gun violence

In St. Charles, Missouri, Richard Darren Emery shot and killed Zoe Kasten, 8; her brother, Jonathan Kasten, 10; their grandmother, Jane Moeckel, 61; and their mother, Emery’s girl-friend.

After a shoot-out with the police, he abandoned an attempt to flee in his pickup and tried to carjack another vehicle. He stabbed the driver seven times before fleeing into the woods. He was finally captured in a convenience store restroom after a clerk called the cops.

Emery is facing 15 charges including first-degree murder, assault, and attempted robbery.

Three days ago, in Stanislaus County, California, police officer Ronil Singh, 33, was fatally shot by Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32. Perez was in the country illegally.

The Singh murder has become a conservative cause-célèbre. Inspiring a tweet from Trump, who used the crime as a prompt to demand his wall be built. And causing his zealot army to hurl imprecations at those who point out the wall’s folly.

Meanwhile, Emery’s killing spree will soon vanish into the haze of daily shootings — unremarked by the authorities and causing no concern among Trump’s fan club. But if we as a country are truly concerned about gun violence, Emery’s crimes should get at least as much attention as Perez’s.

Some will argue that cop killers are the worst kind of murderer. So let’s have a look at that. In 2017, 133 cops died from duty-related causes — 46 were shot, with automobile accidents being the other leading cause. Did any of those deaths raise more than a passing interest?

Certainly not as much as the  June 2015 death of xc, 32, who died after a shot fired by a gun picked up by an ‘illegal immigrant’ José Inez García Zárate, ricocheted and hit her in the back. This tragedy was mentioned by Trump in his acceptance speech at the RNC — over a year later in July 2016.

Every death is tragic. But let’s face facts. The vast majority of murdered Americans are killed by other Americans. To lobby for a $25 billion wall while doing nothing about the availability of guns to domestic abusers, felons and the criminally insane doesn’t point to a concern with life or national security, but rather to petty politics.

This cynicism extends to another rationale for the wall — keeping MS-13 out. But they are an equally minute portion of gang violence in the US. And many of the members are American — rendering a wall irrelevant. 

There will be almost 15,000 gun deaths in the US in 2018 (and that excludes suicides which will be more than double that number). Many could be prevented with universal background checks, mandatory training, waiting periods, better databases, stiffer penalties for unsecured guns and red flag laws. 

As well Congress should demand and fund studies by the CDC on the nature and causes of gun violence. And doctors should be allowed to talk to their patients about guns in the home — especially in homes with children.

Stunningly, 40% of homicides go unsolved in the US. In most developed countries killers are almost invariably caught. The inevitability of incarceration reduces crime more than the severity of the punishment.

St Charles is no stranger to domestic violence murders — recording six killings in just the past eight days. And of course, it isn’t just St Charles.

Last night in Covington, Ohio, one woman was killed and three others injured in three separate shootings. On Sunday morning, a 30-year-old man was found fatally shot in Baltimore, MD. And 40-year-old Damien King was shot and killed in Jackson, MS.

Also on Saturday, in Corpus Christi, TX, a  21-year-old male was shot multiple times in a car. He died. A female passenger was also shot. On the same day, in the same town, a 21-year-old woman was fatally shot by 32-year-old Thelma Villarreal.

In Indianapolis, a man in his 20s was found shot dead in a driveway Saturday night. He was the city’s 158th homicide of 2018, setting a new record. In St. George, UT, an unidentified man was shot dead in a bar by Bronson Joseph Flynn, 26. In Akron, OH an unidentified 32-year-old was found shot dead.

Also on Saturday, in Washington, DC, Curtis Wills-Bey, 53, was shot multiple times before dying in a hospital. A man was fatally shot in Tempe, AZ. A murder/suicide attempt ended in a shooting death and wounding in Vista, CA.

There were also shooting deaths in Beaumont TX; Houston TX; Philadelphia PA; San Diego CA; Petersburg VA, North Little Rock AR; Barrett TX; and that was just Saturday. And it doesn’t include police-involved shootings, suicides or shootings only resulting in injuries. 

And thankful, with school out for the holidays we haven’t had any school massacres recently.

The next time a conservative tells you we have to build a wall to make America safer, ask them why they aren’t serious about tackling the problem of gun violence in America.

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