February 15th, 2010

Amy Bishop: cold cases

As with all such shootings, the mass murder at the University of Alabama, Huntsville is shocking and disturbing. But it has some uniquely shocking factors.

The U of A shooting appeared at first to follow a common pattern of workplace mass murder: revenge for a job lost or denied, or slights from fellow workers. But from the start it also had two factors that were extremely unusual: the perpetrator, Amy Bishop, was both a female and a professor.

Workplace mass murderers tend to overwhelmingly to be men, disgruntled employees fired and down on their luck. Female mass murderers are not only less common, but when they occur their focus is generally domestic. But there was some precedent for Bishop’s act: the case of Jennifer San Marco, a female former postal employee and workplace murderer who had a history of prior mental problems

Speaking of prior problems—the U of A case quickly became even more shocking when it was disclosed that perpetrator Amy Bishop had shot and killed her 18-year-old younger brother, an aspiring violinist, twenty-three years ago in their family home in Braintree Massachusetts. That case was ruled an accident and dismissed under mysterious and poorly-explained circumstances, with rumors of a police cover-up, perhaps because of Amy’s mother’s position on a police personnel committee.

As if that weren’t enough, news subsequently emerged of another case in which Bishop was a suspect: in 1993, a pipe bomb was mailed to a work colleague of hers by an unknown assailant, and Bishop fell under suspicion because she had feared a negative evaluation by him. The bomb never exploded, and there was not enough evidence to convict her, but the case is chillingly similar to the recent shootings in terms of possible motive.

It begins to appear that Ms. Bishop was hardly the cool and cerebral scientist and suburban mother of four who suddenly snapped in the face of work pressure. It is difficult to escape the notion that she is not only a recent mass murderer but also a long-time serial killer, and that her victims include the categories of both domestic and workplace. This would make her one of the most versatile killers around—as well as one of the strangest—who benefited greatly in the past from police corruption and/or incompetence.

It’s hard to know which of the two was operating most powerfully in the long-ago Braintree slaying. The facts as described in the police report (please read) make little sense on their face, and ought to have aroused suspicion (other records in the case seem to have mysteriously disappeared long ago). Here’s a summary of the police report:

According to the investigation report, after Amy and her father had a disagreement, he left for a shopping trip and she went to her room. Amy decided to go to her parents’ room to teach herself to load the shotgun the family had acquired the previous year for protection after a break-in. She succeeded but could not remove the shells, and the gun fired in the bedroom. Amy then went downstairs to ask for help unloading it and inadvertently shot her brother while her mother watched, according to the report.

Their stories to the detectives contained some discrepancies. Amy’s mother said Amy asked her for help unloading the gun; she told Amy to be careful where she pointed it, and that Amy turned and accidentally shot her brother. Her mother said she screamed and called the police, as Amy ran out of the house.

Amy said she asked her brother, not her mother, for help unloading the gun, and that she was pointing it beside her leg for safety. She said her brother told her to point it up instead. As he walked across the kitchen floor, someone said something, and Amy turned and the gun went off.

There are so many problems here that it’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s start with this one: does it seem like normal and innocent behavior to practice loading a shotgun you’re unfamiliar with right after having a quarrel with your father? Then, if the gun goes off accidentally in an upstairs bedroom while you’re trying to unload it, does it seem like normal and innocent behavior to take the gun down with you into the kitchen where your mother and brother are in order to let them know what’s happening and get their help?

No, of course not. You would know that it is courting disaster for a novice to fool around with a gun alone; a qualified person should be present for careful instruction. You would know that, after the first accidental discharge, you should put that thing down immediately and leave it upstairs, because you had already received a very clear demonstration of its dangerousness in your very untrained hands.

The report contains an additional strange vignette: Amy reported that as the gun went off and she heard her brother say “oh, no” and her mother scream, Amy then ran out of the house without realizing that her brother had been shot. This is also highly implausible, even in an accidental shooting as described. Yes, the perpetrator might run out of the house in fear, but only after seeing that he/she had shot someone. Amy reports she fled because she thought she might have damaged the kitchen—but if so, why not look? Why would she not turn around when she heard her mother scream?

As written, the report makes it very clear that the police were relying on the eyewitness testimony of the mother of both victim and perpetrator, who labeled it an accident. That was the supposed reason why they did not investigate further. But given the facts of the case, this seems either remarkably naive, or evidence of the fact that the fix was in. The police took the mother’s word that she did not hear a shotgun firing upstairs in her own house while she was present? And they didn’t even bother to test out the gun to see if this was a reasonable statement?

The report also fails to mention the specific type of shotgun used, an omission that seems highly unusual, as well. I am quite ignorant about technical issues involving guns, but the police should not be. Note as well the following comment at Volokh:

Pump-action shotguns cannot be fired accidentally more than one time. They are not automatic, meaning they do not pump (expel a spent shell and load a new, live shell) by themselves…The trigger did not go off without being pulled with significant force. Unless it was specifically altered, the trigger force was at least 5 and usually 6.5 pounds. Brushing it, jostling the gun, etc. does not make a shotgun go off. You must pull the trigger, hard…The gun did not go off until someone took the safety off. All widely-available shotguns, unless modified, have safeties. None are designed so that the safety can be taken off accidentally.

See also this:

I like how the “investigators” make no mention of physical evidence. You know like the kind, make and caliber of the shotgun, the spent shells and their location, the nature of the prior discharge in her room, the distance from which the victim was shot and whether that corresponded with the statements, etc. No, just mom’s word and they were off to catch some speeders

Speaking of mom’s word, see this:

I’m sure that the defense attorneys here will be thrilled to learn that “my mom said I’m innocent” is now considered probative.

Good point; it should hardly have been enough. But when the exonerating mother of the perpetrator is also the mother of the victim, perhaps her word might be more easily believed. At any rate, it should not be sufficient. However, here the police made no effort to build an independent case, despite the fact that the description of the witnesses just did not make sense.

In the light of all that has happened since, it is interesting to note that, on the last page of the Braintree police report, Amy Bishop seems to be describing having something like a dissociative experience when she says she did not see her brother or remember anything about putting on her jacket or going outside with the gun. It’s difficult to know whether she is being disingenuous; perhaps she is. But perhaps not. It is certainly possible for a perpetrator to split off psychologically from his/her own aggressive actions and deny the crime ever happened. This should not absolve perpetrators of legal responsibility for their killings—but it is a psychologically protective mechanism by which they internally and externally deny their own overwhelming guilt.

It is possible that this sort of splitting and denial is another of Amy’s patterns. After the U of A killings, she is reported to have said the following:

Bishop was calm as she got into a police car Friday, denying that the shootings occurred. “It didn’t happen. There’s no way. … They are still alive.”

It is easy to say that Amy Bishop is just a cold-blooded liar, since she is certainly a cold-blooded killer. But it is not unbelievable to think that her psychological splitting is real, and that she is able to block off the memories of what she has done, although this fact should not reflect on her guilt and subsequent punishment.

[NOTE: In this article, relatives of the U of A shooting victims question—and understandably so—how it was that Bishop was ever hired to teach with such a record. The problem is that her record, although extremely suspicious, did not include any charges or arrests. Therefore there was nothing in her past that she would ordinarily have had to disclose in the usual questionnaire.

Perhaps hiring committees should do exhaustive Google searches of all candidates. Perhaps some of them already do.]

[ADDENDUM: Here are two contemporaneous news stories about the original Braintree killing. You can see that they differ in some small details from the police report.]

61 Responses to “Amy Bishop: cold cases”

  1. Bob M Says:

    This is not the first time the Braintree area constabularies have been part of a dubious investigation of homocides involving bomb-throwers — I haven’t been able to fully trust them ever since the Sacco-Vanzetti screwups.

  2. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    “They are still alive” suggests that your theory has some merit, neo, and powerful defense mechanism were in play. I would discard such explanations about the her behavior after shooting in Braintree, were it not for the witnessed comments this time.

    I don’t believe dissociative states have been used as a successful NGRI defense very often – perhaps not at all. I certainly haven’t known any.

    Well, who would, actually? I’d be on the far upper end of the bell curve for knowing female murderers and I have only known three, two of which were NGRI. Outside of extremely narrow specialists, the number of professionals who have considered the mental states of female murders on the basis of live interviews has got to be vanishingly small.

  3. Brad Says:

    “It begins to appear that Ms. Bishop was hardly the cool and cerebral scientist…”

    I hate to break it to you Neo, but that descriptor fits only a small minority of academic scientists. Believe me I know; I am one.
    Most suffer from all sorts of competitive insecurities, and they are not the least bit “cool.”

  4. will Says:

    Always great to read tales of madness with a tie to home. Kerrigan’s brother go nuts in Stoneham, Bishop get’s the third strike in Huntsville, c’mon New Bedford, you’re due!

    Seriously, it’s amazing they were able to beat the pipe bomb fiasco. The “accidental” shooting I can kind of see, but bomb making almost always gets the intense scrutiny of the Feds, and they don’t shake easy. I guess the “profile” female, professional was enough to cloud the waters.

  5. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    This State police report is a whitewash from start to finish, and I am very surprised that it wasn’t “disappeared” and, instead, is being put out there as a justification for the actions taken or, in this case, not taken (http://www.necn.com/02/13/10/State-Police-investigative-report-86-Bis/landing.html?blockID=180126&feedID=4215).

    As reported, the original Braintree case file is missing, but if you read the State police report you are struck by how sparse and general it is, as well as by the omission of several key and incriminating facts.

    First, you note that the police investigators only got around to interviewing poor Amy, her mother and father 11 days after the shooting, because, says the report, the mother and Amy were too “emotional” to be interviewed on the day of the shooting. Isn’t that exactly the time you want to interview them, rather than to give them almost two weeks to “get their stories straight?

    Then, note no mention of the irregularity of no booking or charge on the day of the shooting.

    Next, there were no specifics about the gun—and the key point is, after all, that is was a pump shotgun–and, thus, had to be racked after each shot.

    No mention of the key fact that an argument had taken place between sister and brother.

    Next, I note the police investigators acceptance at face value of all the witness’s statements, including the mother’s statement that she did not hear the first shotgun blast in Amy’s upstairs bedroom. Do you know how loud a 12-gauge shotgun blast is, particularly if it occurs in a closed environment?

    Then, there is the omission of the fact that, after the shooting poor Amy fled, 12-gauge in hand, to a local car dealership, where she tried to steal a car at gunpoint, and the single Amy explained to the mechanic she had the shotgun pointed at that “she had a fight with her husband, who was coming after her and she had to flee town” (http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1232944) .

    I note, too, police lack of curiosity about the fact that neither poor Amy or her mother called for medical help for the wounded but alive brother—the cops who initially arrived did so, and he died later in the hospital.

    No mention, either, of the critical piece of information the poor Amy’s mother was a town official, sitting on the police personnel board.

    There is no statute of limitations on murder, and I would hope that both former Sheriff Polio, who ordered Amy’s booking stopped and her released without further processing, and current Massachusetts Congressman Delahunt, who was the DA who supposedly ordered this to happen, will be hauled before an inquiry to justify themselves but, since this is Massachusetts—land of the Kennedys and Skakels and of Chappaquiddick–I am not holding my breath

  6. SAB Says:

    If you look at the people she killed, I believe she also has some major racial issues as well.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/gallery/02_15_10_bishop?pg=2

  7. Steve G Says:

    Given that festering anger was the apparent cause of these homicidal events, there is a strong possibility that there are [many] more victims.

  8. neo-neocon Says:

    Wolla Dalbo: there are a lot of rumors about the case, and I believe the allegation that there was an argument between sister and brother was a rumor rather than a key fact. The police report states that the argument was between father and daughter.

    That article you linked, the one where the guy said she held the shotgun on him afterwards, is very shocking as well, but I’d like some independent corroboration. If true, that would make it even more certain that they was a deliberate coverup.

  9. Steve G Says:

    I also think that she fired the shotgun in the bedroom before her mother came home (I don’t know if her brother was in hearing range or not). If this is what happened it would be consistent with a planned murder, similar to the pipe bomb attempt and the recent shootings in Huntsville. This woman may be one bad dude!

  10. Jamie Says:

    I recently shot a handgun for the first time, at a range with a somewhat more experienced friend. The gun jammed; my reflexive reaction was to lay ot down VERY carefully and get my friend to figure out what was wrong. Wouldn’t've occurred to me to carry the thing around…

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Brad: I didn’t mean to imply that “cool” precludes having insecurities. I meant it to mean “rational; not volatile; not swept away by roiling emotions that would lead to mass murder.”

  12. huxley Says:

    The facts as described in the police report (please read) make little sense on their face…

    neo: You got that right!

    I have no idea where the bottom is in all this muddle, but this is a very peculiar person and there’s more to come.

    It seems to me that the 21st century is getting off to a rocky start when it comes to the prestige of academics and the Ivy League.

  13. ahem Says:

    “If you look at the people she killed, I believe she also has some major racial issues as well.”

    That’s a non-starter. Her brother wasn’t exactly a minority group. Neither was the gang at Harvard that she is suspected of attempting to bomb. She just kills people who happen to be in the way whenever she loses it.

    These unfortunate victims just happen to have pissed her off. She’s nuts. They probably all knew she was a little nuts.

  14. Don Says:

    The basics of firerms safety are very simple. These four rules are key:

    1) don’t point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.

    2) Keep your finger OFF of the trigger until you are ready to fire the weapon.

    3) Always treat a gun as if it is loaded.

    4) Know your target and what is behind it.

  15. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Neo–The fact that an argument had taken place between brother and sister comes from the statement of one of the booking policemen, as related by the current Chief of Police of Braintree, Paul Frazier–who was a cop on the force at the time of the killing–at Frazier’s press conference this past Saturday (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2450815/posts).

  16. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    The possible attempted pipe bombing we now know about, but–you gotta wonder–if we carefully traced back down poor Amy’s backtrail, how many more incidents and perhaps bodies might we discover.

  17. Tom Says:

    I am shocked only by the fact that she is a mother of 4, and that her husband says she was OK prior to the slaughter.

    After blowing her bro away, she and her parents apparently did not get the benefit allegedly derived from grief counseling, to which we reflexively turn, or are made to turn to, today.

    Finally, I take great comfort from the fact that UA-Huntsville is surely a gun-free zone.

  18. Skookumchuk Says:

    The noise made by a shotgun when fired in a confined space, like in a room or even outside when close to a wall, is simply deafening. Even a little .410 produces a very loud noise in those situations. That is one of many reasons why most US indoor shooting ranges don’t permit shotguns.

    And in darkness or low light, as in an unlit room, the muzzle flash is like a dozen flashbulbs going off at once. It will leave you dazzled for some time.

    Even if alone with no one else in range, any normal person would be severely shaken after accidentally firing even a single shot indoors.

  19. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Neo–I believe that the story about an argument between Amy and her father was concocted to draw attention away from the argument she had with her brother or, perhaps, she had an argument with each one of them.

  20. neo-neocon Says:

    Wolla Dalbo: But wouldn’t that be a recollection 24 years after the fact, as opposed to the facts as stated in the police report (that the argument was between father and daughter?) And that sister and brother had minimal interaction right before the shooting? I tend somehow to believe that the current recollection of who had the argument is flawed, but perhaps we’ll learn more subsequently.

    Obviously, there’s a great deal more to be learned. It may be very difficult, however, to get to the truth at this late date.

  21. dicentra Says:

    Amy Bishop, you mean, not Bristol.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Yes, will correct.

  23. soupcon Says:

    Here’s an eyewitness account of her spree.It was an attempted mass execution saved only by her need to reload:

    http://collegelife.freedomblogging.com/2010/02/15/former-uci-student-escapes-mass-killing/16281/

  24. Tom Says:

    Skookums: All managed shooting ranges, indoors or not, require ear and eye protection for all shooters. Shooting without hearing protection causes permanent hearing impairment in relatively short order. Shotgun,rifle or handgun, no matter: They all make really really loud bangs!

    That the cops in ’86 were untroubled by the preposterous claim that the 1st shot was inaudible downstairs is prima facie evidence a fix was in. All cops know that’s BS, unless the event occurred in a boiler factory. Only non-shooters, a majority unfortunately, will give credence to such a claim.

  25. expat Says:

    She went with her husband to a shooting range before the shooting. Huusband doeesn’t know when or how she got the gun. “She was a normal professor.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,586024,00.html

  26. Tom Says:

    Soupcon: great find. Thanks!
    Kinda odd they pushed her out the door instead of disarming her.

  27. Skookumchuk Says:

    Tom:

    the preposterous claim that the 1st shot was inaudible downstairs is prima facie evidence a fix was in.

    Yup, so it seems.

  28. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I read that she wrote about her need to become a scientist of note as a way of atonement for having ‘accidentally’ killed her brother. I’m not a professional and not fully conversant with how dissociative states work but it seems to me that atonement implies at least some level of conscious guilt. Is there such a thing as a temporary dissociative state?

    Obviously we don’t have all the facts yet. But what we do have is fairly significant.

    She’s not insane but clearly unsane. There’s no doubt of guilt and no doubt (in my mind) that she’s mentally unbalanced.

    Arkansas has the death penalty, on one hand I see no need for the taxpayers to pay for a lifetime of incarceration, on the other hand I’m reluctant to state that she, a mass murderer, should be given the death penalty. Perhaps that’s because I’m not sure she’s malevolent, just homicidal.

    Then again,as neo pointed out, there appears to be the strong possibility of her being a serial killer. If so, I have no ambivalence, rabid dogs should be put down.

  29. JKB Says:

    I’ve been thinking about the State police report. Suppose your a Trooper ordered to conduct a review/investigation into a shooting. You also know, off the record, that the shooting is accidental according to the District Attorney. So you review the file, realize the family needs to be interviewed, conduct the interviews with other investigators, then all three use the interview to arrive at the directed determination. You know, because you don’t want to flip burgers when the DA and your boss don’t get what they want.

    But the sandbagging is subtle. See, the DA and the bosses at the State Police had to see that report and sign off on it as being an adequate investigation. So the report went in, the DA signed off on the determination and the report was filed. The DA didn’t have to accept the report, the DA could have sent them back or gotten his own investigators. The DA is the one who decides what gets investigated and what doesn’t. Who knew that 23 years later, the shooter would go for a mass shooting dredging up this old report on a sandbagged investigation.

    The report was sent to the DA and the DA accepted it. The Trooper went along with the desired outcome but the DA and the brass in the State Police accepted it. Unquestioned?

  30. Tom Says:

    Arkansas, Alabama… what the hey, they’s all rednecks down there with their death penalties. That a serial killer deserves death while the run-of-mill murderer should get life is a moral calculus lost on me.

  31. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “That a serial killer deserves death while the run-of-mill murderer should get life is a moral calculus lost on me.”

    That implies that you see no practical difference between premeditated 1st degree murder and UNpremeditated 2nd degree murder.

    The old, eye for an eye with no shades of gray…

    Permit me to use an extreme example, just to make the difference, really clear…

    So, a monster, who kills innocent people, he doesn’t even know, selected at random as circumstance permits, and purely for ‘kicks’, as he gets off on putting people through horrific pain before he kills them… is the same thing as a loving father who, by chance arrives home early and catches the killer just finishing butchering his daughter… and kills that monster in a fit of rage…are the same, deserving of the same penalty?

    That is, by the ‘moral calculus’ that escapes you?

  32. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    After re-reading your comment Tom, perhaps I jumped to a conclusion, a bit too fast.

    By “run-of-[the]-mill” which, in the example I offered, the father certainly would not be, did you mean the typical homicidal criminal who has no empathy whatsoever for their victim? The quite common, dysfunctional piece of trash who either doesn’t see other people as quite real or simply doesn’t care and selfishly puts self-satisfaction above any other consideration?

    Who knows their own evil but simply doesn’t give a damn?

    If that is what you meant by “run-of-mill” the I agree there is no practical difference, and I owe you an apology. Please consider it rendered.

    That said, please consider that the mentally unbalanced are not completely in control of their actions, for if they were, Jesus would never have said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”

  33. br549 Says:

    There is much I could say on this subject, having escaped alive with my kids years ago.

    Concerning Bishop, there were signs. Plenty of them.

  34. sergey Says:

    Every normal person with a history of accidental killing of one’s brother due negligent meddling with a gun is expected to avoid taking guns in one’s hand for the rest of his life. The woman is a psychopath with a very un-womanly behavior.

  35. Scottie Says:

    Why are we so minutely dissecting every aspect of this case?

    The woman appears to be simply a cold blooded murderess who successfully got out of a murder charge decades ago, successfully dodged attempted murder charges involving pipe bombs, and just now blew away her co-workers because she wasn’t being enabled as she was so many times in the past.

    Her previous enablers have some ‘splaining to do.

    The only thing missing in the story is what kind of medication she was on, or had just stopped taking….

    Regarding the whole shotgun discussion, not that it really matters now, there are plenty of people in the ground that thought “it was unloaded”.

    That said, if I *accidentally* discharged a firearm of any sort inside my home I’d be more than a little shaken – and I grew up around firearms.

    My inclination would not be to stroll through the house with it immediately afterwards, but rather to put it down and let my shaken nerves calm down a bit before unloading it.

    Unless you have a frickin HUGE mansion with outstanding sound deadening properties built into it – you WILL hear a shotgun go off inside. The mother’s story is hard to swallow.

  36. Scott Says:

    The Unabomber was a Harvard educated child prodigy genius IQ misfit serial killer, with a penchant for killing his victims with pipe bombs.

    Now this Harvard educated woman turns out to be a mass murderer with a possible connection to a pipe bombing incident.

    What is it with Harvard churning out notorious mass murderers/serial killers?

  37. Oldflyer Says:

    I am trying to figure out whether Tom was serious, or putting us on.

    I have looked carefully and can find no indicator that he posts tongue-in-cheek; on the other hand it is hard to believe that anyone would seriously post as he did.

    I take it your post is condemnation of “Southern” red-neck justice. How do you feel about justice in, say, Massachusetts? The connected walk and innocent people die.

    Tom, I assume that you stay well clear of those red necks in Alabama and Arkansas. Hmm! Do you just object to red necks from states that begin with A? How about the ones that begin with M? How about the ones who attended schools that begin with H?

  38. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Geoffrey – dissociative states are temporary by definition. You have to have a normal “here” to get defined as going “there.” People who are always that far out of contact have different problems.

    A dissociative state can persist for hours or even days. It can be more complete or less. The closest most people get to that state is when in shock, or the lightheadedness before fainting. Those aren’t the same thing, but the experience is similar. There but not there.

  39. NeoConScum Says:

    UNFREAKINGBELIEVABLE..!

  40. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    I see all sorts of exculpatory excuses being offered up on the blogs for “poor Amy.”

    The current philosophy of our legal system–that it is better than many guilty criminals go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted–is not serving us well in practice.

    I am afraid we as a society have gotten more than a little carried away with 18th century Mme. de Stael’s idea that “to know all is to forgive all,” and the excuse of the “sociological defense”—i.e. “I’m depraved because I’m deprived.” When somebody commits a crime I am afraid I do not view the issue of capture, interrogation, trial and punishment with very much “nuance,” perhaps the reason I quit law (read unprincipled, money grubbing weasel) school after my first year.

    To my mind, if it is determined that a crime has been committed—particularly a violent crime–and someone—with a high degree of certainty—is determined to be a suspect, the only questions that need to be asked are; did he do it?, was there any major justification?—say, something like self defense, and was he sane at the time? And by sane I mean that, if he could be rational enough to speak intelligibly and to take various actions to commit the crime, and was not constantly speaking to invisible beings, telling bystanders that lampposts were lollypops, gouging his own eyes out, or thrashing around on the floor foaming at the mouth, he was, as I see it, sane.

    Since most people who were raised in less than ideal or even abominable conditions do not turn out to be criminals, I don’t buy the “sociological defense.” Moreover, in contrast to today’s practice, I would allow evidence of “prior bad acts” to be introduced into evidence at trial. If someone has committed a crime or crimes in the past, it seems to me that a judge or jury should know of this to be able to competently evaluate guilt or innocence when deciding whether he might have committed a current crime; not being able to tell the jury that someone on trial for theft, fraud or murder had been accused or convicted of a similar crime in the past seems to me the height of idiocy.

    A relatively small number of hardened criminals and drug addicts commit the vast number of crimes—usually many per individual, and apparently many more than are listed on most rap sheets—so getting these “career criminals” off the streets makes everyone safer, and, parenthetically, “rehabilitation” has very little chance of working in the case of such hardened criminals (and sex offenders are apparently impossible to “rehabilitate”).

    If this hard line approach means we build more prisons, so be it, for it seems to me that a policy of jailing as many of the predators as we can capture, in order to increase the safety and longevity of their innocent prey, to be a good one.

  41. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Scott wrote
    “The Unabomber was a Harvard educated child prodigy genius IQ misfit serial killer, with a penchant for killing his victims with pipe bombs.

    Now this Harvard educated woman turns out to be a mass murderer with a possible connection to a pipe bombing incident.

    What is it with Harvard churning out notorious mass murderers/serial killers?”

    The Harvard grads I met all seemed to be clinically depressed. Match that with the crop of killers and one wonders whether attendance at Harvard is not a cry for help.

  42. Artfldgr Says:

    She shot the brother three times.. a fact they are leaving out…(including the daily news leftist on call)

    they let her off as she is a feminist woman and leftist liberal. end of story… (they elected bobbit as woman of the year for genital vivisection)

    they have quite a bit of power in the courts where women serve a lot less time, and get to say crap and such that is not otherwise admissible. (especially if a female judge advocate is on the bench)

    [there is even a feminist judicial organization who seeks to get convicted women out of jail as that is easier than fight the convictions]

    you read the daily news and it seems like a simple stupid accident by a paranoid person with no life skills. you read the facts and you then wonder, where did the OTHER TWO SHOTS come from that they didnt mention

    Based on the recollection of an arresting officer, Frazier said Bishop, then 20, shot her 18-year-old brother three times, then ran from the house and attempted a carjacking, the Boston Globe reports. Police arrested her at gunpoint and were booking her when the former chief ordered a halt to the process and released her to her mother. He later said the gun went off accidentally when she was learning to unload it. The case records have been missing since at least 1988. “There was no coverup,” the former chief, now 87, insisted.

    its like the lady who said her husband ran into her 17 times… frontward and backward.

    and what did she teach? and why did she shoot the black folks? why didnt they point that out like when the man attacked a guard at the jewish museum?
    because a famous feminist, and bunch of liberals stated that its ok for the oppressed to attack their oppressors. and so spcial groups get a pass, even when attacking each other.

    if she was a tea party person, do yout hink they would have informed you that her victims were black?

    and as far as pipe bombs… they didnt go after ayers again… why should they go after any left liberal who makes bombs?

  43. Occam's Beard Says:

    if she was a tea party person, do yout hink they would have informed you that her victims were black?

    I had the same thought when I saw their photos. If Bishop had been a Palin or Tea Party adherent, the MSM would have had headlines blaring about this racist attack by an extreme right-winger, with a passing mention in paragraph 17 about some minor employment dispute.

  44. Artfldgr Says:

    How Many Mass Murderers were Liberal?
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/10/184052/734

    that was from KOS jun 10 2009

    As is being noted in a diary currently on the rec list, the hate-speech of the right wing in this nation is dangerously emboldening a once private lot of cowards to stand up and make manifest their dreams of an America with one color of skin, that worships a merciful and loving God who smites homosexuals and blights the lives of foreigners, is a haven to women who know their place as home makers and are united by a common machine gun.

    So while their side of the aisle all but issues marching orders to their base. And the tongue flecking, lizard brained cro-mags of their party polish the barrels of their rifles in anticipation without realizing that those who pull their strings would rather the country go down in flames than lose an inkling of control, and their sycophantic lunatics slime their way out from Storm Front, Free Republic, Red State and Michelle Malkin’s skirt I wonder – How many mass murderers have been liberals.

    given that he is not making a distinction to john stewart mill small government free individual type liberalism… or the progressivism which took over the same (which itself is a name avoiding communist/socialist)

    With the the exception of Cho Seung-Hui, the following is an enumeration of the top 3 US mass murderers with a brief synopsis of their crimes and background. This list is effectively a mirror of Wikipedia’s List of Mass Murderers and Spree Killers

    George Hennard Oct. 16th, 1991 Killeen Texas 23 killed, 19 – 22 injured.
    James Oliver Huberty July 18th 1984 San Diego California 21 killed 19 injured.
    James Oliver Huberty July 18th 1984 San Diego California 21 killed 19 injured.

    None of them killed because of Global Warming. None of them took their guns down to the immigration center to get Universal Health Care. What liberal has ever said an entire race of people need be eliminated? They killed out of hate and out of fear.

    This is what the Republican Party is selling.

    and so this is how they communicate and see. he wanted to PROVE that the biggest mass murders and spree killers were on the political right. so hennard was on the political right because he was suspended from the navy on racist remarks altercation.

    basically they dont realize that hitler tried to exterminate WHITE race… in north africa, he did not load em all into the ovens… in the arab states, he aligned himself with them… in asia, he dealt with the japanese..

    AMERICAN modern nazis fit the IMAGE this group projkects, not the actual image of the nazi’s!!! but their way of deciding if a person is on the right or left, means that there can be no one on the right that has EVER done this!!! how so? easy, if you kill a person of color, like amy bishop, thenyour on the right automatically!!!!!!!!

    two of the people kos mentions then attacked mexican immigrants in an area where immigration crime and such is huge. however, i went to the wiki page they linked to. very interesting that they could only find three by twisting them… and the lists leave out political leaders who were mass murderers and cultists!!

    one of the problems is the refusal of press to use the same terms with women that they use with men, and that women do less damage when thy do try such things. for instance, they dont cover the golden age of poisoning… http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703699204575016971709814644.html

    bell gunness killed over 40… technically hers were workplace killings since she ran a bording house!!! but she is not included in the lists…

    Ms. Gunness was one of the most successful poison killers to belong to the era historians call the golden age of poisoning, from the early 1800s to the early 1900s. The rise of spectacular poisoners like Ms. Gunness—or Mary Ann Cotton in Britain, who was hanged in 1873 for eliminating more than 20 people with arsensic—drove a sense of urgency among scientists, eventually leading to the creation of forensic toxicology. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean the end of homicidal poisonings. Under pressure, killers simply became more secretive and creative in their plans.

    others like Mary Ann Cotton, were not occupational…

    Until the early 19th century, few tools existed to detect a toxic substance in a corpse. Sometimes investigators deduced poison from the violent sickness that preceded death, or built a case by feeding animals a victim’s last meal (in one trial, a courtroom poisoning of frogs led to a rapid guilty verdict).Yet, poisoners walked free more often than not. As a result, murder by poison flourished. It became so common that the French nicknamed the metallic poison arsenic “poudre de succession,” or the inheritance powder.

    so the idea of women not doing this as much has to do as much with the conditions and our considerations and what place in history! to kill 40 of those who came to room with yuo and not have that listed as a workplace murder… how about the borgias? la cantarella

    [edited for length by neo-neocon].

  45. Artfldgr Says:

    There are actually 4 true fathers of sociology.

    karl marx
    Weber
    Durkheim
    Simmel

  46. Artfldgr Says:

    the left is taking the tack of burying it in a litany of other stories and reminisces…
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/feb/16/amy-bishop-university-alabama-shooting

    other things coming out.

    she is mean to her neighbors…

    she is OBSESSED about BARACK OBAMA..

    and

    was writing a novel about a female scientist who’d killed her brother and was seeking redemption. What, if anything, does it all mean?

    heck… she even is trying to dress like eve ensler!!

    [another person who shot someone... Eve Ensler (born May 25, 1953) is an American playwright, performer, feminist and activist, best known for her play The Vagina Monologues. you know, the play in the original had a lesbian drug a minor and sexually assault them to which the minors coochie snorcher says it was a good rape!)]

    During a search of Bishop’s computer, authorities found a draft of a novel that Bishop was writing about a female scientist who had killed her brother and was hoping to make amends by becoming a great scientist, according to a person who was briefed on the investigation and spoke to the Globe on the condition of anonymity.

    wait till more gets out…

    she is a very emotinoal left wing nut..

    the emotional thinking is the key here.

  47. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: there is no evidence that she shot her brother three times. All accounts agree he was hit once, and that the first shot was fired upstairs, considerably earlier, with only Bishop in the room.

    The existence of a third shot does not appear to have been mentioned in contemporaneous accounts, nor was it in the police report. It appears to originate in interviews given just the other day citing the recollection of a police official twenty-three years after the fact, involving a supposed third shot that was fired into the ceiling.

    And about the race of her U of A victims—according to an eyewitness, she shot the people closest to her at the meeting. Her intent appears to have been to kill everyone there; she was stopped by the fact that she had to reload, and the others (who had been hiding under the table) took the opportunity to rush her.

    See this:

    [Survivor] Ng said the meeting had been going on for about half an hour when Amy Bishop “got up suddenly, took out a gun and started shooting at each one of us. She started with the one closest to her and went down the row shooting her targets in the head.”…

    Ng said the meeting was held around an oval table. The six people on one side were all shot.

    “The remaining 5 including myself were on the other side of the table (and) immediately dropped to the floor,” he wrote.

    Ng told the AP the shooting stopped almost as soon as it started. Ng said the gun seemed to jam and he and others rushed Bishop out of the room and then barricaded the door shut with a table.

    Ng said the charge was led by Debra Moriarity, a professor of biochemistry, after Bishop aimed the gun at her and attempted to fire. When the gun didn’t shoot, Moriarity pushed her way to Bishop, urged her to stop, and then helped force her out the door.

  48. Artfldgr Says:

    What is it with Harvard churning out notorious mass murderers/serial killers?”

    i dont know… maybe the movie american psycho?

    When he is first introduced in Ellis’ novel, young investment banker Patrick Bateman’s “mask of sanity” is about to slip, according to his own admission. Bateman works as a specialist in mergers and acquisitions at the fictional Wall Street investment firm of Pierce & Pierce (also Sherman McCoy’s firm in The Bonfire of the Vanities) and lives at 55 West 81st Street, Upper West Side in the American Gardens Building (where he is a neighbor of actor Tom Cruise). In his “secret life”, however, Bateman is a serial killer who murders a variety of people, from colleagues, to the homeless, to prostitutes. His crimes, including rape, torture, murder, necrophilia and cannibalism, are described in graphic detail in the novel.

    kijnd of creepy to read the wiki on the fictional characters personality….Michael Henry O’Hare came from harvard

    Statistics Indicate Violent Female Criminals on the Rise
    Exploding the Myth of Non-Aggression in Females
    by amy sillup

    The majority of adult child abusers (59%) are female; women are involved in 32% of child fatalities. Between 1992 and 1996, the percentage of violent crimes committed by females, including armed robbery and aggravated assault, increased by 23%.

    One of the reasons the myth of female non-aggression continues is that men have not “flown under the radar” as well as female criminals. Men had a tendency to utilize knives, guns, bludgeons, and so forth; the sexual/power motivation behind their crimes is more obvious.

    Women often kill children, other women, or elderly or sickly males, and they have usually used methods such as poison (less blatant than the traditionally male weapons of choice) to dispatch their victims. This is not a new phenomenon by any means. In the 1880s, so many female poisoners were operating in Great Britain that Parliament actually discussed passing legislation to ban sales of arsenic to women. German serial poisoner Anna Zanswiger commented after her death sentence, “It is perhaps better for the community that I should die, as it would be impossible for me to stop poisoning people.”

    There have been over 100 female serial killers caught in the last 100 years; about one-half of whom were captured in the U.S. in the last 35 years. Nonetheless, when Florida prostitute Aileen Wuornos was convicted and sentenced to death in 1992, she was loudly proclaimed “America’s first female serial killer” by the press, largely because she wielded a firearm during her crime spree.

    as i said.. its hard to know what the facts are, if one gets the pravda from the press.

    A cultural bias against correlating women and violent offenses has existed for centuries. Female serial killers generally start killing somewhat later in life than males, but they operate on average about twice as long before capture; possibly because society refuses to recognize how dangerous they are. While male serial killers are vilified in the press as “the Ripper” or “the Night Stalker,” we wrap our female slayers in cutesy nicknames like “Giggling Grandma,” “Old Shoebox Annie,” “Jolly Jane,” and “the Barbie Killer.”

    When female serial murderers are not considered simply adorable, they must be seductive and sensual: the Lonely Hearts Killer, the Black Widow, Lady Bluebeard.

    Failing a sexy persona, they just have to be a sympathetic sort; no matter how black their crimes actually are. Charlene Theron’s portrayal of Wuornos in the 2003 biopic Monster implies that she was really a fairly nice person, an abused child who never grew up; and a soft-hearted romantic who, if true love had only entered her life earlier, would have never slain six men in cold blood.

  49. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Ouch, Wolla. Please try to bear in mind that some of us stayed in law school and not all of us emerged as irredeemable weasels. I work in the court system and grapple daily with many of the issues you raised. I would never argue that our system of criminal justice is perfect or anywhere near it — but I work with highly ethical, hard-working, dedicated people who put their best selves into trying to do justice as well as humanly possible, none of whom are anywhere near so wrong-headed or corrupt as you suggest. As for your argument about bad acts evidence, that’s a straw man. Evidence of SIMILAR bad acts is often admissible in a criminal trial, for exactly the reason you point out. It’s dissimilar, irrelevant bad acts, or highly prejudicial ones, that get kept out, because of the risk of inflaming the jury into deciding the case for the wrong reasons. Does a jury really need to know that somebody once kicked a dog in order to decide whether or not they held up a liquor store? As for the “depraved because deprived” defense, I have yet to see any criminal court buy it; that nonsense shows up far more often in dreamy sociological dissertations and the empty heads of Hollywood celebrities than in the hard and disillusioned real world of criminal justice.

    The case of the lovely Ms. Bishop does not seem to me to support your arguments. I haven’t heard anybody argue that she was “depraved because deprived”; what I’ve read goes in exactly the opposite direction, indicating that she got privileged treatment because her mother had a powerful position in the police system. Rotten as that is, it’s not an indictment of our whole legal system, which never got a chance to address this woman’s guilt or innocence — and it has nothing at all to do with the nuances of Constitutional law, which were completely bypassed. Interestingly, Massachusetts has quite a history of this kind of thing (consider the similar special treatment Teddy Kennedy got after Chappaquiddick.)

    I’m not ready to give up quite yet on the presumption of innocence. As our world gets daily more regulated and as it gets easier and easier to commit accidental felonies, it is not impossible that someday, I might need it. So might you, or somebody you care about. All those inconvenient Constitutional protections might look a little bit more valuable to you, should that day ever come, and so might the weaselly lawyers and judges who will be doing their best to make sure you get justice.

  50. expat Says:

    I still can’t get over the trip to the shooting range with her husband. If I suddenly appeared with a gun and asked my husband to accompany me to the range, I’m pretty sure he would have a few questions about the gun, the reasons for this sudden interest, whether kids could get hold of a gun stored at home, etc. This whole story gives me the creeps.

    I am also disturbed by commenters at other sites who seem to think that denial of tenure is the cause.

  51. Occam's Beard Says:

    I am also disturbed by commenters at other sites who seem to think that denial of tenure is the cause.

    Why? It’s pretty plausible.

  52. Artfldgr Says:

    thanks for the info on the earlier shooting, they are after all making a mess of it…

    according to an eyewitness, she shot the people closest to her at the meeting. Her intent appears to have been to kill everyone there;

    thats what i refer to as bs cop talk. taking a nothing and trying to make it into a key somethign to people who are not thinking closely about such things.

    number seats 1 to 5…put an african in seat 1…voila, now you have a bail out on target for the leftist liberal. what if he is in the middle… then if she doesnt shoot at him first… another bail out. and if she wanted to kill them all saving him for last, she is not a racist if she doesnt complete it, and is one if she gets to sit around and torture him

    the point is that the point is not a real point!!! and that our inability to see such, shows how statements can lead to conclusios that the whole thing does NOT say. if your going to shoot a room full of people who do you start with, the ones near you or far from you? did they have assigned seats or did she come in and choose a seat? after all, if she knows she is going to kill a target and has to shoot the ones close to her so she can keep shooting, then she is going to sit near her target.

    if you want to convince people that she had no target, didn’t care, was indiscriminately shooting.. then a bit of crap nothing logic that doesnt analyze things at all, is all you need. crazy gunners dont shoot near and work outward. they shoot all over.

    gunners with targets will sit across them, or next to them. since shooting shorter distances is easier and you dotn want them to run away. and you dont want other non targets to stop you. when your targets have been shot, you start to calm down. and so become receptive to others who are not your targets. like a co worker getting you out of the room rather than beat your head in with a chair.

    an author above laid down what happens when you accidently discharge a cannon in doors like that. you dont carry it aroudn the house. period. it scares the bejesus out of you the way falling off a horse does.

    problem is that women get a humoungous bs pass all the time… http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1251201/Young-woman-cried-rape-sex-public-toilet-escapes-jail.html…but people like the gay teacher at duke university, a member like this woman, of a protected class, gets to adopt two boys of race as sex toys, advice others that its easy given their special status, etc.

    [edited for length by n-n]

  53. Artfldgr Says:

    A family source said Bishop, a mother of four children – the youngest a third-grade boy – was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.
    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?&articleid=1232943&format=&page=1&listingType=Loc#articleFull

    so they have to somehow make it other than race, because that will follow the prophet marx and others dialogue on this. she basically got a free ticket to be a freaky off puting person and have it not matter. (the way ensler can be a nut and have a large following too)

    in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Anderson said he was searching for the “trigger” to his wife’s breakdown, and that he wondered whether an e-mail message – potentially in the form of a final tenure denial – might have upset her, because university higher-ups were known to send “nastygrams” on Fridays.

    remember kids, leftist suddenly break down, and those on the right, always premeditate. ie, one is culpable, the other has an external excuse that justifies means to an end. and once again, the story is not quite the same.

    UAH shooting survivor tried to talk Amy Bishop into putting gun down blog.al.com/breaking/2010/02/uah_shooting_survivor_tried_to.html

    One of the survivors of Friday’s deadly shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville said she tried to talk Amy Bishop into putting the gun down.

    “The first thing I said was, ‘Amy, think about my grandson, think about my daughter,” Dr. Debra Moriarity, UAH’s graduate school dean and a member of the biology faculty, said today. “I said, ‘Amy, you know I’ve helped you, I’ll help you again. It’s me, it’s me.”

    “Part of my brain thought she’d go, ‘Oh, it’s Deb,’ and she’d quit.”

    But Moriarity said Bishop, an assistant professor, never responded. So Moriarity crawled through the open Shelby Center conference room door into the outer office area.

    She said Bishop followed her outside the room and leveled the 9 mm pistol at her, then pulled the trigger. But it didn’t fire.

    With the gun possibly jammed, Moriarity said she scrambled back into the conference room.

    Another professor, Bob Lawton, managed to close the door and lock Bishop out, she said. He and Dr. John Shriver then barricaded the door with an overturned table and a small refrigerator.

    “At this point, we were worried about her firing through the door,” Moriarity said.

    basically with her in the hallway… they barricaded the door, and left her with the children. way to go leftist liberal professor lawton.. what a man you are…

    [edited for length by n-n]

  54. expat Says:

    Occam’s,

    It may have been the trigger, but a normal person doesn’t plan a killing when they loose a job. In her case, she had a husband with a job, so she had room and time to adapt. She chose not to. Had it not been tenure, it would have be something else a little farther down the road.

  55. neo-neocon Says:

    Artfldgr: the report of the order of shooting did not come from the police or other authorities. It came from an email from one of the people (Joseph Ng, whom one might suppose is Asian) who was at the meeting and who was almost killed. Whether or not Bishop chose her original seat for some particular reason (that is not known), the fact is that she shot the people in the order in which they were sitting (not just the first person—all of the victims). She certainly could not have planned that order; it was random.

    About 30min into the meeting, she got up suddenly, took out a gun and started shooting at each one of us. She started with the one closest to her and went down the row shooting her targets in the head. Our chairman got it the worst as he was right next to her along with two others who died almost instantly. Six people sitting in the rows perpendicular were all shot fatally or seriously wounded. The remaining 5 including myself were on the other side of the table immediately dropped to the floor.

  56. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    You got to wonder what would have happened if the school was not a “gun free zone,” and someone might have been carrying, although since they were all apparently academics in the room, this seems unlikely.

    My guess is that if concealed carry of guns had been allowed on school grounds, either this would have discouraged such a shooting, or that someone would have started shooting back and taken her out.

    As it is, they should change those “gun free zone” signs to “free fire zone” or “defenseless victims here” signs.

  57. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Wolla Dalbo So let’s get this straight, if concealed guns were allowed on school grounds there would be fewer gun deaths?
    All but 2% of gun deaths are justifiable, the rest are murder, suicide and accident. If one wants to protect oneself the first thing a person should do is get rid of a gun. Remember the first person Ms. Bishop killed was with a gun bought for protection.
    While we are at it.:
    My youthful next door neighbor was killed in a hold up;
    the facilities manager of my workplace killed himself after killing his wife;
    the son a former co-worker was shot and killed during an altercation at a gas station;
    my son’s former porm date accidentally killed herself with a gun;
    a friend of my daughter also accidentally killed herself with a gun;
    and last but not least my daughter was at Virginia Tech during the April 2007 massacre (she operated the crisis hotline that night).
    You are so right, we need more guns to protect ourselves.

  58. Occam's Beard Says:

    Had it not been tenure, it would have be something else a little farther down the road.

    Expat, sure, but firings set off unstable people all the time, and let’s face it, she definitely qualifies as such.

    Bear in mind, too, that in the run-up to a tenure decision faculty members (at research institutions, anyway) have been killing themselves working for five to seven years. To be denied tenure – and therefore have wasted all that work – on a humbug (as seen by the unsuccessful candidate) could set off a lot of people.

    Tenure means your colleagues will have to put up with you for decades, so tenure decisions are susceptible to personality conflicts. For this and other reasons the proceedings are generally kept confidential. To have done good work (as you see it), but to have had conflict with one or more senior colleagues, and then to be denied tenure invites the conclusion that someone (either in your own institution or an external referee) have ruined your career by blackballing you. People have killed for less.

  59. TmjUtah Says:

    FWIW, if you shoot somebody with a twelve gauge shotgun inside a room, you won’t have any doubt at all whether you hit them or not. Instantly.

  60. expat Says:

    Occam’s,

    I was probably reacting to some comments I read elsewhere that seemed to be playing the victim card for Bishop and blaming the faculty. I checked out the UAH website. It is a smallish school with a biotech emphasis. This tells me that it requires people who are flexible and forward thinking about curriculum and able to work well in the team. I didn’t like some assumptions made in those comments that the faculty was at fault. We really don’t know enough to do that. She was a ticking bomb.

  61. Scottie Says:

    Bob from Virginia,

    I’ll start off this response by noting that I AM sympathetic to all of these tragedies in your personal life.

    However……

    My comments are probably going to come off as cold-hearted, but so be it.

    You have elected to bring your personal tragedies in as arguing points so you don’t have the benefit of the sympathy factor at this point.

    First of all, there are several instances where guns in the hands of private citizens DID stop shootings in educational establishments.

    Pearl, Mississippi comes to mind immediately – and I know there were other instances of shooters likewise being stopped before they could continue their killing spree.

    So, Wolla Dalbo is correct in the assertion that creating a gun free zone contributed to the defencelessness of the victims in this case.

    As another pointed out, these fine upstanding ivory tower types responded when her gun jammed by locking her out of the room – and exposed every student in the school to her potential shooting rampage.

    That would not make me feel very comfortable having my kids going to that establishment.

    Who would have stopped her if she had elected to go the path of a general shooting spree?

    It’s clear these professors wouldn’t have, and any law enforcement would have been several minutes away when seconds would literally have counted.

    Who is more likely to stop the attack at that point – an officer racing from several miles away or a private citizen, properly trained and armed, who is already on the scene?

    We already have examples of what the correct answer is to that question.

    Regarding your assertion that if one wants to protect oneself, then the first thing to do is get rid of their guns is not supported by anything you offered as examples.

    The best argument that you could possibly make is in relation to the accidental shootings you list – and I would counter that proper education in gun handling is a better means of preventing such accidents than prohibition.

    I realize that’s going to come off quite cold hearted, but again – so be it.

    Gun ownership – particularly of non-sporting type weapons – increased dramatically during the Clinton years and yet I seem to recall that the rate of accidental deaths by firearms declined during that same time frame.

    Clearly someone is/was doing something right.

    You listed your “youthful” neighbor killed in a hold up, and a former co-worker killed at a gas station.

    I can only assume, since you didn’t mention otherwise, that both individuals were un-armed.

    This doesn’t exactly bolster your position that getting rid of your guns will make you safer.

    It’s just as clear that the bad guy with the gun wasn’t concerned about being a law abiding citizen.

    Individuals with concealed carry permits, on the other hand, statistically tend to be among the most law abiding and stable people in the general population.

    Regarding your son’s former prom date and your daughter’s friend who accidentally killed themselves with a gun – I refer to my previous point regarding proper education in gun handling.

    The very first rule of gun handling, of course, is to treat every gun as if it were loaded.

    Millions of people handle loaded guns every day without incident, so again, someone is doing something right.

    Regarding your example of the facilities manager who murdered his wife and then committed suicide – perhaps his wife would have been better served if she’d had her own weapon?

    Cold hearted advice, I know, but if you are scared of your spouse murdering you then it’s silly not to take appropriate measures to prevent just such a tragedy.

    It’s clear there were problems between them if he murdered her!

    Obviously getting restraining orders and such are the first step – but the ultimate responsibility for your personal safety rests on your own shoulders.

    A gun makes a great equalizer for the gentler sex.

    And then there is the last example you provided.

    I’m certainly glad your daughter was able to assist with the crisis hotline after the VT shooting – but exactly what good did that do long after the shooting had stopped?

    Had someone responded at VT as had responded at Pearl, Mississippi, perhaps the number of dead would have been drastically reduced.

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