Showing posts with label mass murder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mass murder. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

What will you do when the gun turns on you?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 6, 2022

If you are a gun owner and believe that everyone should be able to buy whatever gun they want, or have as many as they want, have you ever asked yourself, "What would you do when the gun turns on you?"

Most people that own guns have a handgun for protection in their homes. Some carry one when they are out. These guns increase the odds of survival if an unarmed person breaks into your home while you are there. If you are not, then the gun you have for your own protection can end up in the hands of the criminal that broke into your home. It is a risk you are willing to take.

If a person breaks into your home and is armed, at least your odds of stopping them are equal. What if they break in with an AR15? Is your handgun going to stop them from obliterating your whole family? That is the chance you take if you are supporting the rights of anyone to get their hands on this type of weapon.

Most of the people I know have guns. They are responsible people. Over the years, I've asked them a lot of questions. I have always been a curious person, so they were used to it. They told me they keep their handguns near the bed when they go to sleep. If they had kids, then the gun was locked away.

You want to make sure your kids can't get their hands on it because you know that it is dangerous for them to get their tiny hands on it. You've read enough reports of what comes after they do get ahold of them.

On June 9, 2022, a one-year-old was shot by her brother. On May 26, 2022, in Florida, a Dad is dead and Mom has been arrested after their two-year-old son got his hands on the gun and shot his Dad. In April, in Philadelphia, a "4-year-old girl is dead after her younger brother apparently shot her by accident inside a car parked at a gas station." You can sadly find more of these reports because parents were irresponsible. You know what can happen, so you are careful.

If your handgun is locked away, where is your key? If someone breaks in, do you have time to find the key, unlock your gun, take it out, find the invader, aim and shoot before they do? Do you have time if they have an AR15 or similar type of weapon? Huge difference in your odds.

If the answer is no, then why would want this type of weapon to be allowed for anyone to purchase? They are being used for mass slaughter on our streets at parades, in schools where your kids go, as a matter of fact, they are used wherever you are but so far, you've been lucky enough to not be there when it happened.

Aside from the fact that none of the attendees at the July 4th celebrations where chaos was caused, especially at the parade in Highland Park, will ever be the same, the slaughter was caused by one of these guns and not a handgun you keep for self-protection.

The debate around the country is the wrong one to have for one simple reason, the AR15 is not considered an "assault weapon nor assault rifle.

Definition of what’s actually an ‘assault weapon’ is a highly contentious issue
Exactly what constitutes a so-called “assault weapon” is a highly contentious issue and something that riles up some gun advocates.
Some gun control backers pushing for an assault weapons ban include the AR-15-style rifle used in recent mass shootings. But the firearms industry insists the AR-15-style rifles are technically neither assault weapons nor assault rifles.
Following last week’s Florida school killings, there’s movement by gun control advocates in some states to ban so-called assault weapons.

Yet exactly what constitutes an “assault weapon” is a contentious issue and something that riles up some gun advocates. In fact, many of the large gun groups consider “assault weapon” a made up and ambiguous term invented by the anti-gun lobby in the 1980s, maintaining that guns don’t actually “assault” people.

That said, the gun industry’s traditional definition of an “assault rifle” is a weapon the military generally uses and has “select fire capabilities,” or the capability to switch between semi-automatic or a fully automatic mode. However, the civilian AR-15s do not have the select fire capabilities, only semi-automatic settings, so the firearms industry insists they are not an actual assault rifle or assault weapon.
And that dear readers, is the problem. It's time for all of us to think beyond our own narrow view of gun rights. There are people out there that should never get their hands on any kind of weapon. I happen to be one of them. No, I'm not deranged or anything like that. I happen to be a klutz. Ask any of my friends and they'll confirm that one. You also wouldn't want me to hold a gun if you ever saw me throw something, including a frisbee. (I hit a priest in the head with one at a cookout.)

I am not against all guns for all reasons. I just want to see my friends stay alive and have their kids survive getting through school, being able to go to movies, shopping, and worship services, and be able to regain what it is like to want to celebrate the freedom that was hard-won with their service to this country. I want my friends on the police force to be able to confront these criminals with their "legal" weapons of slaughter to have a chance to stop them because these weapons are off our streets, instead of becoming one more death the suspect is charged for committing.

If you are finished reading this, do you know now what you would do if the gun turned on you?

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Gun maker used child and Bible to sell guns!

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 7, 2022

I don't have time to read much that does not involve #PTSD but considering all these mass murders are creating more survivors with PTSD, I've been reading these reports more lately.

I was sent a link to a Tweet about a gunmaker using a child and a Bible passage to sell guns. I totally lost my mind!

Gun-Maker Posted Chilling Ad Of Child Cradling Firearm Before Uvalde Tragedy

Huffington Post
Mary Papenfuss
May 27, 2022

Daniel Defense posted a Twitter ad with a young boy cradling a gun like the one used in the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
The Georgia gun company that manufactures the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle used in the horrific attack at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, posted a disturbing Twitter ad featuring a young boy holding a similar type of weapon.

The ad by the Daniel Defense gun company, one of the largest private gun-makers in America, featured a child holding a huge scoped firearm in his lap with an ammunition clip in front of him. An adult’s hand with a finger pointing at the boy appeared in the foreground.
read more here

Evidently, it was not well received considering he blocked people from seeing it after 19 children and 2 teachers were slaughtered.

Daniel Defense quickly blocked the public from its Twitter account after the mass shooting on Tuesday, and the ad was reportedly pulled. It can still be seen on screenshots and archives captured by The Wayback Machine.

I have a Bible passage too! How about Matthew 7:15-20 for starters?

You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

The fruits of these people are rotted to their core! Here is the rest of the passage so you can see what they decided to leave out in order to support their wickedness.

The Value of a Good Name
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
2 The rich and the poor have this in common,
The Lord is the maker of them all.
3 A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.
4 By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower is servant to the lender.
8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow,
And the rod of his anger will fail.
9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed,
For he gives of his bread to the poor.
10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart
And has grace on his lips,
The king will be his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge," But He overthrows the words of the faithless.
13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be slain in the streets!”
14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a deep pit;
He who is abhorred by the Lord will fall there.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
16 He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches,
And he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Time for the majority to use their power

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos 
June 3, 2022

The majority of Americans own guns. The majority of Americans are also supporting gun law restrictions. So why are the members of the GOP in the Senate and House against them?

The answer comes from FORBES.

The poll found a combined 59% think it’s important for elected leaders to “pass stricter gun control laws,” including 83% of Democrats, 52% of Independents, and 37% of Republicans.

Just 37% of Republicans? Seriously? I know a lot of them and they are great people, love their families and friends, and would not want to see any harm come to them, especially from a bullet. They are responsible gun owners. Well, there was one time when we were in a truck following our husbands on a ride from Florida to Washington DC for a Memorial ride. We stopped for lunch with the guys and had a great time. We drove for about twenty minutes when one of the women realized she left her purse behind. We were in the passing lane, so we missed the next exit, had to drive more miles, and turned around while she tried to calm down. She ran in and thanked God a waitress found it instead of an unethical person, or, God forbid, a child got their hands on it. (I don't own a gun for a simple reason. I'm a klutz. Ask anyone I know and they'll agree that is the last thing that should ever be in my hands.)

The other thing is, most of the people I know are Republicans and I never once worried about being around them with their guns. They must be in the 37% of the Republicans thinking there should be stricter gun laws. I can't imagine any of them being in favor of anyone getting their hands on an AR15, or any other weapon, considering all of them obey the law and treat their weapons with respect.

So when do the majority of people in this country actually act like they are? When do we use the power of our numbers instead of just shutting up, living our own lives, worrying about our own problems, and shaking our heads because we don't think there is a damn thing we can do about any of this?

The minority has more power because they scream about what they want and demand it. The minority of people acting up always get the attention of the media, including social media because the majority think there is nothing they can do, so we allow them to do and get whatever they want.

I was talking to a woman yesterday and she said it seems like everything is just too much. She ran down the list of everything that is wrong. I told her I felt the same way, but take comfort when I see enormous groups of people joining together to fight for what is right and let their voices be heard. I take comfort when I hear politicians and members of the press showing the emotional turmoil they are in when they talk about the children massacred in Robb Middle School in Uvalde, Texas. 

That is another problem for the members of the GOP in Congress because they keep saying the way to address it is by arming more teachers and putting armed guards into schools. After all, as they say, "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." The truth, however, is not a movie. There were plenty of armed "good guys" outside of Robb but nothing while the murderer was murdering more kids.

Let this headline sink in for a second from People.

Police Knew Texas Shooter Was in Room with Kids, Undermining Claim They Thought He Was Barricaded: Witnesses

Read the rest of this and then try to figure out how you can use your own voice to stop all this. If you read Wounded Times because of #PTSD, then know this, when we do nothing, we increase membership into this club no one wants to join.
There are about 393 million privately owned firearms in the US, according to an estimate by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey -- or in other words, 120 guns for every 100 Americans. That's the highest rate of any country in the world, and more than double the rate of the next country on the list.

A number of polls and surveys conducted in recent years share some insights on gun ownership in the United States.

What studies reveal about gun ownership in the US

By Harmeet Kaur
June 2, 2022

(CNN)As the nation continues to endure devastating mass shootings and increasing homicide rates, guns remain a fixture of American culture.

Many Americans consider the right to bear arms sacred, seeing guns as key to their identities and individual freedoms. Some keep guns for protection, hunting or sport, while others see guns and the lax regulations around them as a threat to life and safety. Recurring tragedies involving guns contribute to a climate of fear in which those positions become more entrenched.

Understanding gun ownership in the US can help inform debates about firearm laws (or lack thereof). Obtaining a precise picture, however, is challenging because no definitive database of gun sales exists. What we have to rely on then are polls and survey data from think tanks and academic researchers, which vary somewhat in their estimates. Still, there are some broad trends that stand out.
read more here

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Beslan school attack: understand how a demon took control of Russia

If you are wondering how Putin could hate so much, he'd willingly slaughter babies and children in Ukraine, he didn't care about then in his own country. 

Beslan school attack

The siege began on the morning of September 1, 2004, when at least 32 armed individuals stormed the school and took more than 1,000 hostages, including pupils in both primary and secondary grades and their teachers, as well as parents and relatives who had gathered to celebrate the opening day of the new school year. Some people died in the initial attack, but most were herded into a gymnasium, which the attackers rigged with explosives. The hostages were refused water or food; after two days passed, some of them resorted to drinking urine. The siege ended on the morning of September 3, when explosions inside the school prompted Russian special forces to enter the building. Many hostages were killed by explosions or in a subsequent fire in the gym.
Watch this on PBS and understand how a demon took control of Russia.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Arnold Schwarzenegger message to Russian soldiers

To readers in Russia, Arnold Schwarzenegger has an important message for you.

This is his video, without being cut or edited by news media stations. Listen to the whole message and then think about what is going on inside of you. That sickening feeling you have over what you are doing is not hatred of the Ukrainina people. It is hatred of what you are becomming. I pray you find the strength and courage to do the right thing. God will show you the way to end the slaughter of the Ukrainian people. What you choose to do this day, will in fact last the rest of your life. Do you want to find mercy from God? Do you want to find redemption for what you have done? Do you want to be able to look at your own children and say that you did all you could to save the lives of Ukrainian childen? Or, do you want to spend the rest of your life hating what you have become aqnd explain to your children how you participated in the slaughter of other children just like them?

Arnold Schwarzenegger message to Russian Soldiers
I love the Russian people, that's why I have to tell you the truth. Please watch and share.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Ukraine video shown to congress, stunning

If you just watched President Zelensky deliver his speech to Congress, you saw the video of what Putin is doing to the Ukrainian people. If you have a heart, it just broke.

PBS NewsHour
Warning: Some of the video shown during this speech contains graphic imagery.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver a virtual address Wednesday to Congress, the latest in a series of appeals the leader has made to world leaders for more assistance as Russia's invasion continues.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

The shooting in Lakeland Florida has left a lot of questions

The shooting in Lakeland Florida has left a lot of questions, but apparently the press is not asking the questions we are.

The murderer, was high on meth. How did he get a job working for a security firm? Do they do any background checks or drug testing?

How did he end up doing security for a church, where he supposedly heard God telling him to go to the house, where a who was supposedly trying to kill herself lived? 

Top that off with she didn't live there. Why did he bring the weapons to murder the people who did live there? Why did he kill the adults? Why did he kill the infant? Why did he shoot the 11 year old? Why did he shoot the dog?

The other question is, how does someone go from serving seven years honorably into committing mass murder?

If you think this has anything to do with PTSD, it doesn't even though he may or may not have it. This is more about meth and being armed while hallucinating than it does anything else. If you know anything about Lakeland FL, you are already aware of the meth problem there. 

"The Polk County Sheriff’s Office had a huge win with the largest meth seizure in county history. According to Sheriff Grady Judd, the mastermind of the operation was running the drug ring from inside prison."

Here are some of the reports about the shooting.

Shooter in Lakeland, Florida kills 4, including infant, shoots 11-year-old girl multiple times, sheriff says
Judd said Riley was a Marine Corps veteran and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He spend four years in the Corps before being honorably discharged. He then spent another three years in the reserves.  
He worked at ESS Global Corp., providing executive protection and security. According to his girlfriend of four years, whom he lived with in Brandon, Riley had PTSD and was occasionally depressed but never violent.
The article also reported;
She said he worked security at a church in Orlando a week ago and came home saying he could speak directly to God.

Sheriff identifies 'survivalist' on meth arrested after 4 people shot to death in Lakeland 

Judd said the suspect is a self-described "survivalist" and told deputies he was on meth.

Deputies said Riley also shot and killed the family dog. The dog was named after a Polk County Sheriff's Office K-9.

Judd called Riley "evil," sharing that Riley said, "They begged for their lives and I killed them anyway."

Monday, June 8, 2020

Mass murders stopped in minutes because of law enforcement

Open your eyes to what law enforcement also does

Wounded Times
Kathis Costos
June 8, 2020

According to reports from the AP there were at least 11 protestors killed during the protests for George Floyd as of June 2, 2020. We all saw the horrible images of looters, rioters destroying property, as well as what happened when police responded to protestors. We saw them being attacked, vehicles destroyed and every other horrible thing that happened.

The thing is, we also saw humanity at its best. Officers joining protestors, walking and praying with them. We saw protestors protecting officers. We saw a lot, but as much as we were affected by the images, we tend to forget that they are also affected by what they see on a daily basis. They see the bad results of what people choose to do, as well as when they choose to respond with acts of kindness.

Right now there are government officials talking about defunding law enforcement. It is almost as if they think there is no need for them to be there. It isn't as if everyplace is like Mayberry with Andy and Barney being able to protect the community.

Instead of getting rid of officers, how about we do the smart thing and get rid of bad ones at the same time we get those who need help to heal because of their jobs actually get it?

We tend to forget all the times they have been putting their lives on the line to protect people.

According to statistics reported to the FBI, 89 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2019. Of these, 48 officers died as a result of felonious acts, and 41 officers died in accidents. 

According to Officer Down it was 147. For 2020 so far it has been 97.

From 2008 throughout 2010, I trained to help first responders heal because of their jobs. Crisis Intervention Teams seemed to focus on the victims, more than the responders but the need was clear to me.

Please take a serious look at just a few of the times when they showed up to mass shootings and notice how fast they responded. As bad as the incident was, it would have been much worse had they not been on their jobs willing to die for others.


Sandy Hook Elementary School and slaughter 26 children and educators last Dec. 14, and finally kill himself.

9:35:39 The first 911 call to police was received.

•9:36:06, a dispatcher broadcast that there had been a shooting at Sandy Hook school.

9:39:00 The first Newtown police officer arrived at the school. Two more officers arrived 13 seconds later. Gunshots were heard.

•9:39:34, a police officer encountered an "unknown male" running along the east side of the school.

•9:40:03, the last gunshot was heard.

USA Today

Pulse Nightclub (CNN)Here's a timeline of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, when a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53

1:58 a.m 320 people are enjoying a "Latin flavor" event at Pulse

2:02 a.m. ET: An officer working extra duty in uniform at the club hears gunshots and engages the shooter. Some 100 officers from the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Orlando Police Department respond to the chaotic scene over the next 45 minutes.

Mandalay Bay Resort 58 people were killed and more than 850 injured when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on October 1, 2017. 

Using multiple rifles, Paddock opened fired on the crowd of 22,000 people below him, from a distance where he would have had no ability to distinguish individual targets.

10:05 p.m.: Paddock starts shooting out the window.

10:12 p.m.: Police inside the hotel start to close in.

10:15 p.m.: Paddock stops shooting out the window.

There are many more of these times, but I am sure you noticed how much worse it could have been. Consider that the next time you want to approve of law enforcement being off the jobs they do.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

5 dead, 21 others shot in Texas...will the Senate ever do anything?


Odessa news station evacuated mid-broadcast due to shooting Odessa, Texas, CNN affiliate KOSA-TV was forced to evacuate their studio in the middle of a live broadcast due to their proximity to the shooting that left at least five people dead.Source: CNN

update Hero cop shot multiple times in Texas rampage

One of the three law enforcement heroes injured in Saturday’s mass shooting in Texas was identified late Saturday on GoFundMe — Midland Police Officer Zack Owens.

Shooter killed in West Texas after 5 people died, at least 21 injured, police say

By Ed Lavandera and Ralph Ellis
August 31, 2019
(CNN)A gunman in West Texas who killed five people while firing from his vehicle and then from a hijacked mail truck was fatally shot by police in a gun battle in a movie theater parking lot, authorities said Saturday.

At least 21 people were injured, including some who were wounded by the shooter, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a news conference. Gerke said three law enforcement officers were injured: one from the Department of Public Safety, one officer from the Midland Police Department and one officer from Odessa Police Department. Gerke said the shooter was identified as a white male in his 30's. His name and a motive were not given. Midland Mayor Jerry Morales told CNN the chain of events began when a Department of Public Safety officer pulled over a vehicle on an interstate highway Saturday.

"That's when he shot the officer and then took off and started shooting randomly," Morales said. "Everything happened after that."

At one point, the shooter ditched his vehicle and hijacked a US Postal Service truck, authorities said. Law enforcement officers "trapped him in the parking lot of the Cinergy theater, and that's when they were able to engage him," Morales said.
read it here

Mitch McConnell is the head of the Senate and has blocked anything that the people of this country have been begging for! When he took over the Senate, he gleefully stated that the "number one priority was to make Obama a one term president, even if that meant everything else could go to hell.
While McConnell did not achieve that goal, he saw gains with the Republican takeover of the House in 2010. Two years later, despite the Democrats’ push for gun control legislation after the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, McConnell voted against a 2013 bill that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases.
So who is Mitch McConnell working for?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Should military execute death row inmates again?

Resuming federal executions unlikely to affect military death row

Published: August 12, 2019

The Trump administration’s plan to begin executing federal death row inmates for the first time in 16 years will have little effect on the four soldiers sentenced to death, military lawyers and the Army said.
Master Sgt. Timothy Hennis and his wife, Angela Hennis, walk to the Fort Bragg, N.C., courthouse for his murder trial Thursday, April 8, 2010. Hennis was found guilty of the May 9, 1985, murder of Kathryn Eastburn and her two children. STEPHANIE BRUCE, THE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVE/AP

They include Ronald Gray, a former cook who was convicted three decades ago of multiple rapes and four murders near Fort Bragg, N.C., and was scheduled to be executed in 2008. The case remains ongoing in Kansas federal district court, with no clear end in sight.

Also on death row is former Sgt. Hasan Akbar, convicted in 2005 of killing two officers and wounding 14 other soldiers two years earlier in Kuwait; Timothy Hennis, a master sergeant convicted in 2010 of the 1985 rape and murder of a woman and murder of her two children; and Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist convicted in 2013 of killing 13 people and wounding numerous others on Ft. Hood in 2009.

All “are in various stages of legal action,” Army spokesman William Sharp said in an email. When and how those actions might conclude is unknown.

Presidents must approve the execution of those sentenced to death at court-martial, after receiving a recommendation from the secretary of the associated service branch. The Navy has not executed any of its members since 1849.
read it here

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Virginia Beach Victims identified, employees and contractor getting permit

update Virginia Beach attacker, who had served in National Guard, notified boss of plans to leave job

Officials ID Virginia Beach gunman as city employee

Associated Press
Ben Finley
June 1, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The gunman who killed 12 people in a Virginia Beach municipal building was identified by police Saturday as a 15-year city employee who had served in the military and was described by neighbors as quiet and rarely smiling.

Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera identified the gunman as DeWayne Craddock, who was employed as an engineer with the city's public utilities department. Cervera declined to comment on a motive for Friday's rampage that ended with Craddock dying in a gun battle with police. .

Authorities used a Saturday morning news conference to focus on the victims, saying 11 of them worked for the city. Another victim was a contractor trying to get a permit. They projected photos on a screen and gave each victim's name along with biographical details.
The 11 city employees who died were identified as;
Laquita C. Brown of Chesapeake,

Tara Welch Gallager of Virginia Beach,
Mary Louise Gayle of Virginia Beach,
Alexander Mikhail Gusev of Virginia Beach,
Katherine A. Nixon of Virginia Beach,
Richard H. Nettleton of Norfolk,
Christopher Kelly Rapp of Powhatan,
Ryan Keith Cox of Virginia Beach,
Joshua A. Hardy of Virginia Beach,
Michelle "Missy" Langer of Virginia Beach
Robert "Bobby" Williams of Chesapeake
The 12th victim, Herbert "Bert" Snelling of Virginia Beach, was a contractor filling a permit.
read more here

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Hate denied by love defined at Christchurch

Hate denied by love defined at Christchurch

Time a time again, someone decides to act out of hate against people who have nothing to do with what is a boiling rage against them. 

Yet, time and time again, we see that one act followed by hundreds of acts based on love.

All too often, when something like this shatters the "normal" life experience, we ask "Where was God" but if you look, you can see Him everywhere.

You see him when someone else puts their own life on the line, sacrificing themselves to save another. You see it when, with every reason to fear another attack, people show up in case they can help someone else.

You see it when a Father saves his son from bullets, so he may live on. When police officers rush to help, not knowing if they will ever return to their own homes. Other first responders run toward the wounded, not knowing if they will be next to need rescuing.

When you go to the link, there is a video and a young woman, crying, says "This is not who we are. This will not define us." And it won't because in return for the one action of a person filled with hate, love responded.

New Zealand Attacks: Quick Action, Near Miss and Courage in Christchurch

The New York Times
By Damien Cave
March 17, 2019

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — Abdul Aziz was praying with his four sons in the Linwood Mosque when he heard the gunshots. Rather than run from the noise, he ran toward it, grabbed the first thing he could find — a credit card machine — and flung it at the attacker.

The man dropped a shotgun, and Mr. Aziz picked it up. “I pulled the trigger, and there was nothing,” he recalled. The gunman ran to his car, where he had other weapons, and Mr. Aziz followed, throwing the shotgun at the vehicle and shattering a window.

Mr. Aziz’s actions, which he and others described in interviews, may have prompted the gunman to speed away rather than return to kill more people. Minutes later, two police officers from another town who were in the area rammed the suspect’s car into a curb and took him into custody, ending the worst mass murder in New Zealand’s modern history.
But interviews with dozens of survivors, and an analysis of a video recorded by the attacker as well as one made of his arrest by a bystander, suggest that the violence ended after a near miss by the police at the first mosque — and acts of courage during and after the attack on the second.

If not for the two police officers, who have not been publicly identified, and Mr. Aziz, 48, a ponytailed furniture shop owner who fled Afghanistan a quarter-century ago, the slaughter might have continued. The suspect had two other guns in his car, the police said, as well as two homemade explosives
read more here

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Marine Vet Would Have Tried to Help Shooter Heal PTSD

Slain Marine Vet Would Have Tried to Help Shooter if He Could, Friend Says
By Hope Hodge Seck
November 10, 2018

"I know that if the shooter -- it's hard to even say he's a Marine, it hurts -- If Dan and I knew this guy needed help, we would be like, 'hey, dude, what can we do for you,'" Andrade said. "We clicked with veterans fast, quick. Dan would have helped this guy."

An hour and change before Dan Manrique's life was brutally cut short in a mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California Wednesday night, he had been in a meeting with fellow members of veterans organization Team Red White and Blue, brainstorming about how to improve community within the group and connect better with veterans in need.
Rudy Andrade, far left, stands next to fellow Marine Corps veteran Dan Manrique, who was killed in a mass shooting Nov. 7 at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. 
(Photo courtesy of Genevieve Urquidi)
So when Rudolph Andrade, a Team RWB chapter captain for Los Angeles, got a text message the following day asking if Manrique had been in the vicinity of the shooting, Andrade's first response was reassurance.

"Dan was with me last night when all this happened," Andrade said he replied.

Days later, the shock of processing the loss of Manrique, a close friend as well as a teammate, is still setting in for him.

In fact, there were at least three members of Team RWB at the scene horrific shooting that claimed 12 lives, according to Andrade and postings on the Team RWB Ventura County Facebook page: Manrique, on full-time staff for the group as the Pacific Regional Manager; Justin Meek, a promoter at the bar killed in the shooting, who'd reportedly planned on joining the Coast Guard after college; and Fernan Diamse, another chapter member who made it out alive, but sustained a cut on his arm from broken window glass in his effort to escape.
read more here

Friday, November 9, 2018

Veterans among victims killed in California bar attack

Navy, Marine Corps veterans among victims killed in California bar attack

Published: November 8, 2018

Dan Manrique, 33, volunteered for the Marine Corps and deployed to Afghanistan as a radio operator in 2007. He served for six years, then returned to Southern California. He was one of the 12 victims of Wednesday's shooting in Thousand Oaks, Calif. VIA TWITTER

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — One was a veteran police officer who didn't hesitate to run toward danger. Another was an art student who worked with children at her church. Others were a Navy veteran, an a cappella singer who worked as a caregiver, and a security guard with a "big personality" who was known for making sure everyone got home safely.

They were among a dozen people killed in a shooting at a country music bar in Southern California. Authorities believe the gunman , Ian David Long, ultimately killed himself.

The victims' stories began to emerge Thursday. It was going to be a "very difficult day for many people," said Andrew Fox, mayor of Thousand Oaks, California, where the attack happened Wednesday night.

DAN MANRIQUE: A 'REALLY STRONG, SELFLESS LEADER' It wasn't easy for Dan Manrique, 33, after he left the Marine Corps. As he resumed life in California, Manrique was drawn to Team Red, White and Blue, a group that helps veterans adjust. First, he was a volunteer, and then, just weeks ago, he became a full-time program manager.

Telemachus Orfanos, 27, was a U.S. Navy veteran with a thick beard, an easy smile and a gladiator helmet tattoo. His friends called him "Tel."

Orfanos had survived last year's massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, only to die inside Borderline, less than 10 minutes from his home in suburban Los Angeles.

CODY COFFMAN: 'THE BIG BROTHER THAT MY KIDS NEED' Cody Coffman, who had just turned 22, was talking with Army recruiters and preparing to fulfill his dream of serving his country, said his father, Jason Coffman, who wept as he told a group of reporters that his first-born son was among the victims.
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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Heroes of Borderline

What happened and the rest of the story at Borderline Bar and Grill

Already the headlines are leading with "veteran" "Marine" but is is also a story of heroes.

The following came from live updates on CNN

People lined the streets as a procession of officers escorted the body of a hero Sgt. Ron Helus, who died trying to save people.

Hundreds line up to donate blood in Thousand Oaks
There are currently over 200 people in line at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks, waiting to donate blood to victims of last night’s mass shooting, according to school officials.

Thousand Oaks Mayor Andy Fox had pleaded earlier Thursday for blood donors to step forward.

The school had previously scheduled a blood drive on campus - but pivoted to gathering donations specific to this incident.

Donors are encouraged to make appointments at 877-25-VITAL.

Recent college grad killed in shooting "heroically saved lives"
From CNN's Amanda Watts and Hollie Silverman
Justin Meek, 23, was among the people killed in the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, according to California Lutheran University President Chris Kimball.
In a statement, Kimball said Meek was a recent graduate and "heroically saved lives in the incident."
Strangers were trying to save others and officers rushed with other first responders. All of them putting the lives of others ahead of their own.

The thing is, headlines make everyone focus on the shooter being a veteran, without ever once considering the rest of his story, or the simple fact that a veteran committing mass murder is very rare.

The thing is, he was a hero too, because he was willing to die to save others. The fact that he pulled out a gun and shot so many strangers should not be a reflection on other veterans. 

This kind of thing is very rare because they are more likely to harm themselves than anyone else.

This kind of a thing, this should be a reflection on all of us. If this is the outcome after putting his life on the line, and the outcome of so many others who perish after service, then all of us should be wondering what we did not do about any of it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

UPMC chaplain among wounded in synagogue mass shooting

Veteran police officer, UPMC chaplain among wounded in synagogue mass shooting

Pittsburg Post Gazette
Shelly Bradbury
October 28, 2018
Pittsburgh police officer Tim Matson is seen here after receiving an award at the 19th Annual Law Enforcement Agency Directors Awards Ceremony on Jan. 27, 2017. Officer Matson was one of four officers wounded in the Squirrel Hill synagogue mass shooting on Oct. 27, 2018.

A veteran Pittsburgh police officer known for keeping his cool under pressure and using humor to defuse tense situations was one of four officers wounded while responding to an active shooter Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

Pittsburgh police Officer Timothy Matson cracked jokes in his hospital room Sunday, a day after he was shot multiple times and critically injured while confronting the shooter who killed 11 people.

“We were in his hospital room today, visiting, and as soon as we walk in he’s already cracking jokes,” Cmdr. Jason Lando said. “He’s in that situation, where his life is the one in danger, and everyone is so worried about him — but he’s cracking jokes and it makes everyone feel better.”

That’s just the type of guy he is, Cmdr. Lando said. Officer Matson joined the department in 2005 and was assigned to Zone 5. He has been a part of the city’s SWAT team since 2016.

“When bullets are flying and people’s lives are in danger, Tim Matson is the guy you want going through the door,” Cmdr. Lando said. “He’s the guy who goes in and calmly gets the job done.”

An online fundraising campaign for Officer Matson raised nearly $20,000 Sunday.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

What actually defines us, are actions like this!

Evil shall not define us

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
October 28, 2018

Most of today, I have been listening to the news reports about the massacre in Pittsburgh. Yesterday I had let a comment on Google+ that the people had gone to pray and worship and someone went to kill them because they did.

It was shocking, but we have had many times such as this. It is easier to think of all the bad that came out of the murder's hatred.

CNN just reported on the mass murder in Pittsburgh.These are the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting but when we think of how one person hated so much, we may tend to think that actions based on hatred have become what defines us.

What actually defines us, are actions like this!
People hold candles outside the Tree of Life Synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018.
Maybe the thing that scares us the most, is, we know the next time it could be anyone deciding to take out their misery on others. Maybe it is because we also know, it could happen anywhere, at anytime.

Easy to have our thoughts go in that direction. It is easy to want to stay in the safety of our homes, behind locked doors. Easy to shop online instead of going out in public. Easy to keep our kids home and teach them there, instead of sending them to school. Easy to communicate with strangers on our cell phones, than to sit and talk, eye to eye, as if they deserved your full attention.

It has become easy to justify being offended by the least little thing, as if everyone else should bow down and let them have their own way. Being offended has become a full time cause, feeding into those who hate instead of finding what binds us by what we communicate.

What is hard, is not what is done by evil acts. That is always something easy for them to do. What defines us is, what we do in response.

When we refuse to stop worshiping, as we choose, that defines us.

When we refuse to stop going shopping and being out with others, that defines us.

When we refuse to settle for what is, because we are constantly thinking of what could be, that defines us.

When we refuse to let an act of pure hate take one moment of love from our hearts, that defines us too.

When we see someone in need and refuse to walk away, that defines us. 

When we see someone being abused and refuse to think it is their problem and not ours, that defines us.

When we stand against what some of our friends think is OK, and we refuse to remain silent, that defines us.

We have witnessed many, far too many, acts committed by hatred to have forgotten how time and time again, we respond with love and compassion for the victims, support for the survivors and gratefulness for the First Responders. We also do it with a tremendous amount of courage. 

One person acts out of hate, hundreds respond with compassion.

That is what we will be defined by!

Four Police Officers among the wounded in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting claims 11 lives; 4 officers among multiple wounded: Officials

"First responders prevented the shooting from becoming a worse tragedy, and the injured have been taken to three area hospitals with level one trauma centers. Without their courage, this tragedy would have been far worse." Alleghany Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich
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'Darkest day in Pittsburgh's history': Officials discuss new details in Squirrel Hill massacre

Pittsburgh Post Gazette Shelly Bradbury and Ashley Murray October 28,2018 Law enforcement officers, prosecutors and others discussed the latest details of Saturday’s mass shooting at Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill at a Sunday morning press conference.
The 11 people killed inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue Saturday included a husband and wife and two brothers, authorities said Sunday. 

The victims, who ranged in age from 54 to 97, were identified as: Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland
Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross
Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood
brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill, and David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill
married couple Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkinsburg
Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill
Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill
Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Survivors of Navy Yard shooting settle lawsuits

She was sure she was about to die at Navy Yard, and five years later has built a new life
Washington Post
Anne E Marimow
September 15, 2018
The anniversary comes as a group of victims’ relatives and survivors, including Stultz, have reached settlements in their negligence lawsuits against two private companies that employed Alexis, who was fatally shot by police who flooded the scene. The agreements close a chapter for the 15 plaintiffs who went to federal court in Washington seeking a combined $189 million in claimed damages.
Lori Lee Stultz no longer works at the Washington Navy Yard, where she escaped a mass shooting in 2013. She now runs a linens company that she credits with helping her heal. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
When the first shots were fired inside Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard, Lori Lee Stultz huddled beneath a desk with two colleagues, gripping their hands and trying to stay quiet, certain they’d be killed.

All around her, glass shattered, fire alarms blared, desk phones rang incessantly, and a colleague screamed, “Help me!”

The shooter, Aaron Alexis, gunned down 12 Navy civilian personnel and contractors that morning in September 2013, including too many of Stultz’s friends and colleagues from 15 years at the Navy Yard.

Stultz, of Arlington, and about 20 other survivors from Building 197 plan to gather Sunday to mark five years since the mass shooting.

“You become part of a strange community that no one else understands. We’re not crying; we’re just remembering,” Stultz said. “You can’t really talk to other people about it. It’s just upsetting, and they don’t know what to say.”
read more here