Showing posts with label shootings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shootings. Show all posts

Friday, June 19, 2015


Dear God, may all those who died in the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, rest in peace and rise in glory. May God give comfort, consolation, and peace to all who love them.
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
Oh God, let it be.

The names of those who were killed:

Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41
Ethel Lance, 70
Susie Jackson, 87
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Cynthia Hurd, 54
Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton,45
DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49
Myra Thompson, 59
Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74

Monday, May 13, 2013


In a shooting so brazen that it shocked a city hardened by recurrent gun violence, 19 people were rushed to local hospitals after gunmen opened fire on hundreds who had turned out for an annual Mother’s Day second line parade in the 7th Ward.

The attackers sprayed the crowd with bullets, despite the fact that police were embedded in the parade and several of the revelers were children.

The victims included 10 adult men, seven adult women, a 10-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, said officer Garry Flot, a New Orleans Police Department spokesman. The 10-year-olds suffered graze wounds, as did most of the victims, Flot said. Many of the victims’ injuries were not serious, he said.

Jeb Tate, a spokesman for New Orleans EMS, said three of the nine people paramedics rushed to Interim LSU Public Hospital following the shooting were in critical condition.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu visited several of the victims in their hospital rooms, then, in a somber tone, told reporters that “the specialness of the day doesn’t seem to interrupt the relentless drumbeat of violence on the streets of New Orleans. ... It’s got to stop.”
Yes, it's got to stop, but how? It's way past time for Police Chief Serpas and Mayor Landrieu to deliver on their promises to reduce the the number of shootings in New Orleans, or my beloved home town will die a slow death from the rampant violence. 

Lord, have mercy. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


One of the strictest gun crimes on the books in Louisiana was ruled invalid Thursday by a New Orleans criminal court judge in the wake of the state’s powerful new “right to bear arms” provisions.

District Judge Darryl Derbigny ruled that the law prohibiting felons from carrying firearms violates Louisiana new “strict scrutiny” amendment to the state Constitution. The amendment, backed by heavy lobbying by the National Rifle Association, was adopted by a wide margin by voters last year and became effective Jan. 1.

The strict-scrutiny amendment makes gun ownership a fundamental right that can only be regulated by meeting a very narrow set of standards upon review by the state Supreme Court.

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office immediately appealed Derbigny’s ruling, taking the case straight to the high court for a ruling.
Who says felons can't have their guns?  Well, they can here in Louisiana with our new constitutional  amendment requiring "strict scrutiny" for depriving anyone of the right to bear arms. So says the judge in New Orleans, and he may be right, according to the new law.  We'll see what the Louisiana Supreme Court decides.
The case before Derbigny involved a man who was caught with a .40-caliber pistol and AK-47. The man, Glen Draughter, previously had been convicted of a felony burglary charge.

Regarding the push to arm employees in the schools, which we are told will prevent future shootings, I read yesterday that three people were killed at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia.  The base is surely armed, and three people are dead.

May those who died rest in peace and rise in glory.  May God give comfort, consolation, and the peace that passes understanding to all who love them.

May God have mercy on us all.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


First Moloch, horrid king, besmear’d with blood Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears, Though for the noise of Drums and Timbrels loud Their children’s cries unheard, that pass’d through fire To his grim idol. (Paradise Lost 1.392-96)
Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).
Read Garry Wills' entire op-ed and see what we have become as a country.

Below are the firearms found at the scene in Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The Bushmaster was used in the killings.  Descriptions of the guns may be found here.
An AR-15 is usually capable of firing a rate of 45 rounds per minute in semiautomatic mode.
Lanza used one of the pistols to kill himself.

Bushmaster .223 caliber Remington semiautomatic

Sig Sauer 9 mm

Glock 10mm pistol Auto

Monday, December 17, 2012


Anchor, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome
I've heard and read many words about the terrible tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, - many kind and comforting words, along with horrible and ill-conceived responses.  I've hesitated to add more words, thus I've mostly posted prayers and brief tributes to those who died and prayers and sympathy for those who grieve.

Yesterday, I heard a fine sermon preached in my church.  The main message I took away from the sermon is the good news of hope in the midst of tragedy nearly too awful to contemplate.   Since Advent is the season of waiting in great hope for the celebration of the coming of Christ Incarnate as a helpless babe 2000 years ago, I've continued with the traditions of Advent, the season of expectancy and hope, for, at this time, I do not know what else to do.  Words cannot express the depth of my sadness nor my thankfulness for my faith and the prayers and traditions of the Christian community, which anchor my soul to hope in the Good News.

Hebrews 6:19-20
We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.
The time will come for more words and especially for deeds, but not now, not today, not for me.

A Collect for Peace
Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer)

Friday, August 17, 2012


LAPLACE, La. Two sheriff's deputies in Louisiana were shot to death and two others were injured in an early-morning shootout west of New Orleans, authorities said Thursday.

Five people - both male and female - are in custody, and two of them are hospitalized, authorities said. They said both wounded deputies and both wounded suspects are expected to survive.

Earlier Thursday, a tearful Tregre said that the incident started about 5:30 a.m., when a gunman opened fire for unknown reasons on a deputy working an off-duty job along a highway that connects U.S. Highway 61 with the busy industrial corridor along the Mississippi River. That deputy was wounded.

Tregre said someone called deputies with a description of a car fleeing the scene, and officers tracked it to a nearby mobile home park.

"Another person exited that trailer with an assault weapon and ambushed my two officers," Tregre said. Two deputies were killed and a third was wounded.

Two suspects were wounded in the shootout before officers subdued them, Tregre said.
The slain deputies were identified as Brandon Nielsen, 34, and Jeremy Triche, 27. The wounded officers are Jason Triche, 30, and Michael Boyington, 33, identified as the first one shot. They were being treated at area hospitals but the extent of their injuries was not known.

"There were more than 20 gunshots," said Col. Mike Edmonson, head of Louisiana State Police, which investigates shootings in which other Louisiana law-enforcement agencies are involved.
The persons arrested were reportedly on watch lists in De Soto Parish, Louisiana, and other states and were under scrutiny by the FBI.  The deaths of the two deputies demonstrate why so many in law enforcement would like to see assault weapons banned. The officers face danger every day as they do their jobs, but should they be at added risk from assault weapons? 
How many deaths will it take?  How long before we pass laws to remove assault weapons, the guns that are capable of shooting round after round of bullets, from the hands of citizens?  Those in favor of no gun control reference the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but the foundational document in which we declared ourselves independent of the British, the Declaration of Independence, states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
What about the right to live?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Sixteen people were shot and at least two killed in a bloody Halloween in New Orleans that included gunfire on Bourbon Street, the tourist hot spot in the French Quarter.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, at a news conference called Tuesday in response to the five separate shootings, said a “culture of violence,” that involved young black men with illegal guns has plagued the city and must be stopped.

“This continues to be a battle for the future of our city,” Landrieu said.

Around midnight, two men started firing at each other on Bourbon Street — near the famous Chris Owens night club. When the gunfire stopped, Albert Glover, 25, of New Orleans, was dead and seven others injured. Police spokesman Garry Flot said the injuries were not life-threatening.
I've told visitors to New Orleans that they are safe where the people are, but I don't believe I can say that any longer. The mayor is right. New Orleans' future is at stake.

It's like the Wild West with shootouts in the street. In the culture of violence amongst the boys and young men, arguments, even over minor incidents, are all too often settled with guns and then followed by revenge shootings. Breaking the cycle of violence will be a difficult task.

Will I stop going there? No, but the convention and tourist trade may be gravely affected by stories such as this, and the New Orleans economy is heavily dependent upon tourism.

I weep for my home city.
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred, or bitterness, or violence and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Book of Common Prayer with slight editing)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


As I reread the text of President Obama's speech at the memorial service in Tucson, Arizona, for those who died in the shootings, I cried all over again - so many fine and eloquent moments in one speech. The cadences, the repetition of key phrases demonstrate his mastery of the art of speech-making. Most of all, his words seemed sincere and to come from his heart. Today, I note especially the words below:
So sudden loss causes us to look backward—but it also forces us to look forward; to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. (Applause.)

We may ask ourselves if we’ve shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we’re doing right by our children, or our community, whether our priorities are in order.

We recognize our own mortality, and we are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame—but rather, how well we have loved — (applause)– and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better. (Applause.)

And that process—that process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions—that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires.

I think of the times that I was impatient with the president in his many efforts to forge alliances with Republicans. And I realize now that's the sort of man the president is, a man who will try, in the face of seemingly impossible odds, to find common ground and establish bonds with those who oppose nearly all of his ideas and policies. And he will continue his efforts, and perhaps that's the kind of president we need now. More and more, I see Barack Obama as the man for the hour.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Clockwise from top left (AP):
Christina-Taylor Green: A "Face of Hope," this 9-year-old politician often wore red, white and blue in honor of her country.

Dorothy Morris: The 76-year-old retiree, Dorothy Morris, attended the event with her husband and high school sweetheart George Morris.

Judge John Roll: A widely respected federal judge, Roll received death threats in 2009 after his decision allowed a case brought forward by illegal immigrants to proceed to a jury trial.

Gabe Zimmerman: Recently engaged and one of Giffords's aides, he was known as a master in dealing with other people.

Dorwin Stoddard: A fixture at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ, Stoddard blocked his wife from gunfire, eyewitness reports said.

Phyllis Schneck: A great-grandmother, the 79-year-old retiree admired Giffords's stance on border safety.

From the Washington Post.

Heartbreaking pictures.
O God, whose beloved Son took little children into his arms and blessed them: Give us grace to entrust this child Christina-Taylor to your never-failing care and love, and bring us all to your heavenly kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of your servants Dorothy, John, Gabe, Dorwin, and Phyllis, and grant them entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.