This Monday, 24-year-old mother of four Alexis Wiederholdt called 911 to report that her five-year-old child had shot her nine-month-old son with a paintball gun. Tragically, it turned out to not be a paintball gun, but a real gun that her father, surely a Responsible Gun Owner™, left lying out somewhere.
The five-year old child, mistaking the gun for a toy, accidentally shot his brother in the head during a visit to Weiderholdt’s father’s house in the small rural town of Elmo, Missouri. It is likely that it was his gun that was left out in the first place.
The infant was airlifted to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City for care, but died a few hours afterwards. Keep reading »
Another school shooting. This time it took place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state. Fourteen-year-old high school freshman Jaylen Fryberg, pulled a gun out during lunch and began shooting, killing two 14-year-old girls, and severely wounding three other students before dying from a self-inflicted gun shot. Like with each school shooting before this one, we all sit back and wonder… why? How?
We can talk about guns as the root of all evil in these instances (Fryberg used a gun that was legally purchased) — and in fact, we should be shouting about the ease of access to guns in this country — but it’s not that simple. Because there’s more to it than just guns. Reports are slowly coming in that Fryberg may have targeted particular students at his school over a recent breakup. While we may never truly know his motivation, many are starting to piece together information gathered from fellow students and Fryberg’s own social media accounts. A student at Marysville-Pilchuk High School told the Seattle Times that Fryberg was “angry about a romantic relationship he was involved in, and that the girl was one of the people shot,” according to a student. Another student spoke about Fryberg and one of the victims, telling Reuters that she “heard he asked her out and she rebuffed him and was with his cousin.” The student boils it down: “It was a fight over a girl.” Keep reading »
A shooter at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, just outside of Seattle, has killed at least three people, including himself, and shot six, according to Marysville-Pilchuck students who have been tweeting through the shooting for the last two hours. The shooter, a male student at the school, opened fire in the school’s cafeteria during lunch period. The names of the deceased have been released to students, but the Marysville Police have yet to release any information to the press concerning the number of students injured or killed or the identities of the deceased.
Several of the students have had information requested by the police and several have turned it down. This Daily Dot article aggregated a few of the live tweets from students during the shooting — they’re insightful and worth looking into, but of course, please don’t contact the students in this moment of distress. Hashtags #MPHS, #PrayForMP, #PrayForMarysville, and #PrayForPilchuck are trending. [Daily Dot]
When gun violence is addressed, the first thing that comes to mind are horrific mass shootings, but one of the most common victims of gun violence are women with abusive partners. Abused women are five times more likely to be murdered by their abuser if the abuser owns a gun, and more than half of all women murdered by guns in the US are killed by their partners. The nonprofit Everytown put together this powerful ad in support of the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act, which would prevent domestic abusers and stalkers from being able to get a gun. It’s hard to think of scenes like this as a reality, but they will continue to happen every day until policy changes are in place to better protect women. Think before pressing play, because it’s a bit disturbing. [Smart Gun Laws, Everytown]
I never thought I’d see a funny public service announcement for gun control, but today was the day, my friends. “Playthings” warns adults of the dangers that come with leaving certain things out in the open—and in this case, it’s dildos. As two embarrassed moms look on while their sons sword fight with their sex toys, they suddenly learn the value of locks. And the same goes for guns, you guys! Get it? Anyway, watch the video for yourselves and learn a little something while you laugh.
Earlier this week, a 15-year-old boy brought an assault rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and several hundred rounds of ammo to Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon. He shot and killed a 14-year-old classmate, Emilio Hoffman, in the boys’ locker room before being cornered by police and taking his own life. The shooter got everything he needed to carry out a mass murder from his parents, “responsible gun owners” who kept the military-style weapons and ammunition in the family home.
Seth Needler, a teacher at Reynolds who was hunkered down in a classroom with 40 students during the shooting and ensuing lockdown, wrote up a chilling account of the ordeal and a call to action to fix our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. He posted it on Facebook, and it has been shared nearly 3,000 times so far. Read his powerful words in their entirety below, and keep sharing it — and demanding action — until our leaders finally take note. Not one more. Keep reading »