Baton Rouge high school

A 14-year-old suspect has been taken into custody after he allegedly produced a weapon and opened fire on the campus of Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Luckily, no one was struck by the bullets.

Early reports say that the student was a recent transfer to the school and witnesses say that the suspect was going to fight someone at lunch before pulling the gun and firing randomly outside. Please keep in mind that early reports of shootings like this can often be rumors and are subject to change.

The suspect was caught off campus by a plainclothes detective after the shooter allegedly threw the gun onto the roof of a building. The gun has been recovered. So far the shooter has not been named due to his age. Also there’s been no word on how the gun was obtained.

Since he was a new kid and was allegedly supposed to fight someone I can almost hear the ‘bullying’ cry going out. Let’s wait before we hear more details before we start the weeping and gnashing of teeth. As with the majority of shooters, it could very well turn out that he’s the bully. Even if he isn’t, it’s still no reason to try to kill someone.

UPDATE 2/7/2017: Investigators say that a fight between the shooter and four other students started on social media. No word what the fight was about yet.

UPDATE 2/9/2017: Yesterday, bail was set for the suspect at $110,000 on second-degree attempted murder charges. As of yesterday he was still being held in juvenile detention.

UPDATE 2/14/2017: Yesterday another student of the school, 17-year-old Quantae Kentrell Gray, was arrested for bringing yet another gun to the school. This same article that I linked to also identified the initial suspect as 14-year-old Jermaine Moore.

West Liberty-Salem High gunman wanted victim to shoot him

West Liberty-Salem High gunman wanted victim to shoot him

As an update to the shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School in Ohio, a second person was also injured in the shooting, but was said to have injuries that were not life threatening.

This past Monday,gunman Ely Ray Serna was in court and denied the charges, which I imagine is the juvenile equivalent of pleading not guilty. His attorney actually requested that he be allowed to return to his home with his parents. Thankfully, the judge ordered him held in juvenile detention for now, noting that the shooting “involved significant planning.”

Serna’s sister says that her brother is not a monster, but is unclear what his motive may have been.

Now, in a new Sheriff’s report that was released today, Serna allegedly apologized to Logan Cole after shooting him. Then Serna reportedly offered the gun to Cole and asked him to pull the trigger while the shotgun was pointed at Serna’s forehead. Cole is said to have refused the offer. The 17-year-old gunman then kicked the gun across the floor before being apprehended by school staff.

I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve ever heard of a school shooter offering his victim some form of restitution, not to mention showing signs of regret in the middle of their spree. In my opinion this doesn’t seem like the typical school shooting where the gunman is seeking some kind of fame or retribution. To me it seems more like he was trying to commit suicide by cop then lost his nerve after shooting Logan Cole. That in no way should be seen as an excuse for his actions. He shot Logan Cole twice with a 12 gauge shotgun at close range, once in the chest and again in the arm. For committing such a wanton act of violence he should be tried as an adult. That decision could be made as early as this coming Friday when Serna returns to court.

UPDATE 1/28/2017: Victim Logan Cole is said to have a shotgun pellet in his heart. While the injury is not life threatening at present, if left untreated could cause a heart infection.

This is said to be the GoFundMe set up for Logan Cole by his father.

UPDATE 2/3/2017: Today in court, a judge ordered a competency hearing for Serna, and that he remain in juvenile detention for now.

UPDATE 2/6/2017: Logan Cole has been released from the hospital, and is now home. His father states that he is still at risk of infection due to the shotgun pellets that they couldn’t retrieve.

UPDATE 2/17/2017: Logan Cole has returned to class, but is currently wearing a brace on his torso that should be removed within months.

Ohio school shooting injures one, shooter in custody

Ohio school shooting injures one, gunman in custody

Earlier today a 17-year-old gunman opened fire at West Liberty High School in West Liberty, Ohio. The school is actually known as West Liberty-Salem Middle /High School but for the sake of convenience I’ll use the former.

The as yet unidentified gunman is said to have fired several shotgun rounds through walls and windows of the school. A few of those shots struck 16-year-old Logan Cole who is said to be in stable condition. Cole was not the intended target according to police but no motive has been released as of yet. School staff were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived. Police also searched the home of the shooter but it has not yet been reported if anything has been seized. So far the suspect has been charged as a juvenile with felonious assault.

As I was reading the reports of the shooting I kept running across one particular quote that always seems to make it into articles regarding the initial reports of a school shooting…

“Especially in … such a small town like this, where you pretty much know everyone who lives in the town, you just never think that stuff like this is going to happen,” she said.

I guess we have to go over the list again don’t we? Did anyone ever know about Littleton, Colorado, before Columbine or Newtown, Connecticut, before Sandy Hook? Even in Ohio, did anyone ever heard of Chardon before the shooting at Chardon High that left three dead? There is no ‘it can’t happen here’.

I’ll post more details as they become available and as time allows.

(Sources)
Columbus Dispatch
WHIO
CBS News
ABC News

UPDATE 1/21/2017: The shooter has been identified as Ely Ray Serna. He is facing charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm, inducing panic and bringing a deadly weapon into a school safety zone. Prosecutors are saying that he may be charged as an adult. In my opinion he should be absolutely charged as an adult.

Also, it seems the school with many names is mostly known as West Liberty-Salem High School which is how I will refer to it going forward.

School shooting at American school in Mexico

School shooting at American school in Mexico

15-year-old Federico Guevara opened fire earlier today at Colegio Americano del Noreste, or American College of the Northeast, in the Mexican city of Monterrey. The shooting was caught on security camera footage, which then found its way onto social media, then traditional media. Guevara was said to be in a sitting position when he produced his pistol shooting the student in front of him, then his teacher. He then fired more rounds into the classroom striking two other students. He turned the gun on himself, pulled the trigger but missed. The gunman then said something to his classmates before shooting himself in the head. Guevara died later from his wounds at a hospital. The gun was a .22 that he had brought from home. The three victims are alive, but suffering from grave injuries.

No motive has been reported, but many reports say that the teen was being treated for depression. While many who commit crimes like this usually suffer from mental illness, is this really necessary to report? Many people suffer from depression, including myself. The way it’s being reported in this instance feels like it’s labeling people with depression as potential killers which further adds to the stigma of seeking mental healthcare. If history is any indicator the true motive will probably have something more to do with the shooter’s own failings that he blames on others.

UPDATE 1/19/2017: Some reports have identified the gunman as Federico Guevara Elizondo.

UPDATE 1/21/2017: The shooter allegedly told other students that he would be bringing a gun to school but no believed he would actually do it. For God’s sake people, in this day and age even if someone says this as a joke you need to report it. Its better to have it be not true and have someone inconvenienced rather than having three people in the hospital with gunshot wounds to the head.

Police have also said that there is no truth to the rumor that the gunman threatened the shooting online.

UPDATE 3/31/2017: Unfortunately, the teacher that was shot by Guevara, Cecilia Solís Flores, has passed away from her injuries from the shooting. She was 27-years-old. So much potential wasted due to a selfish shooter’s bullet.