Two Children Died — They Shouldn’t Have

Well, folks, there has been another school shooting.  This time, the shooter, Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, was a sixteen-year-old student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California.  His mother dropped him off at school, he went into the school, pulled a gun from his backpack, fired all but one of the rounds in the gun, then turned it on himself and shot himself in the head.

Now, according to the New York Times, investigators are trying to understand why he took the gun out of his backpack and shot his fellow students.  I think the more basic question becomes, “Why did this sixteen-year-old boy have access to a gun to begin with?”  Police say there is no indication that his mother knew he had the gun in his backpack, but police also say they found six other guns, some not even registered, in his home.  It seems to me that the mother (his father is dead) should be under investigation for a) having what qualifies as an illegal arsenal in her home, b) leaving guns unsecured and able to be accessed by children, and c) child neglect/endangerment.

Of the five students he shot, two died from their wounds, three others are hospitalized.  The shooter did not immediately die but was rushed to the hospital where he died a day later, Friday afternoon.  The two students who were killed are Gracie Anne Muehlberger, a 15-year-old girl, and Dominic Blackwell, a 14-year-old boy.  One of the three injured students has been released from the hospital, the other two are expected to be released sometime this weekend.  All three are expected to survive … thankfully.

Police say they have no motive … the shooter did not leave behind any manifesto or letter, though it was obviously a planned attack.  The FBI are combing social media, looking for some clue as to what may have caused the boy to commit this horrendous crime.

Those are the facts, as they are known today.  The story made the news, but it seemingly paled in comparison to the impeachment news, Donald Trump’s hate-filled tweets, Roger Stone’s trial, and Rudy Giuliani’s stupidity.  Perhaps it was because this time, only 2 students died?  Perhaps the people in this nation are becoming inured to gun violence?  Perhaps there is a new feeling of hopelessness, in light of the fact that the National Rifle Association (NRA) appear to control enough of our legislators to keep any gun regulations from passing into law.

So, you are probably asking yourselves why I am even writing about this one, given that I have said it all before, time and time again, and that there is not much that can be added at this point.  Well, I’ve asked myself that, as well.  Why bother?  I’ve said it all before, I’m preaching to the choir because my readers are 99% in agreement with me on this, my words won’t reach the ears of those who need to hear them, and even if they did, they wouldn’t heed my words.

But, it seems to me that if we allow ourselves to fall into that trap, if we throw our hands up in the air and say, “Why bother?”, then we have lost the battle … the good guys will have given up and turned the nation, the lives of our children and grandchildren, over to the thugs.  At the very least … the very least … Gracie Anne Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell deserve to be recognized, to be remembered, to be honoured.  But, I believe we owe them more than that.

I believe we owe Gracie Anne and Dominic and the other 842[1] children under age 18 killed by guns so far in 2019, and the other 2,447 children injured by guns thus far this year, to make our voices heard, to keep on shouting loud and clear, to work to bring about an end to the corruption of our politicians and the NRA.  WE OWE IT TO THE CHILDREN!!!

Only in the United States is there free and unfettered access to guns by every man, woman and child, bar almost none.  Only in the United States do we send our children to school, never knowing whether they will return at the end of the day.  The people who could stop the madness, won’t.  Their children haven’t been affected … yet.

Please, friends, vote out the bastards in Congress who take donations from the NRA.  Let’s start using some good sense.  Find out who in your state is taking NRA money [2] and get them out!  Surely the lives of our children matter more than our right to own a killing machine?

[1] Gun Violence Archive 2019

[2] Open Secrets database … searchable by state, party, election cycle, amount

Note to readers:  Saturday Surprise is on hiatus for this week … I felt this was more important.  Apologies, and Saturday Surprise will, hopefully, return next week.

45 thoughts on “Two Children Died — They Shouldn’t Have

  1. Pingback: What’s New? Just Another Mass Shooting | Filosofa's Word

  2. I have been blocked from sending emails or faxes to both my state senators and all of my state’s representatives. I’m not sure why unless it is the DAILY emails and faxes I send with simply the names of each victim of gun violence and the following questions “why don’t you care? Is it because you don’t personally KNOW these children? When will enough children DIE for you to see a connection between the crap laws we have now and the number of deaths? What will it take for you to give a damn?”. So, I bought a book of stamps. I had to use my medications budget but figure I can do with my coumadin for a month. Letters will be sent starting Monday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • They CAN’T DO THAT!!! They cannot block you from sending emails or faxes!!! I would be raising holy heck about that, Suze … that is against your 1st Amendment rights! Only way they would have the right to do that would be if you threatened one of them with physical harm, and I cannot see you threatening to throw a pie in their face, though you might be tempted. Tell you what … if you email me your address and how much you paid for the stamps, I will pay half … I definitely don’t want you to do without your meds!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Combing social media for clues? This is so irritating. What clues do you need when you see the home? Kids text and snapchat all the time. If anyone had a clue why didn’t they speak up? Were they afraid too? I can’t believe the rhetoric against gun control. Living in WY. it does no good to protest or vote. People are crazy with the idea of having guns at home.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think they were hoping to find some sort of ‘manifesto’ as seems to be the popular thing among mass shooters these days who hope to leave a ‘legacy’ with their evil acts. Wyoming is no different than the rest of this nation … they take those 2nd Amendment “rights” seriously, but often forget that all rights are accompanied by responsibilities. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Two Children Died — They Shouldn’t Have — Filosofa’s Word – On The Fence Voters

  5. This problem is so complex with so many contributing factors: guns, easy access to them, poor parenting, mental health issues, letting youth slip through the cracks. Until the moral fiber of our society (and I mean both the U.S. and Canada) changes by voting in the right politicians sadly this will continue. Keep writing about it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • All that you mention are definitely factors, but bottom line is that as long as almost anybody can purchase any type of weapon with little or no oversight, we will continue to have the highest number of gun deaths in the world. Sigh. To me, the solution seems so simple … go back in time 232 years and tell the Founding Fathers to leave out that darned 2nd Amendment! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Jill, let’s get the usual stuff out of the way.
    – People killed by gunman
    – Thoughts and prayers
    – Now is not the time to discuss
    – Repeat

    The third bullet is a stalling tactic to defer discussion. But, the repeat comes. Remember the president said something would be done until he said it would not.

    But, there are always shootings – every damn day. The majority of gun deaths happen daily as the result of suicides. There are common sense things that could be done and still preserve overprotected 2nd amendment rights.

    I am asking people to let Senator Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the president to act. I am asking people to pressure Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Dem candidates to make better gun governance a top issue. To me climate change, health care stability, job retraining, gun governance, debt, infrastructure are keys. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree with you all the way, my friend. As I was just telling another reader, we simply cannot let these killings go unnoticed, cannot become complacent. We must vote out those who are heavily indebted to the NRA, and make clear that we will only vote for candidates that prioritize stricter gun legislation, especially a ban on assault weapons. We can make a difference, but not if we start just shrugging our shoulders and saying “oh well, another one … let me send thoughts and prayers … now where’s that television remote”. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Hello Keith. The House has passed gun control legislation and sent it to the Senate. Moscow Mitch has not allowed it to come to the floor nor made any move on it. His only focus is to install as many unfit judges as possible. That alone will make any gun control legislation harder to achieve. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

        • Oh yes, I definitely remember. And then, after a little phone chat with his NRA buddies, he changed his tune. As for McConnell … it is my hope that the people of Kentucky send him a big message a year from now!


          • Scottie, good memory. I get tickled when people say the House is distracted with the impeachment and Mueller stuff, yet they have sent many pieces of legislation to the Senate which never gets the light of day. Now, I would prefer the volume to include something that might get passed and signed. God forbid, the leaders of both parts in Congress get together and iron out some middle ground that might get passed. While Boehner also had his faults, his success was to get enough moderate Republicans to join with Dems in the House to get things passed. That is why a coup was stirring until he resigned. He was seen by the Freedom Caucus as being too accommodating. Pelosi has a tough job, but it would be great to figure out with McConnell what might pass. Keith

            Liked by 2 people

    • If we let this be “the norm”, become commonplace, then it will never end. It’s up to We the People to vote out of office any who have taken money from the NRA, or who won’t commit to stricter gun regulations. It won’t happen overnight, but if we stop fighting, it will surely never happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Keep fighting the good fight! But until things turn around, maybe ur idea of leaving the country is a good idea, for ur own sanity and quality of life. I’m planning on moving to Puerto Rico, which as you know is a US territory. You can move anytime without restrictions, no visas or even a passport, an enhanced drivers license would do.
    As an accountant, you can appreciate the tax advantages. 4% corp tax, 0% investment income, no local taxes if ur income is derived outside of PR, which means social security, pensions, stocks bonds are tax free.
    Act 20 & 22 is the real game changer, millionaires are leaving the homeland in droves and making PR their home base for tax purposes. Incorporation is a piece of cake, PR economy is booming with domestic US investments flooding their markets and banking system. Check out:

    My prediction is PR will become the new Hawaii!


  8. I hate to be a cynic, but when you have 1/3 of America supporting the likes of trump, politicians owned in part, by the NRA, a mindset among many Americans that those damn liberals are gonna take their guns away, irresponsible parents who leave guns around for easy access, children faced with bullying, ostracizing and a lack of social skills and parental support and a culture with much violence in our movies, TV and video games….do you think this will really ever change?

    The only hope for this and many other problems currently, are the younger generations, especially if they feel compelled to change our country and perhaps do that by getting involved with politics.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Like you, I am cynical, I have my doubts that we can ever change the gun culture in this country. BUT … what I do know is that if we give up, if we say it ‘can’t be done’, then no, it will never happen. Sometimes you just have to keep fighting the good fight, knowing you are on the right side, no matter how hopeless it seems.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You’re quite right. We DO get inured to these stories, even against our better instincts. It is like watching violent films and becoming inured to violence. And we must not let it stop us protesting these horrors. 842 children dead this year so far? That is appalling, horrific and should never, ever, happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I had already read one of the posts you provide links to, and will check the other one out later this evening, for I’m in a time crunch at the moment. Yes, it is depressing, mostly for the fact that it is not likely to change … there is a gun culture in this nation that enables these things to continue happening. Thanks again … I’ll leave a comment on your link later this evening!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I praise you for continuing to fight for what you believe in. It can be so easy when we see that our words and actions aren’t making a tangible difference to merely give up. I hope that others can join you and that your words can spread across your nation so that real change can be made. I have also recently published an article on the same event in California and I asked myself the same question. Why bother? And I totally agree with you, we must continue to fight and let our voices be heard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Simeon! I read your excellent post … thank you! My fear is that people are becoming inured to it all … it’s, “ho hum, another school shooting”, and they move on to the next news article, or go play tennis, or just … business as usual. We cannot let this ball drop, though I don’t expect anything to change soon.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The NRA has a grotesque amount of power over our government … I fully agree with you … we MUST take the money out of political campaigns. Citizens United was the worst decision made by the Supreme Court in the past century at least. Sigh. I would love to see the NRA implode, as I thought they were about to do earlier this year, but unfortunately, they rebounded. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes you’re repeating yourself but please don’t ever stop. 2 kids, 10 kids or 20 kids there are still the future. These could be the future people who cure pancreatic cancer or find a cure for the Ebola virus. Those chances wiped out.All the politicians bar one I believe are Republicans that accept the NRA bribe that stops proper gun control legislation being passed even though Republican voters have said they’d welcome some control. I think they expect it to mean all their guns would go.Unfortunately not so. You have to stop the NRA from being able to dictate what the Government does. People get your act together, these are children, stop it from happening. Lock away the guns.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No worries … I definitely won’t ever stop … this is too important for us to ignore or become complacent. It is simply unacceptable! Sigh. 80% of the people in this nation, including gun owners, are in favour of stricter gun laws, but it is only the NRA, the politicians (you are right, almost exclusively republicans), and a few fanatics who are in favour of maintaining the status quo. As I’ve said before, I guess it has to be one of their own kids that are victims before they open their eyes … our kids don’t seem to matter to them. 😥

      Liked by 2 people

  12. The shooting was on Canadian television Thursday morning, but they had little to report even by time for the evening news. The impeachment news, Roger Stone’s guilty verdict, later the near beheading of a pro-football quarterback, and other items were more important. Two children being killed is no longer front-burner news. What is wrong with humans, especially the American variety?
    This world has list its sanity, and we are all guilty! Someone, please impeach us…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Few details were available here about the shooting, either. I suspect that they don’t know much, such as motive. Sigh. Why does anybody need six guns in their house? I knew of Stone’s verdict, of course, but missed the one about the near-beheading! I’ll have to look for that one. What is wrong with humans, you ask? Greed, arrogance … sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Ahhhh … I hadn’t had a chance to check it out, for today was ‘family day’ and I was away from the computer most of the day, but I really did think perhaps it was an attempted beheading! But, I agree, any form of personal violence in sports is abhorrent. They should be tossed out of the sport forever and fined, if not jailed.

          Liked by 1 person

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